Pet food vs food pet

In English, it doesn’t make much difference whether we say ‘teacher trainee’ or ‘trainee teacher’, or whether we say ‘teaching practice’ or ‘practice teaching’*. But while a ‘parent volunteer’ is to be thanked and respected, a ‘volunteer parent’ could leave us doubting his/her motive. And while we know what ‘pet food’ is, I once spotted, in Phnom Penh of Cambodia, a poster in a supermarket advertising ‘food pet’. I didn’t know enough about Cambodian cuisine to tell whether they were taking that seriously. But the other day, I stumbled on a restaurant in Guangzhou that was still serving dog meat. I couldn’t help wondering: Had the poor dogs been kept as pets before their final sacrifice?

*In teacher education, ‘teaching practice’, ‘practice teaching’, and ‘teaching practicum’ are terms that refer to a supervised period of teaching at a school that student teachers undergo as part of their training.

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