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The Canine in Conversation
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an illustration of a man posting a for sale sign in front of a fence with a noisy neighbor behind it spacer
figure 1


park and bark (opera). A phenomenon in opera where the singer makes no attempt to play a part, that is to act, and instead simply stands and sings.reference 1 Whether this is a bad thing or simply a thing appears to be a matter of taste. Also in dispute is whether this is a new trend in operatic stage direction or an old one.reference 2

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an illustration of a man posting a for sale sign in front of a fence with a noisy neighbor behind it spacer
figure 2


park and bark (legal). Good fences make good neighbors, that is unless there is a dispute about property lines. Dog behavior and the designation and use of parking spaces are among the most common points of contention.reference 3Of course these are not the only kinds of disputes, but the rhyming nature of the phrase gives it great appeal.

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a photograph of a dog park in Alamogordo NM spacer
figure 3


park and bark. In a more literal sense this phrase may be used to describe dog parks (where dogs are allowed to run free), visits to dog parks, dog-centered restaurants, and dog-centered accommodations.reference 4

1. Barrett, Grant. 2010. Among the New Words. American Speech 85 (1):108.

2. Midgette, Anne. 2009. The Myth of Park and Bark. Washington Post, Sep 29. Accessed Nov 30, 2010 from http:// the-classical-beat/ 2009/09/ singers_who_cant_act_can.html.


3. Barrett and Lovenheim, Peter, and Emily Doskow. 2004. Becoming a Mediator: Your Guide to Career Opportunities. 1st ed. Berkeley, Calif.: Nolo. 3-3.


4. Barrett.


About the illustrations: Figure 1 shows an opera singer doing her thing. © 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation.

Figure 2 suggests that neighbor disputes involving dogs and other kinds of nuisance noise are not always resolvable. © 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation.

Figure 3 is a promotional image for the City of Alamogordo's Bark Park (NM). It's the park dogs ask for by name. Used by permission.

see also: Dogs don't bark at parked cars Last updated: November 30, 2010
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies