"Mon chien est bête : il ne me reconnaît jamais."
Translation:My dog is stupid: He never recognizes me.
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Uhh... French or English, is this a proper use of the colon? I don't recall seeing it used like that. I feel more inclined to think the semi-colon should be used...
I could be wrong though... What does anyone else think?
In this case both a colon or semi-colon would be ok.
The colon because "he never recognises me" can be considered an explanation or example (of why the speaker thinks the dog is stupid). "I think my dog is stupid because he never recognises me"
The semicolon because two related sentences are being joined. This usage seems better to me. "My dog is stupid and he never recognises me"
Goodness! My formal education was reasonably good and the life lived since has been full of places, experiences, books, lectures and deep discussions. But, then again, ...
I was under the impression that it is rude to use the word 'dumb' in reference to stupidity in the States?
You are absolutely right. People or animals who are dumb are not stupid. Unfortunately, the equivalence of dumb and stupid has become an established part of the English language. When I was a kid, we used to call stupid people "spastic". Hopefully, that has fallen out of use.
Yes, totally, in the same way 'spastic' is inappropriate. There should be no connection between 'people who are unable to speak' and being stupid.
To be fair, most people (at least in the US) would never think of "dumb" to mean "mute" anymore, outside of fossilized phrases like "deaf, dumb, and blind," "struck dumb," and "dumbbell"; I know its history, but I've only ever heard it used here to mean "foolish" or "unintelligent."
Semantic change is an established fact of language though, and this is specifically an example of pejoration (becoming more derogatory). Perhaps there used to be a stereotype that mute people are feeble-minded, causing 'dumb' to gradually gain the additional sense of 'stupid', but now the original sense of 'mute, speechless' is dated and has largely been replaced by 'stupid' except in fixed expressions like "deaf, dumb, and blind." 'Dumb' has been a synonym of 'stupid' for about 200 years now, NOT because there is a perceived connection between them, but because speakers have simply lost or forgotten the original context. The same thing has happened to many words, such as 'idiot', 'lame,' 'moron,' and 'retarded,' all of which used to have neutral meanings!
Your points are well made Sean, but I am not sure that adjectives like idiot, lame, moron and retarded were ever truly neutral. Humans have a long history of pejorative adjectives for persons perceived as "different." I suggest that it behoves us to recognize this bias in our language, and use less pejorative words when they are available.
As a linguist, I can assure you that corpus studies of language use have found that all those terms were once completely neutral and clinical. Doctors used to use 'idiot' to mean someone with an IQ below 30, or lacking the capacity to develop mentally beyond the average four-year-old (and it derives from Greek idiotes, meaning a "private citizen, one who has no professional knowledge"); 'lame' meant "unable to walk properly"; 'moron' (from the Greek word for "dull") was someone with an IQ of 50-70; and 'retarded' applied to everyone with an IQ below 70. They were simply classifications of people with disabilities.
People should be encouraged to use less pejorative words if they don't intend to be offensive, but if you're calling someone "bête" in French, then you intend to be offensive...
Even when I was a child, retarded was the acceptable term for someone with learning disabilities. Kids started using it to be mean, so they stopped using it in the clinical sense and started saying "special needs." Now they won't let kids say retarded, so they call each other "special" as a put-down, so we're soon going to have to find a new word to use for the kids who are genuinely struggling with learning. If they would just let them use retarded then "special needs" could still be used in the proper sense. But they keep forcing the next proper word to be misused, and then it is not proper.
'Dumb' is an exact synonym of 'stupid' in North America, so it's definitely not ruder or less rude than 'stupid'. And it's never rude to refer to your own animal as dumb.
Come on! "Stupid" is quite a harsh word, usually used only in anger. "Dumb," on the other hand, often has a large component of affection, sympathy and forgiveness. If I were drinking in a bar and I wanted to get hit in the face, I would definitely go with "stupid."
Context is everything. Every curse word under the sun can be entirely full of affection, sympathy, and forgiveness, if used in the appropriate context. Without context, "dumb" and "stupid" are synonyms.
How can I study French when I'm rolling on the floor in laughter?
You seem to refer to stupidity in the States as if it were a major, well-known problem!
"My dog is stupid: it never recognizes me" not accepted. I am the only one who recognizes that the pronoun 'it' can be used for animals regardless of gender?
It's grammatically correct, so it should probably be accepted. That said, it is unusual to refer to a pet as 'it'.
that doesn't make the dog stupid! Perhaps he just doesn't like you - could be something to do with your silly voice!
Stupid, dumb, idiot.... Come on Duolingo!!! stop being so specific. This is so annoying
"My dog is stupid: it never recognises me" was marked wrong - either "stupid" is not accepted or I'm being penalised for calling the dog "it" instead of "he". Reported.
The 'error' is the use of "it" - I agree that should be included in the list of possible answers! :)
I typed in the right answer (My dog is stupid; he never recognizes me) and it still said I was wrong! Did this happen to anyone else?
Michael, it happens all the time that we type in correct answers that are not accepted. Report it and move on.