Did I Hear You Right? Pigs Don’t Fly They Float?

Having started college with the knowledge i love to talk, write and take pictures, it was easy for me to end up in a public relations career. I realized very early i was really lucky to identify those things early as i had friends who were still trying on different throughout college, or got out of school and realized they were in the wrong field.

detailed hog photo in black & white

My classmates are now in an incredibly diverse set of communications positions or may have changed professions. I have a dear friend who’s a business reporter for a major daily, a friend who writes grants, one who now works with a medical school, a few who went into education, one who does training and lord only knows what some of the others do. I feel pretty sure that i am the only one who found agriculture as the perfect industry. Given that, I can so identify with what may be one of the funniest misunderstandings that led to a newspaper correction.

In a story titled, “Pigs float down the Dawson,” a reporter for The Bulletin in Australia wrote: “More than 30,000 pigs were floating down the Dawson River.” Thirty thousand pigs! Can you image? What’s that? You say it’s hogwash. Yep, it’s hogwash. In a correction, The Bulletin said: “What Baralaba piggery owner Sid Everingham actually said was ’30 sows and pigs,’ not ‘30,000 pigs.’” It’s only Tuesday, but this is already the best newspaper correction of the week.

via PR Daily News: Public Relations news and marketing in the age of social media.

Just seeing that reminds me of some of my early days as an Ag reporter for what was called Custom Applicator at the time. I did a set of interviews for the new equipment issue while I was an intern. I had been told to record the interviews so I could listen to them later and be sure i understood.

Most of the interviews included a word or two that probably were routine to folks on the farm, but i was sure glad i had the replays! One interview had me perplexed and I listened time and time again before taking it to one of the editors to help me. imagine my shock when I had heard the guy talking about impregnation correctly! What a learning experience to find out that a herbicide & fertilizer could be combined through impregnation! I was sure I’d be laughed at if the editor saw my notes and here I’d heard right all along!

Over the years there have been lots of those moments where I didn’t hear things right or I asked for an explanation. But the reporter mentioned above…. It must have been an eye opener to find out that what they thought was “30 sows and” was “30,000!”

Wondering if any of you have those moments of realization on ag terms you’d be willing to share… If you don’t farm, what words have thrown you? If you do farm, maybe someone in another part of the industry said something you misunderstood or got blown away by.

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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8 Responses to Did I Hear You Right? Pigs Don’t Fly They Float?

  1. messin33 February 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    This is a great post Janice. The funny thing is, I grew up in ag and sometimes I do the same thing when I’m talking to someone with a totally different specialization.

  2. bobkinford February 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    There are always misunderstandings when talking in “Ageese.” The editor of my first book just could not understand “Calf 6049D, out of Who Me, by Houdini.” I really had to argue with him tooth and nail to keep him from changing the line to “Calf 6049D, who went to Houdini’s school of escape.”

    • JPlovesCOTTON February 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

      LOL! You gotta tell some folks several times, writing it out, etc.

  3. Robert Ratliff February 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Robert Ratliff attempts to one-up the story of “30 sows-and pigs” with a higher animal count of “30 mules-an horses.” Close, but no cigar!

    And from 30 years ago, when acronyms were a challenge:
    “Cotton Farmers are advised to make a PPI application of a DNA herbicide prior to planting, followed by a PRE application of a SU herbicide after planting, since POST applications of 24D are not recommended on cotton.”

    PPI = Pre Plant Incorporated
    DNA = dinitroanaline, Treflan and Prowl
    PRE = pre-emergence
    SU = substituted urea, Cotoran and Karmex
    POST = post-emergence
    24D = 2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

    But then, RR changed history, and the entire herbicide marketing landscape.
    RR = Roundup Ready

    • JPlovesCOTTON February 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      I thought SU was sulfynurea or something spelled somewhat close but good points on the acronyms

  4. Pam Fretwell February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    As I grew up in the city, married a farmer and learned things from the ground up. Words are just words many times with no real meaning.
    I always use to get the words “heifer” and “hereford” mixed up…..after all they are simular…….NOT, especially when you are a Registered Angus breeder.
    Thanks for all you do, you are making a difference.

    • JPlovesCOTTON February 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      I’ve had a lot of folks think I was joking when I say heifer isn’t a friendly word where I’m from. It’s usually used really derogatory!

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