“Moo-cow,” as in “Mommy, look at the moo-cow!”, is a very stupid thing to say. Sure, James Joyce used it twice the first sentence of A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, but I think everyone will give that Irish dude a break because he was pretty weird. But a two-year-old? No such exemption shall be awarded. It’s time to call it a cow, kid.

I once had a toy cow, probably made by Fisher-Price, that you’d pull behind you; as it rolled along, its head would go up and down and you’d hear a series of “moo!” noises. It was a stupid toy. But it was smarter than kids who say “moo-cow.”

Okay, I will admit a perverse pleasure in hearing owls referred to as “hoot-owls,” and it’s a similar thing, I suppose. But cows are conversation fodder for a two-year-old; they are possibly the fourth or sixth most-mentioned animal, after cats and dogs and probably “horsies” (I won’t get into how much I hate that last one, at least not right now). As such, the word “cow” should be standard issue. I mean, no one ever says “meow-cat” or “woof-dog” or “neigh-horse.” And yet “moo-cow” persists.

Problem: the word “moo-cow.” Recommendation: Curb that behavior, pronto. Solution: Electroshocks for any kid who says “moo-cow” after the age of 21 months; electroshock and two slaps for parents who let the error proliferate beyond their child’s second birthday (note the generous three-month grace period). Let’s get to work, people.


I just read that Yanni is playing three shows at Radio City Music Hall in January.