égout
écume

bévue

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums in Camaret-sur-Aigues, France (Vaucluse)

French Demystified: simple enough for a beginner, challenging enough for a more advanced student

la bévue (bay-vew) noun, feminine
   blunder, mistake

La mort, c'est ce qui nous échappe. L'ultime bévue.
Death, it is that which escapes us. The ultimate blunder.
--Francine Noël
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Column
Autumn leaves in the valley of the Rhone make for a pumpkin-colored countryside. Driving toward Nyons this morning, admiring Mother Nature's palette, I notice the full-figured flowers for sale at a roadside vendor. Chrysanthemums!

It may be Halloween back home, but here in France we're honoring* the dead, not hawking candy. (And while chrysanthemums are the way to show one's respect to those who "repose," you wouldn't want to offer what the French regard as funeral flowers to a hostess.... not unless you want her to begin planning yours.)

(Note to my friend Charles: you are forgiven.... Next time try tulips!)
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References: honoring = (La Toussaint or "All Saints Day" is when the French decorate cemeteries with multi-colored chrysanthemums, honoring the dead)

         The Complete Costume History / Le Costume Historique
         Medieval Costume in England and France


:: Audio File ::
Hear my son, Max, pronounce today's French word and quote.
La bévue: La mort, c'est ce qui nous échappe. L'ultime bévue.
Wave file: Download bevue.wav
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Shopping:
Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love & Language from the South of France
  The Pudlo Paris guide--available in English for the first time in 17 years!
    Tune Up Your French: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French

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