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Giving the Bird to this Inauguration

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As January 20th approaches, not everyone is talking about the inauguration of the 45th president; some are talking about the animals hidden within the word itself.

Just in time for Inauguration Day, bestselling author and award-winning podcaster, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, is launching Animalogy, a podcast about the animal-related words and expressions we use every day. The first episode, the inaugural episode, Inauguration: On a Wing and a Prayer, transports listeners back to the politics of ancient Rome to reveal the birds behind the word.

During the Roman Republic, religion was organized under a strict system of priestly offices, the most powerful of which was made up of the nine augurs, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying and interpreting the omens, a practice referred to as “taking the auspices.” Augurs were literally “diviners of birds” and were consulted prior to any major political decision to predict whether the undertaking in question was auspicious or inauspicious. From the Latin noun augur was derived the verb inaugurare, “to foretell the future from the flight of birds,” which was borrowed into English in the 16th century as inauguration to refer to a formal induction to an office.

The words augur, inauguration, inaugural, auspices, auspicious, and inauspicious all share the same Latin root avis, meaning “bird,” from which we also derive the words avian, aviation, aviator, and aviary.

“Animalogy holds up a mirror,” says its creator, “reflecting back the idioms, euphemisms, metaphors, semantics, doublespeak, and other elements of our everyday language, and looks at how they affect and reflect our relationship with animals.” Inauguration is just the beginning. Following the official launch just weeks before the inauguration on January 20th, 2017, other episodes will follow, including Coccyx: Please Don’t Sit on the Cuckoo; Muscle: Flex Your Mouse; Eating Crows and Humble Pie; Zodiac: A Circle of Little Animals; and Don’t Get My Goat — I’m not Kidding.

ABOUT COLLEEN PATRICK-GOUDREAU: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is forever changing how we talk about, think about, and treat other animals. She is a bestselling author of seven books, acclaimed speaker, and creator and host of the award-winning podcast, “Food for Thought.” Colleen is a regular contributor to National Public Radio (KQED) and has appeared on national and regional TV programs, including the Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX. Interviews with her have been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Times, Pacifica Radio, Rodale News, and in countless publications, blogs, and podcasts. She is a monthly guest on Good Day Sacramento.

The preview episode, “What Is Animalogy?” and the first (inaugural!) episode, “Inauguration: On a Wing and a Prayer” are available on, iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are heard. Contact email for interviews. 

Download the PDF of the press release: AnimalogyPressRelease. 

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