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woman who reads too much

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07:33 pm: linguistic notes from the raptor center
There's an osprey at the raptor center. It is eating, which is a very good sign, since most injured ospreys just don't. They have to be tease-fed or force-fed. It came in with a spinal injury, so its prospects for release are not great.

Do you say ospree or ospray? I have always heard ospree, but everyone at the raptor center says ospray. I wonder whether they are influenced by the 'prey' in Birds of Prey.

As I was cleaning a Great Horned Owl (GHOW) cage, I kept referring to the bird as "she" even though I don't know her sex. I couldn't figure it out from her case file, either. I did figure out that the gender neutral pronoun people use for birds is "bird". They'll often leave out the pronoun and write sentences like, "Bird was on A-frame when I entered the cage. Watched calmly while I cleaned," but when they need a pronoun they usually don't use "it" or "he" or "she", they write, "When I moved too close, bird flew to SE corner, missed the perch, stayed on the ground the rest of the time I was in the cage."

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From:randomdreams
Date:September 7th, 2014 02:22 am (UTC)
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With cockatoos, sex differentiation is often so hard it requires a blood sample and chromosome testing.
I've always said 'ospree' too.
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From:randomdreams
Date:September 7th, 2014 02:23 am (UTC)
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M-W has both as valid.
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From:lookfar
Date:September 7th, 2014 05:18 am (UTC)
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Honora's roommate's special friend is named Anthony and they are ungendered or multigendered or something like that. They prefer that we use the pronoun "they" which is damned confusing when talking about them, as if they are some kind of hive-mind character from sci-fi. I would like to say "bird," as in "Oh, was bird along too? That must have been fun."

But I don't think I will propose it.
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From:djm4
Date:September 7th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
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I say 'ospray' and have never hear 'ospree'. I live in the UK, which probably makes a difference.
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From:muninnhuginn
Date:September 7th, 2014 10:14 am (UTC)
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As another inhabitant of the UK, I second that.
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From:pennski
Date:September 7th, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
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And thirded.
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From:sam_t
Date:September 8th, 2014 08:26 am (UTC)
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Fourthed!
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From:plasticsturgeon
Date:September 7th, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
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I've never heard of anyone saying "ospree."
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From:siderea
Date:September 8th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
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New England born and bred + 3 years sojourn in Northern California, and I've never heard "ospree" before.

Also as a linguistic note, I think of "ey" as pronounced either "ay" (a la "gray"/"grey") or "eye" (a la "aye"/"eye"). Off the top of my head I can't think of any words with "ey" being pronounced "ee". Grey, hey, obey, prey, they, whey.
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