omettre (oh-metr) verb
1. to omit, pass over, to leave out
omettre de faire quelque chose = to fail, omit, neglect, to do something
Citation du Jour
Un voyageur est une espèce d'historien; son devoir est de raconter fidèlement ce qu'il a vu ou ce qu'il a entendu dire; il ne doit rien inventer, mais aussi il ne doit rien omettre.
A traveler is a kind of historian; his duty is to faithfully recount what he has seen or what he has heard; he must not make anything up, but also, he must not omit anything. --François René de Chateaubriand
A Day in a French Life...
Omission. It is the same word in French as in English. Some say omitting is a form of lying, and that a lie is a lie whether it is outright, downright, white, delivered in French, English or otherwise.
"Omettre" is the French verb for "to leave out." When the churchlady phoned yesterday afternoon I told her Max would not be attending evening catechism class each Tuesday night this fall. (I left out the fact that he would be attending basketball practice instead.)
Omettre is pronounced "oh-metr," sort of like "Oh Maitre!" which can also mean "Oh God!". Speaking of Dieu, or God, I hoped He wasn't listening to my telephone conversation...
When the churchlady remained silent on the other end of the line, waiting for me to fill in the blanks as to why Max would not be attending Caté class (pronounced "kah-tay" and short for "catéchisme") this year, I said:
"On a un problème avec son emploi du temps."*
"Ah, bon?"* the churchlady said.
"Oui!" I said. I couldn't very well tell her, "He has basketball practice at the same hour," could I?
"Yes, you could!" my husband said that night at dinner, adding, "Pourquoi pas?"
"That's basketball before God!" I replied.
"Mais, non!" he assured. "There is simply--tout simplement-- 'un souci'* with Max's emploi du temps* this year and he will not be able to do both caté and basketball. It will be up to him to choose."
And so he chose. "Le Basket!"* he said. And his enthusiasm was hard to deny.
* * *
One can "mentir par omission" and I do just that as I grit my teeth and finagle together just enough French words to tell the churchlady everything except, "Our son has chosen basketball over Caté." By the end of the conversation, the churchlady is a bit perplexed and very, very concerned about me. "You know, if you ever want to talk," she says, "You can always call me."
This is a small village. Sooner or later the churchlady will find out that Max has swapped the holy hour for the hoop.
Later that night I slither into bed and say a prayer: "Dieu, je vous promis de continuer avec le catéchisme de Max l'année prochaine (si c'est possible) je veux dire, s'il y a pas de basket à la même heure l'année prochaine. Pardonnez-moi pour mes péchés."*
*References: We have a problem with his schedule; Ah, bon? = really?;un souci (m) = a concern, worry; emploi du temps (m) = timetable; le basket (m) = basketball; God, I promise to continue with Max's catechism next year (if possible) I mean, if basketball practice isn't at the same time next year. Pardon me for my sins.
A Message from Kristi
Thank you for reading my language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on the creative process of writing. My wish is to continue offering posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation of any amount.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens