18 December 2008

also you'd think the collective would be something better than "herd"

by Cecily
Do you know what word has a really deeply unsatisfying plural form in the English language? It is "moose". One moose, two moose, three moose, a dozen moose. How many moose? Too many moose to count.

"Mooses" would be an improvement.

"Meece" would be so much better.

Julie always gets annoyed with me because whenever I am talking about a moose to her (SO OFTEN.) I do the sign for "moose" and then I get worried that maybe someone will think I am talking about an elk or a deer, so I spell out M O O S E too just in case. And Julie is all "yeah Cecily, when have you ever told a story about a deer or an elk? it's a moose, we get it, hurry up and finish your story already."

It's true, I know way more stories about moose than about elk or deer. Which also have zero plural forms, but which don't annoy me at all. Who cares if it's one deer or two deers? I wanna hear more about the MOOSE!

I don't actually have a story about a moose to tell you right now. There are no moose allowed in Washington DC; I am pretty sure it's Official Federal Constitution Policy. Up in the Frozen North, though, there are lots! Lots of mooses! So many meece! Maybe I'll see some and tell you a story about it later.

Update! my mother writes to add:
Do you have any memory of the song you made up as a two year old called,"Moosey Julia"? It was because I had you at the cabin and a mother moose came browsing around you and I were sitting at the table and she came and looked in the window. The song went something like:

"Moosey Julia, Moosey Julia
running around calling "Noot! Noot!"

I think you had her looking for her baby inside the cabin, anyway you sang it for a year or two and it was always adorable.

So. There you go. I don't actually remember this, particularly, but I am always willing to believe people who tell me I am adorable.

ANOTHER UPDATE: An anonymous commenter points out the genius of Brian Regan:

“Moosen! I saw a flock of MOOSEN! There were many of ‘em. Many much moosen. Out in the woods…in the wood-es…in the woodsen. The meese want the food in the woodesen…food is the eatenesen…the meese want the food in the woodesenes…food in the woodesenes.”

Moosen it is.


  1. Of course I do not remember this actual event (I may have been present in utero, but maybe not) - however I do remember the character "Moosey Julia" who says "Noot! Noot!" from back in the day.

    You certainly sang this song to me, and there may even have been one of those picture books you were always making that included Moosey Julia.


  2. Cecily,

    Great minds are already at work for the improved plurality of moose. Go here, and search for "Moosen."


  3. Oh I like Moosen! That's a winner for sure.

  4. When I lived in Bozeman as a kid, a friend invited me to a place near Yellowstone, a tiny town that was overrun by Moosen. They stood around between parked cars and walked through the town center. I took pictures of them, I was so amazed. So I am sad to hear of DC's no-moose policy, what a much more beautiful city it could be!

  5. Yeah, there are many aspects of DC that could be improved by some attempts to be more like Montana. Moosen for starters, liquor stores open til 2 for seconds.

  6. Also, it's funny, people's African descriptions of baboons always reminded me of people's Montanan descriptions of moose- these devilish, troublesome, obnoxious, devious animals who would get the best of you if you let them.

    I haven't had much personal experience with either (over the age of 2 that is) but I'm totally entertained by the ideas of both. I secretly root for moosen and baboons to take over the world, one totaled car and ransacked hotel room at a time.