Previous month:
October 2004
Next month:
December 2004

Entries from November 2004

vide

.........................................................................................................
Words_in_a_french_life Words in a French Life: "...a heart-winning collection from an American woman raising two very French children with her French husband in Provence, carrying on a lifelong love affair with the language."
...........................................................................................................

vide (veed) adjective
  1. empty
  2. blank

le vide, noun (masculine):
  1. emptiness, void, space
  2. vacuum
  3. gap

Also:
un vide-poches (empty-pocket)  = tidy; pin tray
un vide-ordures = a garbage chute
un vide-pomme = an apple corer
un vide greniers = a garage sale

...............
Expressions:
combler le vide = the fill (up) the gap
avoir une case vide = to be crazy
vide de sens = void of meaning; meaningless
passage à vide = a moment of weakness
revenir les mains vides = to return empty-handed
faire le vide autour de quelqu'un = to leave somebody alone
regarder dans le vide = to stare into space
parler dans le vide = to speak into the void (to speak without being heard)


..........................

Citation du Jour / French Quote of the Day
:
Une main, même vide, est parfois d'un grand secours.

A hand, even an empty one, is sometimes a great help.
--Jean Ethier-Blais

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


un peigne

un peigne (peh-nyuh) noun, masculine
  1. comb

Also:
un peigne-cul =  a creep, a lout; a "heavy," annoying, irritating person
................
Expressions:
se donner un coup de peigne = to run a comb through one's hair
être sale comme un peigne = to be very dirty
passer au peigne fin = to carefully examine something
rire comme un peigne = to laugh stupidly

..............................
Proverb from Provence:
Sers-toi de ton peigne tant que tu as des cheveux.
Use your comb for as long as you have hair.


...........................................
A Day in a French Life...

It's always the same. The object of our affection is ordinary enough...to others.

"What does she see in him?" they ask
"I don't understand what the big deal is!" they say.

A vrai dire,* it was not love at first sight. Ça non.* Necessity threw us together.

As it happened, I was perusing the aisles at the beauty supply shop back home in Arizona when I came to an abrupt halt. The first thing I noticed was his teeth. Smooth and wide. And his Frenchness. Indeed, he had "Made in France" written across his forehead.

"He'd make for a good groom!" I must have thought. I brought him right home with me. The year was 1992.

It took six or seven years for me to realize just how attached I had grown to him. You know how we take things for granted.

By then we were living in Marseilles, France. Perhaps it was the fact that we were both in a new country; that we were all we had from back home. The circumstances brought us closer.

All I know is that he has been with me on each trans-Atlantic journey since moving to l'Hexagone. He even followed me to Guadeloupe, come to think of it. And every time I take a shower, he is there, to help pass the cream rinse through my hair.

"He's not a good match for you," a woman at work once said, patting me
on the head. "You're too fine for him." Oh! What does she know? I reasoned.

He was present at my marriage, hidden away in a dark corner (évidemment!)* and he even touched my hair on the way to the reception.

And then one day a soi-disant* friend asked if I would "le prêter."* Oh, those French women! My first thought was, "Ew. How unsanitary!" I studied her heavy, shiny tresses, shocked by her request. "Besides, he's not right for you!" (Honestly, how thick can you be?!)

I do admit, I am hopelessly attached to him, so you can imagine just how ill I became when he left me last summer.

Like a paranoid lover, I suspected the French woman with the thick chocolate-colored hair had run off with him. She'd had her eye on him--and now!

"Have you seen him at her house?" I asked my husband. No, he assured me. He had not. "Don't worry, he'll turn up." Now that is an understanding husband!

It took losing him to realize how tied to him I'd become; my stomach (not to mention my hair!) was in knots over my loss.

I found him several weeks later, near my husband's trousse!* Instead of anger, I felt only soulagement.*

"Il est de retour!"* I shouted, pirouetting through the air on my way to pick him up. I took a good look at him: his surface scratched and dull from so many years of use. And rather ordinary looking, I suppose, to others. Not even real tortoise, but I wouldn't have wanted that--who needs real tortoise for a proper groom? Ce n'est pas le peigne,* I mean, peine.

Speaking of peignes, my comb remains safe in my own trousse. I'll keep a better watch over him next time, lest a thick or fine-haired maiden threatens to have me parting ways (instead of hair!) with Monsieur Peigne again.

...................................................................................................................
*References: surtout = especially; a vrai dire = to tell the truth; ça non = not that; évidemment = obviously; soi-disant = so-called; le prêter = loan it; une trousse (f) = toiletry bag; un soulagement (m) = relief; il est de retour = he's back; ce n'est pas la peine = it's not necessary

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


un pèlerin

From one pèlerine to another, whether you are "wandering" to France virtually, via armchair, or joyfully in your rêves/dreams, je vous souhaite / I wish you a "Happy Thanksgiving."

pèlerin, ine (pel-rehn, reen) noun
  1. pilgrim

Also:
un pèlerinage = pilgrimage, place of pilgrimage
.................
Expression:
prendre son bâton de pèlerin = to leave on a pilgrimage

.....................................................
Citation du Jour / French Quote of the Day

A vingt ans, c'est une promenade, à soixante ans c'est un pèlerinage.
At 20, it's a stroll, at 60 it's a pilgrimage.
--Serge Bonnet

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


facultatif

French chef dvd In DVD: Julia Child - The French Chef. Features include printable recipes from Julia Child's classic The French Chef Cookbook, and a bilbliography. More info here.



facultatif, tive (fa-kewl-tah-teef, teev) adjective

  1. optional, voluntary


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Today I share my belle-mère's* stuffing recipe. Instead of presenting it in a logical recipe-type format, I am including the actual letter she wrote to her son (which, she would add, was scratched down in a very haphazard fashion) along with a rough translation. As for weights and measures you'll just have to do as my belle-mère does: cuisiner au pif (cook by guesswork). It works brilliantly for her :-)  Volunteers who might like to help translate this recipe into English, thank you for using the comments box, here.

The letter begins:

"Mon chéri,

Je t'envoie donc la recette de la farce.

Mettre le foie de la dinde + 2 ou 3 foies de volaille dans le saladier + le gésier + le porc haché (300 g) avec veau haché (300 g) ou jambon cru avec échalotes (3 ou 4), ail (3 gousses), et persil.

Tu peux mettre des marrons, des champignons (cèpes ou morilles, on en trouve en bocal séché). Il faut les tremper 1 heure dans de l'eau tiède, et ensuite bien égoutter et rincer.

En premier tu trempes le pain dans du lait que tu ajouteras à la farce avec un oeuf, un bouillon cube que tu fais fondre dans un peu d'eau chaude.

Facultatif: cognac 2 à 3 cuillères à soupe. Ça relève.

Préchauffer le four 1/2 heure avant à 230°C.

Tout bien mélanger la farce il faut qu'elle soit lisse. Mettre dans la dinde et coudre. Prévoir du fil fort pour coudre avec une aiguille.
Cuire la dinde au début à 230°C, arroser et surveiller...."

.....................
*References: la belle-mère (f) = mother-in-law

I Know How To Cook The bible of French home cooking, Je Sais Cuisiner, has sold over 6 million copies since it was first published in 1932. It is a household must-have, and a well-thumbed copy can be found in kitchens throughout France. Its author, Ginette Mathiot, published more than 30 recipe books in her lifetime, and this is her magnum opus. It's now available for the first time in English as I Know How to Cook. With more than 1,400 easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion, it is an authoritative compendium of every classic French dish, from croque monsieur to cassoulet. 

 

French oven
French oven by Creuset made of enameled cast iron. See customer reviews for this classic cooker, here.

 

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
--Melanie


une horloge

Horloge = clock (c) Kristin Espinasse
(photo taken in Cotignac)

une horloge (ohr-luzh) noun, feminine
1. a clock

Synonymes: le carillon (chime, bells), la pendule (clock), le cadran solaire (sundial), le sablier (hourglass), le coucou (cuckoo), comtoise, clepsydre (clepsydra, water-clock), le cartel (wall clock, dial case)

Le tic-tac des horloges, on dirait des souris qui grignotent le temps.
The tic toc of the clock, like mice nibbling away at time.
--Alphonse Allais

Also:
horloger, horlogère :
  adj = watch-making, clock-making
  noun m/f = watch-maker, clock-maker
une horloge interne/biologique = internal/biological clock
une horloge normande, de parquet = a grandfather clock
"le grand Horloger" = the Creator
l'horlogerie (f) = watch-making, clock-making
l'horlogerie bijouterie = jeweller
pièces d'horlogerie = clock components

Expressions:
heure d'horloge = solid, full hour
réglé comme une horloge = regulated like a clock
avec une régularité d'une horloge = regular as clockwork
faire le tour du cadran = to sleep around the clock
remonter une montre, une horloge = to wind up a watch, clock

How to Tell Time in French: check out Laura K. Lawless's helpful article on "Quelle heure est-il ?" (What time is it?)

                                                 Sponsored ads:

Precision Pendulum Clocks: The Quest for Accurate Timekeeping
It's About Time : Understanding Einstein's Relativity

Featured book: Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames The D'Antin Manuscript

A rollicking entertainment for word lovers, Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames will delight readers with its Frenchified, phonetic high jinks

Home & Decor:

  • : Hotel Paris Wood Clock/hanger

    Hotel Paris Wood Clock/hanger

  • : French Gallery 13"

    French Gallery 13"

  • : French Clockmaker Sign

    French Clockmaker Sign

  • : French Boutique 14" Wall Clock

    French Boutique 14" Wall Clock

  • A few lines by Arthur Rimbaud, to illustrate today's word, "horloge" :

    Au bois il y a un oiseau, son chant vous arrête et vous fait rougir.
    Il y a une horloge qui ne sonne pas.
    Il y a une fondrière avec un nid de bêtes blanches...


    In the woods there is a bird ; his song stops you and makes you blush.
    There is a clock that does not strike.
    There is a bog with a nest of white beasts...


    --From "The Cambridge Introduction to French Poetry" by Mary Lewis Shaw.
  • Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie


    une dinde

    la dinde (dand) noun, feminine
      1. turkey

    Expressions:
    plumer la dinde = to rip someone off

    And... a related expression we had a few weeks ago:
    être le dindon de la farce (to be the turkey of the stuffing) = to be the victim, the dupe, of something or someone

    ............................
    Citation du Jour
    Ma tête est comme une basse-cour. Quand j'appelle les idées poules pour leur donner du grain, ce sont les idées canes, oies ou dindes, qui accourent.

    My head is like a poultry yard. When I call the hen ideas to give them seeds, it's the duck, geese and turkey ideas that run up.
    --Jules Renard

    Column_9

    (Read all about the Thanksgiving (in French "l'Action de Grace") dinner my French husband made in the chapter "Dinde" in this book.)**

    ................................................................................................................
    *References: la dinde (f) = turkey; une maman (f) = a mom; la morille (f) = morel (mushroom); le foie de volaille = poultry liver; le marron (m) = chestnut; le jambon cru (m) = raw ham; un cèpe (m) = cep (mushroom); un gésier (m) = gizzard; décontracté = relaxed; le fric (m) = cash; le célibataire (m) = bachelor; la robe de mariée (f) = the bridal gown; un essayage (m) = trying on; fitting (of clothes); évidemment = obviously; le mari (m) husband; plumer = to pluck; disparu(e) = vanished; le four (m) = oven; nee-kel (pronunciation for nickel) = spotless, spic-and-span; c'est une farce = it's a joke; c'est la farce de ma mère = it's my mother's stuffing (recipe)

    Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie


    livrer

    livrer (lee-vray) verb
    1. to deliver
    2. to hand over, to surrender
    3. to supply

    ................
    Expressions:
    livrer passage à quelqu'un = to let someone pass
    livrer un tourment = to cause great pain, anguish
    livrer quelqu'un = to deliver someone's order
    être livré à soi-même = to be left to one's own devices
    se livrer à quelqu'un = to confide in someone
    se faire livrer quelque chose = to have something delivered
    se livrer à l'étude = to devote oneself to study

    ...........................
    Citation du Jour:
    Le risque de se livrer à l'inessentiel est lui-même essentiel.
    The risk of surrendering to what is not essential, is, in itself, essential
    .           --Maurice Blanchot

    .........................................
    A Day in a French Life...

    The French verb "livrer" means "to deliver." More importantly, it means "to surrender."

                      *      *      *

    "Do you remember me?" I say, instead of giving my 8-digit numéro de client.* I believe that if I give that reference number one more time, I will POP.

    "I need those bubble envelopes--this morning!--or else I will be obliged visit the doctor for une bonne piqûre* to quiet my nerves!"
    "Ah, bon?"* the telephone operator says, calm as a concombre.*
    "Ce sera dommage!"* she adds. As if I am too dumb to understand French cynicism.

    I can just see her elbowing her colleague, "It's l'américaine* again. You know, the one with 'In Search of Wine.' Hahahahahaha!"

    (I am ordering my office supplies under my husband's wine business account: "A la Recherche du Vin")

    "She must be having withdrawals!" I imagine them saying.

    "Ecoutez!* Maybe it is because I am a woman. Maybe it is because I am NOT French. But I am having a difficult time convincing you that I MUST HAVE MY BUBBLE envelopes. Now! Today! Tout de suite!"*

    "Attendez Madame--"
    "Non! I will not wait any longer. The livraison* should have happened last week. I have spent three days, nose to the window, waiting for le livreur.* Que dal!"*
    "Je vous demande un tout petit instant, madame."*

    And like that, I am put en attente.* The company's jingle is grating on my nerves. I think about how I am paying for this telephone call. I think about just how ee-dee-oht* an idea it was to order two times as many envelopes as I needed, just so that I could get FREE delivery. Make that, no delivery.

    "Allo--"*
    "It is a blague!"* I say, cutting off the operator. "You are doing this to me on purpose, n'est-ce pas?* Because Bush won! Is that it?"

    I am only kidding the operator (through clenched teeth), trying to let off steam by adding a little "cinema" or drama to my complaint. It seems the only way to get some French businesses to deliver, is by throwing a fit and adding a few heaping teaspoons of exagération.*

    Send me my bubble envelopes tewwww deeeeeeuuh sweeeet!* I hang up the
    phone and reach for the dictionary, my new drug of choice.

    ....livrer. The second definition: surrender.

              *          *          *

    A week later the livreur arrives. "It is not ay-vee-dahn* to find you!" he says. He knows he is at fault, and so naturally he begins on the defense, as is the usual protocol here in France.

    Instead of arguing, my eyes fix on seven cardboard boxes which read: "pochettes matelassées."* A two word poem to my now glistening eyes. I am so happy I could just BURST!

    Post note: with my bubble envelopes sur place* I now await the books, which should be here within a week. I have ordered more wonderful timbres* from La Poste, and will stick those on each order before signing and shipping out your books. For those of you who have not yet ordered, qu'est-ce que vous attendez? ;-) A special discount is available when you order book I and II.  Profitez!* See "Books" column, above left.
    ........................
    *References: le numéro de client (m) = customer number; une bonne = a good; une piqure (f) = injection, shot; ah bon? = oh really; un concombre (m) = a cucumber; ce sera dommage = that would be too bad; l'américaine = the American; écoutez = listen; tout de suite = right away; livraison; le livreur = the delivery man; que dal (or que dalle) = nothing at all; en attente = on hold; ee-dee-oht (pronunciation for 'idiote') = idiotic; Allo = Hello; une blague = a joke; n'est-ce pas = aren't you?; une exagération (f= exaggeration; tewwww deeeeeeuuh sweeeet! (tout de suite) = right away; une livraison (f) = delivery; Je vous demande un tout petit instant, madame = just a moment madam; ay-vee-dahn (évident) = obvious; pochettes matelassées = padded envelopes; sur place = local; un timbre (m) = stamp; qu'est-ce que vous attendez? = what are you waiting for?: profitez = take advantage (of it)

    Continue reading "livrer" »

    Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie


    gris

    Grayskies_1 Gray skies over Draguignan...

    gris/grise (gree/greez) adj.
    1. gray 2. dull, dreary, dismal 3. tipsy

    Also:
    grisâtre = grayish
    grisaille = colorlessness, dullness, grayness
    grisant(e) = exhilarating, intoxicating
    une griserie = an intoxication
    griser = to intoxicate

    .........................
    Expressions:

    les pensées grises = somber thoughts                                                l'eminence grise = the power behind the throne
    en voir des grises = to endure great difficulties
    être gris = to be tipsy
    faire grise mine = to pull a long face, to not look pleased
    faire grise mine à quelqu'un = to give someone a cool reception

    ..........................
    Citation du Jour:
    Novembre est un beau mois. Mais il faut aimer le gris. Et l'oeil en saisir la lumière.

    November is a nice month. But one must like gray. And the eye must grab at the light.
    --Gilles Vigneault

    Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie


    franquette

    franquette (fran-ket)
    (see expression below)

    Expressions:
    à la bonne franquette = without fuss, without ceremony, simply
    un dîner à la bonne franquette = an informal, potluck dinner

    ..........................
    Citation du Jour
    Soyez simple et vivez simplement. Ne faites pas de vagues, n'essayez pas d'être intéressant, gardez vos distances, soyez honnête, combattez l'envie d'être bien vu des autres.

    Be simple and live simply. Don't make waves, don't try to be interesting, keep your distance, be honest, resist the desire to be esteemed by others
    .
    --Etty Hillesum

    .........................................
    A Day in a French Life....

    Don't miss the story that originally accompanied this edition, now in this book!

    Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie


    une étourderie

    Typo city. That's one way to describe Thursday's "guerre" edition. A few of the word casualties in the "guerre" or "war" letter follow at the end of this courriel.*

    étourderie (ay-tor-dree) noun, feminine
      1. absentmindedness

    Also:
    étourdi,e = scatterbrained, absentminded
    étourdiment = carelessly, rashly

    ..........................
    Expressions:
    à l'étourdie = abruptly
    une faute d'étourderie = a careless mistake or blunder
    agir par étourderie = to act without thinking or carelessly

    ..........................
    Citation du Jour:
    Il n'y a malheureusement plus d'étourdis en France.
    Unfortunately, there are no more scatterbrains in France.

    --Le Prince de Ligne (on the French army, during the revolution).

    .......................................
    A Day in a French Life...

    The emails began popping into my inbox like exploding kernels of maïs.* I knew it would happen, tôt or tard.* I'd be found out. My cover, blown. Sooner or later, readers would discover the woman behind this letter to be a wannabe, un poseur. My French is rotten and my writing even worse.

    The fireworks (or exploding kernels) came on Armistice day (symbolic?). Time to hand over the pen and go back to selling vin* at the vineyard, or to filing paint card samples at Monsieur Bricolage.* I knew it was too good to be true, this life of writer.

    Each day, roughly around noon, I reach for the "Envoyer" (send) button where my right index finger hesitates, trembling just above la souris.*

    There are professors, linguists and at least one rocket scientist on this list, among a slew of other thoughtful readers.

    I think back to how I almost failed high school French, to how, newly expatriated to France, I ordered a marijuana burger instead of a steak haché: "Un steak hashish, s'il vous plaît!" I remember back to the time I meant to tell a French woman how lovely the wooden beams in her house were, except, when I opened my mouth to say "poutre," an awful French word imposter stepped out. (I cannot tell you what I said! Only that it is slang for a female body part.)

    As I debate about pushing the "Envoyer" button to send out the day's edition, I can almost hear the rumbling of so many collective laughs.

    I push the Envoyer button anyway.

    Next, I run to the kitchen and nervously stir les pâtes.*

    Because I can't stand it anymore, the idea that I really have blown it this time, created the most ridiculous letter in the history of electronic mail, I run back to the computer to look for the first red flag. My ears lurch forward to hear the first honk. As if emails could sound horns.

    I open the exploded kernels. Instead of hate mail, I receive grammar and spelling corrections and encouraging "keep it up" support. Ça va.

    While Thursday's guerre edition brought no detractors, a few emails have come close to sending me back to my paint cards at Monsieur Bricolage:

    "Why can't you write something intelligent?" one reader said.
    Another reader added, "Talk about smart issues rather than personal matters that no one cares about!!!!"
                               
    "Why don't you create a nom de guerre* my friend Brigitte suggests, as I plur-nee-shay* over a coq au vin sans vin.* It is too late for a pseudonym. Besides, people would recognize me by my English grammar faults (I repeat the same ones, weekly. It has sort of become a part of this writer's "style"). It took me six months, and many patient reader reminders, to quit writing "it's" when "its" was the correct choice, and a bit longer to learn when to write "me" and not "I" as in "My mom put up a two-man tent for my sister and I." I still mess that one up.

    "Never let them see you sweat." Perhaps today's missive was another absentminded avowal, or confession étourdie,* but then...I never did agree with the "Never let 'em" quote. What a frightening world to live in when everyone should be so--composed. A little transparent insecurity, un partage* of doubts and fears, can sometimes encourage.

    I hope you will stay with me on this personal word journey; for the French words, bien sûr, but for the stream of words that make up "A Day in a French Life" as well. Because this "life of writer" dream just won't go away, and I still need your pinches, or thoughtful kernels in my mailbox, to remind me that I am still, truly, living my dream.

    ............................................................................................................
    *References: courriel (from courrier électronique) = email; le maïs = corn, maize; tôt ou tard = sooner or later; le vin = wine; Mr Bricolage = home supply store, like Home Depot; la souris = the (computer) mouse; plur-nee-shay (pronunciation for the verb "pleurnicher" = to whine, to snivel); les pâtes (f) = pasta, nom de guerre = pseudonym;  le coq au vin = chicken with wine; sans vin =
    without wine; un partage = a sharing

    More about this "life of writer" in my book: Words in a French Life

    Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions lists approximately 4,500 common slang words and colloquial expressions. Entries include grammatical information, the definition in English, a sentence or phrase to illustrate usage, and an English translation of the example and, where applicable, a corresponding English slang expression. Each entry also identifies the word or phrase by type: student or youth slang, political slang, literary slang, and criminal and drug-related slang.

    Cool French Posters / Affiches:

    : Cognac Gautier Freres Art Print by Vintage, 24" x 36": Mademoiselle Mouse, Movie Poster by Walt Disney: Vache Qui Rit Art Print by Benjamin Rabier, 20" x 28": Biarritz, Fine Art Print by Debo, 19.5x27.5: Soleil Toute Lannee, Fine Art Print by Roger Broders, 19.5x27.5: Art Poster Print - Ile de France - Artist: Albert Sebille - Poster Size: 20 X 28 inches: Air Afrique, Fine Art Print by A. Roquin, 27.5x39.5: Art Poster Print - Marseilles-Porte de l'Afrique du Nord - Artist: Roger Broders - Poster Size: 24 X 36 inches: Chocolat Suchard, Art Poster by Affiches Publicite: Tournée du Chat Noir, c.1896, Fine Art Poster by Théophile Steinlen, 24x36: Art Poster Print - Monte Carlo Grand Prix - Artist: Chris Flanagan - Poster Size: 8.00 X 10.00 inche: Wagons Lits Cook 1934, Fine Art Print by Adolphe Cassandre, 25x37: Juan les Pins Art Print by Vic Raymon, 20" x 28": Art Poster Print - Agay - Artist: Roger Broders - Poster Size: 20 X 28 inches: L'Amazone, Art Poster by Fuss

    Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this French word story. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next letter, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving these posts. Your support is vivement apprécié. Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
    ♥ Send $10    
      ♥ Send $25    
        ♥ Send the amount of your choice


    "I’m a high school French teacher, and I love how your blog gives me everyday vocabulary and glimpses of French character and tradition. Your gentle expression of your faith and rare transparency of emotion inspire me."
    --Melanie