Where does the phrase "The birds and the bees" come from

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RentBoy

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Apr 16, 2003, 10:47:31 AM4/16/03
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I am nearly 30 years old, I've never understood why the facts of life
are called "The birds and the bees". None of my friends know and even
a search of the internet came up with nothing!

Can someone help me solve this conundrum!

Thank you!

Spehro Pefhany

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Apr 16, 2003, 11:18:16 AM4/16/03
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On 16 Apr 2003 07:47:31 -0700, the renowned mc_...@hotmail.com
(RentBoy) wrote:

The stereotypical parent-child "talk" would start with the mating
activities of insects, birds and perhaps small mammals before working
up to what humans are up to when they go for "dinner and a movie".

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
sp...@interlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com

Peter Moylan

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Apr 16, 2003, 11:44:56 PM4/16/03
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Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com> wrote:
>On 16 Apr 2003 07:47:31 -0700, the renowned mc_...@hotmail.com
>(RentBoy) wrote:
>
>>I am nearly 30 years old, I've never understood why the facts of life
>>are called "The birds and the bees". None of my friends know and even
>>a search of the internet came up with nothing!
>>
>>Can someone help me solve this conundrum!
>
>The stereotypical parent-child "talk" would start with the mating
>activities of insects, birds and perhaps small mammals before working
>up to what humans are up to when they go for "dinner and a movie".

I'm not sure that it got as far as mating habits. (Nor should it,
for a beginner. Human procreation has some significant differences
from the way that birds, bees, and educated fleas do it.) In the
case of bees, the topic under discussion was the pollination of
flowers, and had nothing to do with where baby bees come from. I'm
less certain where the birds fit into the picture, but it was
probably to introduce the idea of human children growing from an
egg.

The traditional birds-and-bees talk would not have gone anywhere
near the taboo topic of male-female coupling.

--
Peter Moylan Peter....@newcastle.edu.au
http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)

Spehro Pefhany

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Apr 17, 2003, 1:00:42 AM4/17/03
to
On 17 Apr 2003 03:44:56 GMT, the renowned
pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan) wrote:

>I'm not sure that it got as far as mating habits. (Nor should it,
>for a beginner. Human procreation has some significant differences
>from the way that birds, bees, and educated fleas do it.) In the
>case of bees, the topic under discussion was the pollination of
>flowers, and had nothing to do with where baby bees come from. I'm
>less certain where the birds fit into the picture, but it was
>probably to introduce the idea of human children growing from an
>egg.

Yes, pollination, of course. I skipped right to the good stuff.

>The traditional birds-and-bees talk would not have gone anywhere
>near the taboo topic of male-female coupling.

What would be the point then? AH4 defines "facts of life" as:
"The basic physiological functions involved in sex and reproduction".

I think this would be rather later than fuzzy explanations of babies
coming from mommy's "tummy". Do you think there be a later (perhaps
wedding day) speech?

Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
peers or from available reference books.

Jacqui

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Apr 17, 2003, 5:03:43 AM4/17/03
to
Spehro Pefhany wibbled:

> What would be the point then? AH4 defines "facts of life" as:
> "The basic physiological functions involved in sex and
> reproduction".
>
> I think this would be rather later than fuzzy explanations of
> babies coming from mommy's "tummy". Do you think there be a later
> (perhaps wedding day) speech?
>
> Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
> parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from
> our peers or from available reference books.

I knew that there was a biological basis, from early life (I was old
enough to be aware of the appearance of both of my brothers, so picked
up some info then). My parents never took the "bow-wow/stork/wind
changing and you'll stay that way" approach with anything. Dogs were
dogs, babies were born because of a biological function that would
become clearer later on but involved the fact that men had willies and
women didn't, making faces just made you look silly. Babies did live
inside Mummy, but she made it clear that it wasn't the same as where
your food goes, because she wanted to make it clear they didn't come
out the same way!

I was encouraged to read the Reader's Digest, wherein one finds all
sorts of illuminating articles ("I am Jane's ovary") and so on, so I
acquired some information from there and other similar texts. Then I
was given a book on "the human animal" which had graphic information.
Then I got the chat which went along the lines of "have you picked up
*this* bit of information, or would you like a better explanation?". So
I would say I picked it up in stages, understanding a bit more each
time I did, until by 9 or 10 I could explain it to other people
reasonably accurately. :-) *The talk* really wound up covering a bit of
the actual mechanics, and quite a lot of the emotional side, rather
than birds and bees and all that. School covered gametes and frogs in
streams and why it's not nice to call your peers "gay".

Jac

Jerry Friedman

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Apr 17, 2003, 2:15:05 PM4/17/03
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Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com> wrote in message news:<cics9vcknt883n1g1...@4ax.com>...

> On 17 Apr 2003 03:44:56 GMT, the renowned
> pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan) wrote:
>
> >I'm not sure that it got as far as mating habits. (Nor should it,
> >for a beginner. Human procreation has some significant differences
> >from the way that birds, bees, and educated fleas do it.) In the
> >case of bees, the topic under discussion was the pollination of
> >flowers, and had nothing to do with where baby bees come from. I'm
> >less certain where the birds fit into the picture, but it was
> >probably to introduce the idea of human children growing from an
> >egg.

Possibly also birds courting and even mating. Nicer than one dog
pushing another all the way to St. Dunstan.

> Yes, pollination, of course. I skipped right to the good stuff.
>
> >The traditional birds-and-bees talk would not have gone anywhere
> >near the taboo topic of male-female coupling.
>
> What would be the point then? AH4 defines "facts of life" as:
> "The basic physiological functions involved in sex and reproduction".
>
> I think this would be rather later than fuzzy explanations of babies
> coming from mommy's "tummy". Do you think there be a later (perhaps
> wedding day) speech?
>
> Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
> parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
> peers or from available reference books.

When I was about 4 or 5, my parents told me that when a man and a
woman love each other very much, the man puts his penis into the
woman's vagina (they'd already defined both those words), and after
that, a baby can start in the woman's uterus, which is in her tummy.
Or that's how I remember it.

They were influenced a lot by Dr. Spock, and this may be an example.
Is it a result for your survey?

--
Jerry Friedman

Mark Brader

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Apr 18, 2003, 2:53:14 AM4/18/03
to
Spehro Pefhany writes:
> The stereotypical parent-child "talk" would start with the mating
> activities of insects, birds and perhaps small mammals before working
> up to what humans are up to when ...

See also <http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/89q4nb/birdbee.937.html>.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "Sex on trains, of course."
m...@vex.net -- Clive Feather

Steve Hayes

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Apr 18, 2003, 4:22:27 AM4/18/03
to

Some actors who played rock musicians in an old retro TV show called
Sha-na-na.

Let me tell you 'bout the birsds and the bees
and the flowers and the trees
and the moon up above
and a thing called love.

Actually the flowers and the trees is more accurate, because formal
instruction on reproduction in schools usually begind with the flowers and the
trees. I remember learning about stamens and pistils and pollen and ovaries at
the age of about 8 or so.


--
Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk

David Alcorn

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Apr 18, 2003, 4:38:49 PM4/18/03
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On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 08:22:27 GMT, haye...@yahoo.com (Steve Hayes)
wrote:

>[snip]


>
>Some actors who played rock musicians in an old retro TV show called
>Sha-na-na.
>
>Let me tell you 'bout the birsds and the bees
>and the flowers and the trees
>and the moon up above
>and a thing called love.

Probably about twelve hoiurs later than everybody else...
From the song "The birds and the bees" by Jewel Akens:
http://www.tsimon.com/akens.htm
David

Peter Morris

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Apr 20, 2003, 9:38:06 PM4/20/03
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"Peter Moylan" <pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in message
news:slrnb9s8pp...@eepjm.newcastle.edu.au...

> In the
> case of bees, the topic under discussion was the pollination of
> flowers, and had nothing to do with where baby bees come from. I'm
> less certain where the birds fit into the picture,

The stork, perhaps.

amaass

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Apr 21, 2003, 2:33:58 PM4/21/03
to

"Spehro Pefhany" <sp...@interlog.com> wrote in message
news:cics9vcknt883n1g1...@4ax.com...
> On 17 Apr 2003 03:44:56 GMT, the renowned
> pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan) wrote:
>
> >I'm not sure that it got as far as mating habits. (Nor should it,
> >for a beginner. Human procreation has some significant differences
> >from the way that birds, bees, and educated fleas do it.) In the
> >case of bees, the topic under discussion was the pollination of
> >flowers, and had nothing to do with where baby bees come from. I'm
> >less certain where the birds fit into the picture, but it was
> >probably to introduce the idea of human children growing from an
> >egg.
>
> Yes, pollination, of course. I skipped right to the good stuff.
>
> >The traditional birds-and-bees talk would not have gone anywhere
> >near the taboo topic of male-female coupling.
>
> What would be the point then? AH4 defines "facts of life" as:
> "The basic physiological functions involved in sex and reproduction".
>
> I think this would be rather later than fuzzy explanations of babies
> coming from mommy's "tummy". Do you think there be a later (perhaps
> wedding day) speech?
>
> Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
> parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
> peers or from available reference books.
>

I feel I must be nearly unique among my peers. My second grade class had a
precise, explicit, and effective (but age-appropriate) sex-education unit.
Of course, I attended a Quaker religious school in second grade, so this is
far from the norm. Our book had photographs of child and adult, female and
male, and explained the mechanics of sex and how a fetus develops. It
explained that men and women sometimes choose to have sex as as an
expression of grown-up love.

And it left it at that. Quaker philosophy: provide the facts, let the person
draw his own conclusions.

-- Adam Maass


Spehro Pefhany

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Apr 21, 2003, 3:26:48 PM4/21/03
to
On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 18:33:58 GMT, the renowned "amaass"
<ama...@attbi.com> wrote:

>I feel I must be nearly unique among my peers. My second grade class had a
>precise, explicit, and effective (but age-appropriate) sex-education unit.
>Of course, I attended a Quaker religious school in second grade, so this is
>far from the norm. Our book had photographs of child and adult, female and
>male, and explained the mechanics of sex and how a fetus develops. It
>explained that men and women sometimes choose to have sex as as an
>expression of grown-up love.

When and where did this occur? That sounds very enlightened. Things
seem pretty tight-assed these days. I suspect my second grade kid
won't get anything; maybe around grade eight or nine they will get the
cross-sections of genitalia and so on. Meanwhile, spams involving
fuzzy photos of naked girls entertaining large black dogs show up
unsolicited in one's email.

>And it left it at that. Quaker philosophy: provide the facts, let the person
>draw his own conclusions.

Let him decide whether to sow his wild oats, then?

Ross Howard

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Apr 21, 2003, 3:27:08 PM4/21/03
to
On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 19:26:48 GMT, Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com>
wrote:

>Meanwhile, spams involving
>fuzzy photos of naked girls entertaining large black dogs show up
>unsolicited in one's email.

Stop complaining. At least in yours they're girls.

Ross Howard
--------------------
(Kick ass for e-mail)

"What you don't know will scare the shit out of you."
-- Rod Steiger (1925-2002)

Evan Kirshenbaum

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Apr 21, 2003, 4:33:26 PM4/21/03
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haye...@yahoo.com (Steve Hayes) writes:

> Some actors who played rock musicians in an old retro TV show called
> Sha-na-na.

That old retro TV show debuted in 1977. The group was at Woodstock.
They were originally members of a Columbia University a capella group
called the Kingsmen, so I don't think that "actors who played rock
musicians" is really all that accurate.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |_Bauplan_ is just the German word
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |for blueprint. Typically, one
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |switches languages to indicate
|profundity.
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com | Richard Dawkins
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Spehro Pefhany

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Apr 21, 2003, 7:53:21 PM4/21/03
to
On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 21:27:08 +0200, the renowned Ross Howard
<ggudon...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 19:26:48 GMT, Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com>
>wrote:
>
>>Meanwhile, spams involving
>>fuzzy photos of naked girls entertaining large black dogs show up
>>unsolicited in one's email.
>
>Stop complaining. At least in yours they're girls.

Yes, it could be much worse.

'What a day, eh, Milhouse? The sun is out, birds are singing,
bees are trying to have sex with them... as is my
understanding.'
-- Bart Simpson

Peter Moylan

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Apr 23, 2003, 1:07:34 AM4/23/03
to
Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com> wrote:

>Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
>parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
>peers or from available reference books.

When I was about 13, it turned out that there was exactly one
boy in our class who had had the supposedly traditional talk with
his father. Naturally we all gathered around him to ask the
vital question:

"Well, how do you get a girl pregnant?"
"You fuck her."

We almost lynched the poor kid for such a bare-faced lie. If
fucking was sinful and having children was virtuous, there could
obviously be no connection.

The interesting part, in hindsight, was that we all knew about
fucking and about pregnancy at that age. We just didn't know
that there was a relationship between them.

Steve Hayes

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Apr 23, 2003, 11:31:46 PM4/23/03
to
On 23 Apr 2003 05:07:34 GMT, pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan)
wrote:

>Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com> wrote:
>
>>Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
>>parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
>>peers or from available reference books.
>
>When I was about 13, it turned out that there was exactly one
>boy in our class who had had the supposedly traditional talk with
>his father. Naturally we all gathered around him to ask the
>vital question:
>
> "Well, how do you get a girl pregnant?"
> "You fuck her."
>
>We almost lynched the poor kid for such a bare-faced lie. If
>fucking was sinful and having children was virtuous, there could
>obviously be no connection.
>
>The interesting part, in hindsight, was that we all knew about
>fucking and about pregnancy at that age. We just didn't know
>that there was a relationship between them.

As an interesting variant, when I was about 11 we knew that fucking resulted
in pregnancy.

But there was also one boy who had had this traditional talk with his parents,
and he was the only one who denied the connection. He said that fucking was
rape, which was a serious crime, and that preganancy was a result of kissing.

We wndered at the ignorance of his parents, and how they had managed to
produce him.

Rushtown

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Apr 23, 2003, 11:39:34 PM4/23/03
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>Subject: Re: Where does the phrase "The birds and the bees" come from
>From: haye...@yahoo.com (Steve Hayes)
>Date: 4/23/2003 8:31 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <3ea755c5....@news.saix.net>

>
>On 23 Apr 2003 05:07:34 GMT, pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan)
>wrote:
>
>>Spehro Pefhany <sp...@interlog.com> wrote:
>>
>>>Do you know of anyone who's actually had such a talk with their
>>>parents? My own little survey has come up dry- we all learned from our
>>>peers or from available reference books.
>>
>>When I was about 13, it turned out that there was exactly one
>>boy in our class who had had the supposedly traditional talk with
>>his father. Naturally we all gathered around him to ask the
>>vital question:
>>
>> "Well, how do you get a girl pregnant?"
>> "You fuck her."
>>
>>We almost lynched the poor kid for such a bare-faced lie. If
>>fucking was sinful and having children was virtuous, there could
>>obviously be no connection.
>>
>>The interesting part, in hindsight, was that we all knew about
>>fucking and about pregnancy at that age. We just didn't know
>>that there was a relationship between them.

This is a bit different from how I learned.
I learned about the F word and the act at the same time at 9 years old. Some
older kid told my twin brother and I about it complete with illustrations in
the sand.
When I mentioned the word to my parents they tried to act like it wasn't a bad
word. But I caught on that it was and wrote it all over the sidewalk. That
forced my Dad to tell me not to use the word and to explain the birds and the
bees.
I just remember feeling good that my snooty next door neighbor and his snooty
wife had "done it". I almost felt like yelling,
"Your not so great Mr Brough, I know what you and Mrs. Brough have been doing,"
(They were Catholic with 6 kids.)

R H Draney

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Apr 23, 2003, 11:58:41 PM4/23/03
to
In article <20030423233934...@mb-m19.aol.com>, rush...@aol.com
says...

>
>I learned about the F word and the act at the same time at 9 years old. Some
>older kid told my twin brother and I about it complete with illustrations in
>the sand.

ObAUE: Oy!

....r

Robert Bannister

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Apr 24, 2003, 12:40:26 AM4/24/03
to

1973, a high school staff room, we were talking about abortion and one
of the arguments was about a case that had actually happened recently
where the rapist had some serious disease. One of the women, in her 30s
and not known for being stupid, got really upset. It took one of the
other women to drag it out of her later: she believed that a woman could
not get pregnant unless she had an orgasm.

I do remember having an argument with a friend when I was 11 or 12 about
whether the baby emerged from the navel or not. We too knew about
fucking, but were not sure whether this had anything to do with babies.


--
Rob Bannister

Martin Ambuhl

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Apr 24, 2003, 4:47:06 AM4/24/03
to
Rushtown wrote:

> Some
> older kid told my twin brother and I about it complete with

^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
verb object
> illustrations in the sand.

This is an English usage newsgroup, y'know.


Charles Riggs

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Apr 24, 2003, 5:24:05 AM4/24/03
to
On 23 Apr 2003 05:07:34 GMT, pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter
Moylan) wrote:

> "Well, how do you get a girl pregnant?"
> "You fuck her."
>
>We almost lynched the poor kid for such a bare-faced lie. If
>fucking was sinful and having children was virtuous, there could
>obviously be no connection.
>
>The interesting part, in hindsight, was that we all knew about
>fucking and about pregnancy at that age. We just didn't know
>that there was a relationship between them.

Well before I knew about those things, I knew that girls were
differently constructed from boys. Boys were interested in talking
about it, as were a few girls with us. We played doctor, as many
6-year-olds do. What amazes me, looking back, is that it never
occurred to me to wonder what purpose the vagina serves.
--
Charles Riggs

Tony Cooper

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Apr 24, 2003, 9:43:43 AM4/24/03
to
On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 12:40:26 +0800, Robert Bannister
<rob...@it.net.au> wrote:

>I do remember having an argument with a friend when I was 11 or 12 about
>whether the baby emerged from the navel or not. We too knew about
>fucking, but were not sure whether this had anything to do with babies.

I remember a similar argument with a friend. We were very young, but
I don't remember the age. We had accepted the fact that babies grew
inside the mother, but couldn't figure out where they came out. We
had played "doctor" with a girl in the neighborhood, and knew that
there was no opening large enough to permit the exit of a baby.

The argument was about if the baby came out as a tiny seed-like thing,
or if one of the openings we observed grew larger as the girl grew up.
The latter was an appalling thought.


--
Tony Cooper aka: tony_co...@yahoo.com
Provider of Jots, Tittles, and Oy!s

Dena Jo

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Apr 24, 2003, 11:00:32 AM4/24/03
to
On 22 Apr 2003, Peter Moylan posted thus:

> "Well, how do you get a girl pregnant?"
> "You fuck her."
>
> We almost lynched the poor kid for such a bare-faced lie. If
> fucking was sinful and having children was virtuous, there could
> obviously be no connection.

When I was a little kid, it was inconceivable to me that it was through
sex intercourse that a woman got pregnant. My little kid thought
process was that if one had to engage in sexual intercourse in order to
get pregnant, then people who didn't want a baby would *just not do
it*. There would be no reason to have unplanned or unwanted
pregancies. But there *were* unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, so
clearly women got pregnant in some other manner. I'd actually given
this problem a fair amount of thought.

But I kept getting conflicting information from my friends. One day I
decided I was going to get to the bottom of this, so I went to the
library and found a copy of "What Every Young Girl Should Know," or
some similarly titled book, and I sat down on the floor in that aisle
and read it. Boy, was I astonished to learn that the erect penis
theory was true!

On the question of talks with parents, my mother never said one word to
me about sex. Not one word. Ever in her life. Had I not taken
matters into my own hands, God knows how many more months I'd have
remained ignorant!

--
Dena Jo

(Email: Replace TPUBGTH with denajo2)

R J Valentine

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Apr 24, 2003, 1:27:33 PM4/24/03
to

So we know all about PDNTC (q.g.) pronouns and the insulating properites
of conjunctions. It may even be in Bob Cunningham's list of initialisms.

("English-usage newsgroup", by the way. Hypohyphenation doesn't kick in
with just the one capital.)

--
R. J. Valentine <mailto:r...@smart.net>
(Brother Martin must be new here.)

Padraig Breathnach

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Apr 24, 2003, 1:31:07 PM4/24/03
to

>When I was a little kid, it was inconceivable to me that it was through

>sex intercourse that a woman got pregnant. ...

Good choice of words.

>... One day I
>decided I was going to get to the bottom of this ...

More well-chosen words.

>... Had I not taken

>matters into my own hands, God knows how many more months I'd have
>remained ignorant!

Have you considered writing dirty books?

PB

Dena Jo

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Apr 24, 2003, 1:35:24 PM4/24/03
to
On 24 Apr 2003, Padraig Breathnach posted thus:

> Have you considered writing dirty books?

All the time...

Oliver Cromm

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Apr 24, 2003, 3:30:59 PM4/24/03
to
Quoth Dena Jo:

> When I was a little kid, it was inconceivable to me that it was
> through sex intercourse that a woman got pregnant. My little kid
> thought process was that if one had to engage in sexual
> intercourse in order to get pregnant, then people who didn't want
> a baby would *just not do it*.

I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just read
for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual intercourse"?

As for the latter, the truth about it dawned upon me at the age of
around 12, presumably from some appalling sectional drawings in the
biology textbook, but - are the drawings to blame? - I refused for 2
more years or so to believe anybody would do such a thing, whether to
get pregnant or whatever. In my age group, this seems to be rare,
although recently a charming old lady told me she had the same
feelings, at a somewhat higher age.

Incidentally, my wife was never explained the "facts of life", not at
home, not in school, not from friends. So she knew basically what she
had overheard from other peoples' conversations. I recently explained
to her the menstrual cycle in more detail. Recently meaning after the
birth of our child.

In Germany, by the way, I learned about the flowers and the butterflies
(die Blumen und die Schmetterlinge), which makes the relation more
obvious.
--
Oliver Cromm
a Canadian social worker ... published her treatise, On
Contraceptive Devices, in Kapuskan patois (to spare the
blushes of Estotians and United Statians...) - VN, Ada

Dena Jo

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Apr 24, 2003, 3:34:41 PM4/24/03
to
On 24 Apr 2003, Oliver Cromm posted thus:

> I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
> read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
> intercourse"?

"Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and proofreading
too poorly.

Jacqui

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Apr 24, 2003, 3:41:39 PM4/24/03
to
Oliver Cromm wibbled:

> Incidentally, my wife was never explained the "facts of life", not
> at home, not in school, not from friends. So she knew basically
> what she had overheard from other peoples' conversations. I
> recently explained to her the menstrual cycle in more detail.
> Recently meaning after the birth of our child.

An awful lot of women know very little about their own cycles, apart
from the really obvious bits. Google on "Taking Charge Of Your
Fertility" (or visit www.tcoyf.com) and "Fertility Awareness Method" if
you want much more detail than you ever expected... I for one didn't
know when my "luteal phase" was until quite recently.

Jac

Spehro Pefhany

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 3:45:32 PM4/24/03
to
On 24 Apr 2003 19:34:41 GMT, the renowned Dena Jo
<TPUBGTH.don't.use.this...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On 24 Apr 2003, Oliver Cromm posted thus:
>
>> I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
>> read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
>> intercourse"?
>
>"Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and proofreading
>too poorly.

Not that I've noticed, unfortunately.

Skitt

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 3:50:40 PM4/24/03
to
Dena Jo wrote:
> Oliver Cromm posted thus:

>> I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
>> read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
>> intercourse"?
>
> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and proofreading
> too poorly.

Yes, but did you enjoy it anyway?
--
Skitt (in SF Bay Area) http://www.geocities.com/opus731/
I speak English well -- I learn it from a book!
-- Manuel (Fawlty Towers)

K1912

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 4:13:49 PM4/24/03
to
Skitt wrote:

>Dena Jo wrote:
>> Oliver Cromm posted thus:
>
>>> I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
>>> read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
>>> intercourse"?
>>
>> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and proofreading
>> too poorly.
>
>Yes, but did you enjoy it anyway?

True, the proof is in the poor reading, but it goes without saying that the
enjoyment of any post would be diminshed by premature typing. The difference
between "sexual intercourse" and "sex intercouse is the difference between
being up to speed and going off half-cocked.

Georg

Oliver Cromm

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 4:36:32 PM4/24/03
to
Quoth Dena Jo:

> On 24 Apr 2003, Oliver Cromm posted thus:
>
>> I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
>> read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
>> intercourse"?
>
> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and
> proofreading too poorly.

Then I must have had it many times.

Dena Jo

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 5:14:37 PM4/24/03
to
On 24 Apr 2003, K1912 posted thus:

> Skitt wrote:
>
>>Dena Jo wrote:
>>> Oliver Cromm posted thus:

You guys are such perverts^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hgreat guys!!

Maria Conlon

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 5:39:20 PM4/24/03
to
Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> Dena Jo wrote:

>> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and
>> proofreading too poorly.
>
> Not that I've noticed, unfortunately.

Me neither. Maybe one has to type too poorly and proofread too quickly.
Try that, Spehro, and let us know if it works, eh?

Maria


Robert Bannister

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 8:03:02 PM4/24/03
to
Dena Jo wrote:
> On 24 Apr 2003, Oliver Cromm posted thus:
>
>
>>I'd like to ask about "sex intercourse", because I think I just
>>read for the first time - is it somehow different from "sexual
>>intercourse"?
>
>
> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and proofreading
> too poorly.
>

I've done both those things many times without achieving either sex or
proper intercourse.

--
Rob Bannister

Dena Jo

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 8:20:50 PM4/24/03
to
On 24 Apr 2003, Robert Bannister posted thus:

>> "Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and
>> proofreading too poorly.
>>
>
> I've done both those things many times without achieving either
> sex or proper intercourse.

You guys obviously just don't have my touch.

Robert Bannister

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 8:43:54 PM4/24/03
to
Dena Jo wrote:
> On 24 Apr 2003, Robert Bannister posted thus:
>
>
>>>"Sex intercourse" is the result of typing too quickly and
>>>proofreading too poorly.
>>>
>>
>>I've done both those things many times without achieving either
>>sex or proper intercourse.
>
>
> You guys obviously just don't have my touch.
>

You really do give us lines.

--
Rob Bannister
(Imagining your touch)

Bob Cunningham

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 10:31:46 PM4/24/03
to
On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 17:27:33 -0000, R J Valentine <r...@smart.net> said:

>On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 08:47:06 GMT Martin Ambuhl <mam...@earthlink.net> wrote:

[ . . . ]

>} This is an English usage newsgroup, y'know.

[ . . . ]

>("English-usage newsgroup", by the way. Hypohyphenation doesn't kick in
>with just the one capital.)

"Hypohyphenation" be damned. According to my common-sense hyphenation
rules, (see Message-ID: <li57iu44kvqg25s5g...@4ax.com>)
"English usage" will be hyphenated because "This is an English usage
... " makes sense by itself, so the reader will momentarily follow a
false scent.

My common-sense rules for hyphenating compound adjectives may be
summarized as follows:

1. If someone is paying you to write, find out if they have rules they
want you to follow. If so, follow them.

2. Otherwise, hyphenate only when it's necessary in order to avoid
false scent or ambiguity.

3. If hyphenation isn't enough to eliminate ambiguity, reword.

If you are to be governed by rule 1, and if your payer chooses to
babble about words no one can find in a dictionary, like
"hypohyphenation" and "hyperhyphenation", try your best to understand
what they are trying to say, and then try to do what they want. It
will be understandable, though, if you want to roll your eyes a bit
when the boss isn't looking.

R J Valentine

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 11:36:02 PM4/24/03
to
On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 02:31:46 GMT Bob Cunningham <spa...@alt-usage-english.org> wrote:
...
} "Hypohyphenation" be damned.
...

Heresy!

} My common-sense rules for hyphenating compound adjectives may be
} summarized as follows:
}
} 1. If someone is paying you to write, find out if they have rules they
} want you to follow. If so, follow them.

Okay, I grant you and Truly that much. (Where is the old girl?)

} 2. Otherwise, hyphenate only when it's necessary in order to avoid
} false scent or ambiguity.

What's false ambiguity?

} 3. If hyphenation isn't enough to eliminate ambiguity, reword.

Oh, you meant "ambiguity or false scent".

} If you are to be governed by rule 1, and if your payer chooses to
} babble about words no one can find in a dictionary, like
} "hypohyphenation" and "hyperhyphenation", try your best to understand
} what they are trying to say, and then try to do what they want. It
} will be understandable, though, if you want to roll your eyes a bit
} when the boss isn't looking.

Hey, wait a second!

--
R. J. Valentine <mailto:r...@smart.net>

Hypohyphenation is when prefix clumping is needed, but hyphenation isn't.
Hyperhyphenation is when hyphenation is still ambiguous or pseudoscented.

tomca...@yanospamhoo.com

unread,
Apr 25, 2003, 1:34:47 AM4/25/03
to
Ross Howard <ggudon...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>>Meanwhile, spams involving
>>fuzzy photos of naked girls entertaining large black dogs show up
>>unsolicited in one's email.

> Stop complaining. At least in yours they're girls.

What I want to know is ... when did the dogs start getting all the action?
Did we accidentally breed a group of super-intelligent mutts, who have
taken over the porn industry? A Republican senator has recently remarked
on the growing problem!

David Smyth

unread,
Apr 25, 2003, 3:44:38 AM4/25/03
to
R H Draney <dado...@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<b87nd...@drn.newsguy.com>...

The day after I learned about the birds and the bees I got stung by a
bee and thought that I was pregnent.

Simon R. Hughes

unread,
Apr 25, 2003, 11:40:57 AM4/25/03
to
Thus Spake tomca...@yaNOSPAMhoo.com:

ITYM arrested as a partial solution to the problem.
--
Simon R. Hughes
War is Peace!

R F

unread,
May 5, 2003, 11:54:12 AM5/5/03
to
On 21 Apr 2003, Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:

> haye...@yahoo.com (Steve Hayes) writes:
>
> > Some actors who played rock musicians in an old retro TV show called
> > Sha-na-na.
>
> That old retro TV show debuted in 1977.
> The group was at Woodstock.

Their appearance at Woodstock signified, I believe, the End of the
'Sixties and the Beginning of the 'Seventies (and arguably the
Proto-Beginning of the 'Eighties). It anticipated such developments as
punk rock and _Happy Days_, and of course the revival of the moribund
slang word "cool", which Steve "Purple" Hayes rightly remembers as a
Beatnik expression.

> They were originally members of a Columbia University a capella group
> called the Kingsmen, so I don't think that "actors who played rock
> musicians" is really all that accurate.

Also, the music they played wasn't "rock music" (see my recent posting,
I think). It was maybe "rock 'n' roll", or a retro impression thereof.

Ben Zimmer

unread,
May 5, 2003, 4:50:57 PM5/5/03
to
David Alcorn wrote:
>
> On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 08:22:27 GMT, haye...@yahoo.com (Steve Hayes)
> wrote:
>
> >[snip]

> >
> >Some actors who played rock musicians in an old retro TV show called
> >Sha-na-na.
> >
> >Let me tell you 'bout the birsds and the bees
> >and the flowers and the trees
> >and the moon up above
> >and a thing called love.
>
> Probably about twelve hoiurs later than everybody else...
> From the song "The birds and the bees" by Jewel Akens:
> http://www.tsimon.com/akens.htm

The Akens song was a hit in 1965, but the expression was hardly new
then. "The birds and the bees" (often with "the flowers" added) was
metonymic for "nature" or "the great outdoors" in the early 20th
century. Its use as a euphemism along the lines of "the facts of life"
dates back to the late '30s (courtesy the Proquest database as usual):

Teaching Them How to Live Happily Ever After;
Colleges Now Offer Courses on Marriage
New York Times; Oct 2, 1938; pg. 139
Our youngsters would snort at the old-time approach to
sex problems via the birds, the bees, the flowers.

Notes on Theatre during the Year 1938
New York Times; Jan 1, 1939; pg. 95
Having only recently discovered the birds and the bees,
the American public has learned about sex and robbed
France of its quota of dramatic imports.

Hedda Hopper:
On the Matter of Sex and Rearing Its Ugly Head
The Washington Post; Jan 8, 1939; pg. TS3
I'll never forget when my son asked me that question
and I waded through the flowers, the birds and the bees
fairy-tale fiction.

Cinema's Production Code Begins to Meet a Trend; Public's
Escapist Point of View Brings Relaxation of Rigid Restraint
of Screen's Inclination to Disclose the Facts of Life
The Washington Post; May 26, 1940; pg. L3
The Hollywood product these many years now, nevertheless,
has leaned over so far backward to preserve a lily-white
and complete decorum that many have been led to believe
that the Hollywood producers never had heard of the birds
and the bees and the flowers.

Evan Kirshenbaum

unread,
May 5, 2003, 6:23:01 PM5/5/03
to
Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> writes:

> The Akens song was a hit in 1965, but the expression was hardly new
> then. "The birds and the bees" (often with "the flowers" added) was
> metonymic for "nature" or "the great outdoors" in the early 20th
> century. Its use as a euphemism along the lines of "the facts of life"
> dates back to the late '30s (courtesy the Proquest database as usual):
>
> Teaching Them How to Live Happily Ever After;
> Colleges Now Offer Courses on Marriage
> New York Times; Oct 2, 1938; pg. 139
> Our youngsters would snort at the old-time approach to
> sex problems via the birds, the bees, the flowers.

And this quote implies that the birds and the bees had been so used
for quite some time. It was obviously a cliche by Cole Porter's 1928
song, "Let's Do It",

Birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

http://www.thepeaches.com/music/composers/cole/LetsDoItLetsFallInLove.txt

Looking to the OED, they have, under "rogueship":

1797 BRYDGES _Hom. Trav._ I. 144 His rogueship from the flowers
and trees Would call the very birds and bees.

I can't find the work on-line, but it looks as though it may have had
this connotation as far back as the end of the eighteenth century.
(Then again, it might be a coincidence.)

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Any programming problem can be
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |solved by adding another layer of
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |indirection. Any performance
|problem can be solved by removing
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |one.
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Ben Zimmer

unread,
May 5, 2003, 7:37:14 PM5/5/03
to
Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
>
> Ben Zimmer <bgzi...@midway.uchicago.edu> writes:
>
> > The Akens song was a hit in 1965, but the expression was hardly new
> > then. "The birds and the bees" (often with "the flowers" added) was
> > metonymic for "nature" or "the great outdoors" in the early 20th
> > century. Its use as a euphemism along the lines of "the facts of life"
> > dates back to the late '30s (courtesy the Proquest database as usual):
> >
> > Teaching Them How to Live Happily Ever After;
> > Colleges Now Offer Courses on Marriage
> > New York Times; Oct 2, 1938; pg. 139
> > Our youngsters would snort at the old-time approach to
> > sex problems via the birds, the bees, the flowers.
>
> And this quote implies that the birds and the bees had been so used
> for quite some time. It was obviously a cliche by Cole Porter's 1928
> song, "Let's Do It",
>
> Birds do it, bees do it
> Even educated fleas do it
> Let's do it, let's fall in love

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms dates it to the latter half
of the 19th century (with no citations given), according to some
discussion in the Phrase Finder forums.

http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/bulletin_board/11/messages/368.html

> Looking to the OED, they have, under "rogueship":
>
> 1797 BRYDGES _Hom. Trav._ I. 144 His rogueship from the flowers
> and trees Would call the very birds and bees.
>
> I can't find the work on-line, but it looks as though it may have had
> this connotation as far back as the end of the eighteenth century.
> (Then again, it might be a coincidence.)

Cecil Adams cites the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins,
suggesting that Coleridge's "Work Without Hope" (1825) was a possible
inspiration:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_229a.html
Where exactly "the birds and the bees" originated nobody
knows, but word sleuths William and Mary Morris hint that
it may have been inspired by words like these from the poet
Samuel Coleridge: "All nature seems at work ... The bees
are stirring--birds are on the wing ... and I the while,
the sole unbusy thing, not honey make, nor pair, nor build,
nor sing." Making honey, pairing ... yes, we can definitely
tell what Sam had on his mind.

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/poems/Work_without_Hope.html

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