A card in a newsagent’s window draws attention to an intriguing offer: ‘Alsashun puppies for sale. Going cheep.’ Most people reading the card will smile in a slightly superior way. We might not be entirely sure how to spell ‘Alsatian’, but we know that it isn’t like the spelling on the card. At the same time, there is something rather endearing about the advertisement, as it is so clear that the person who wrote it ventured forth bravely, trusting that the spelling of the word would echo its sound. But that is not the only spelling mistake. If we did not know better, we might be tempted to take a look at these dogs as they appear to be quite remarkable animals: rather than barking, they do bird impersonations, going ‘cheep’.
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