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Dear Lola,

Why do we say an alarm clock is going ‘off’ when the alarm is actually turning on? Shouldn’t we say the alarm is turning on? Also, when we turn the alarm off, does that mean the alarm is still making noise or silent? We’re using the same word to mean two entirely different things – and both are used in reference to an alarm clock! It’s ridiculous and I must know how this happened.

Shut the Bleep Up Already

Dear Lola

Dear Shut the Bleep Up Already,

I knew this question would come one day. I have also pondered this very thing when listening to my humans converse in the mornings. I must say, we don’t have these severe miscommunications in the canine language. After many hours of research into this conundrum, I’m happy to report that I have an answer for you.

Humans spend a lot of time with their friend alcohol.

There is no other way to explain how the word ‘off’ in relation to an alarm can mean that the alarm is both blaring and silent. Fearing I was judging the humans too sharply, I asked my neighbor Arrow for his opinion. He is a wise dog, as evidenced by his greying beard and bushy eyebrows. Arrow agreed that humans spend an inordinate amount of time with alcohol, but that doesn’t quite explain how the same word means the complete opposite of each other. Arrow suggested I turn to my favorite Seinfeld episode to find the answer.

The Bizarro World.

Thanks to Jerry’s never-ending Superman obsession, I know that The Bizarro World holds the opposite of everything we understand. Hi means bye, leave means stay, off means on. Unfortunately, when you combine alcohol and opposites, things can get messy. I think the question humans should all be contemplating is this –

How much wine is too much wine?


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