Project Galactic Guide Archives

War, Peace, And Small Dogs (Unreal)

By Peter E. Janes

Dated: 19930925

It is a well-known fact that most intergalactic conflicts are caused by misunderstandings. Many of them would have been easily prevented simply by understanding the nuances of language. In fact, the Babel fish, while making interspecies communication possible, has been named as a catalyst in over 83.792% of wars in the history of the Guide. (Interestingly, a large number of the rest have to do with differing opinions of whether the next century begins January 1, 2000, January 1, 2001, or October 23, 2071.)

In the interests of peace, then, the Guide provides a short example of multiple interpretations of the word "Fruvous."

Fruvous (froo'ves) appears to have originated on the planet Earth, although its etymology is shrouded in some controversy. One faction devoutly believes that it is a magical monk-baked pastry loaf that was served to evil burgermeisters in the Middle Ages. Other word historians say that Fruvous was a high-stakes Mesopotamian board game, the rules of which have faded into obscurity. The author personally accepts the theory that "Fruvous" is the sound produced when yogurt dollops are dropped in searing liquid.

Other connotations include the slightly corrupted "fru-vest," which, as the name suggests, is an article of clothing; a mysterious light similar to St. Elmo's Fire; and a species of small dog with a bird's beak and a reddish coat.

The potential for conflict may not be immediately obvious from the above paragraphs. This should be rectified in the following paragraph.

The origin of the word Fruvous has recently come into further question with the discovery of evidence confirming the existence of legendary environmental crusader Marion Fruvous. The convictions of Ms. Fruvous were so great that her name has become synonymous with "unflappable." In honour of this historical figure, Fruvous, while being an adjective, is placed after the noun which it describes. For example, a super-unshakable but ultra-cool person might be referred to as a "hoopy Fruvous."

It is understandable if, at this point, the hitchhiker who has been following closely still cannot visualize a violent confrontation over the use of Fruvous. While the preceding paragraph was originally designed to clarify the problem, it has succeeded only in elaborating on the unknown origins of the word. Immediately following that explanation is a short tirade (which is currently being read) that will end shortly. Next is the problem.

Fruvous can also be used to mean "multi-legged and aural." The alert hitchhiker can quickly see the difficulties when using Fruvous in conversation. With someone unfamiliar with the previous interpretations, a hitchhiker could be seen to be insulting a native's physical manifestation, when a compliment is the intended meaning. This sort of unintentional provocation is exactly what we're talking about.

(It should be noted that while "Fruvous" itself has not been known to cause any major conflicts, minor disputes, or even hurt feelings to date, all use is at your own risk. The Guide assumes no liability or responsibility for death, dismemberment, or Revenue Canada audits resulting from the use of "Fruvous.")

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