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    #1

    Raven and crow

    Hello,

    My knowledge about animals is minimal. I understand that ravens, crows and rooks are in the same family or species. There are differences, but they are all black birds.

    My question is about the use of these birds in a figurative way. For some reason, I have seen "raven" used more "positively" than "crow" and "rook". Am I right?

    I remember reading Snow White and her hair was compared to a raven's wings. I think that's a good thing. I have never seen hair being compared to a crow or a rook's wings.

    Do these birds have different connotations when used figuratively?

    Thank you.

    Nawee

  1. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Rave and crow

    (Not a Teacher)

    This is not an expert literary opinion, but I'd say blackbirds like ravens and crows have two prevailing associations. One with death and decay, arising from their omnivorous diet. They likely picked up this reputation from hanging around (no pun intended) the local gallows waiting for a free meal. The other is with intelligence or wiliness, as they have been observed using tools and taking clever approaches to obtain food.

    That said, I don't think any connotation is being used here. It's simply comparing her hair to the jet black plumage of a raven.
    Last edited by SlickVic9000; 14-Feb-2014 at 09:19.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Rave and crow

    "Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs and nutcrackers. The common English names used are corvids (more technically) or the crow family (more informally), and there are over 120 species"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvidae

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultura...ions_of_ravens

    The most common corvids we have in Aus. are magpies that fly down from trees and peck at your head.
    It's quite acceptable to say that a woman has raven hair (... and ruby lips), but not the others.

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    #4

    Re: Rave and crow

    Quote Originally Posted by naweewra View Post
    ... I have seen "raven" used more "positively" than "crow" and "rook". Am I right?

    Do these birds have different connotations when used figuratively?
    You are right, Nawee, and their reputations do indeed differ.

    One reason involves the alternative, unpleasant meanings of 'crow' and 'rook': 'crow' can mean to boast arrogantly and it can be solid nasal mucus (AE booger); 'rook' can mean to cheat or swindle.

    'Ravens' have no such pejorative connections; in fact, in the UK the ravens of the Tower of London are the legendary protectors of the kingdom.


    :

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    #5

    Re: Rave and crow

    And you will never hear: Quoth the crow/rook/magpie/jackdaw "Nevermore".

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    #6

    Re: Rave and crow

    I'm sorry, MikeNewYork. I don't understand "Quoth the crow/rook/magpie/jackdaw "Nevermore" Is it a quotation or a well-known saying?

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    #7

    Re: Rave and crow

    It's a reference to The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

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    #8

    Re: Rave and crow

    Quote Originally Posted by naweewra View Post
    I'm sorry, MikeNewYork. I don't understand "Quoth the crow/rook/magpie/jackdaw "Nevermore" Is it a quotation or a well-known saying?
    "Quoth the raven nevermore" is a quote from "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Rave and crow

    Quote Originally Posted by naweewra View Post
    I'm sorry, MikeNewYork. I don't understand "Quoth the crow/rook/magpie/jackdaw "Nevermore" Is it a quotation or a well-known saying?
    Sorry, it was an (evidently failed) attempt at humor.

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    #10

    Re: Rave and crow

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Sorry, it was an (evidently failed) attempt at humor.
    Never mind. You've probably caused a few more people to become familiar with the utterly wonderful ​The Raven.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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