Monday, November 10, 2008

So you're going to Paris.....

What do you think is the most common follow-up I get to this statement?

a) Don't miss the Mona Lisa.

b) It's so beautiful.

c) The fashion!

d) There's a lot of dog shit.

If you guessed d), dear reader, you are right. I will have to report back on this phenomenon but admit to being slightly worried. Merde de chien!

I tried to buy opera tickets to the Palais Garnier and they were $700 for two!!

We now have tickets for another show, far more reasonable, and it's On The Town, a Leonard Bernstein American musical!! I hope it is in French so I can sit there and recognize every fifteenth word. Okay well, perhaps every thirtieth word. If I really concentrate. Picture me leaping up out of my seat.


Okay, so I admit I have this thing with the yellow bicycle.

Sue me. Suez-moi. Chop-suez moi. Eat chop suey with me.

What is getting me down is this masculine and feminine obsession they have. It's getting on my last nerve. When you say the simplest thing, you have to know if the little geegaw you are talking about is male or female. And there is no rhyme or reason to it--a pen is masculine and perhaps that makes sense because as some might point out, that little stylo has a, well, shall we say a phallic shape?


Cuisine is kitchen and that is feminine and I suppose that makes sense too. But doors and windows are feminine....a sweater is masculine but a belt feminine. AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!

Here in America we have switched from "the fireman" to "the firefighter." Know what I'm saying? I thought we were trying to get away from all that...

I picture the lucky French person starting to learn English . Are you keeeding me?

Mais non! In English we don't do that, dude. You can just say "the yellow bicycle" or "the yellow bicycles," without going into massive meltdown minutiae trying to figure out the gender of your word or the plural of "yellow."

Le velo is one bicycle. More than one makes "les" velos. Again, why do they have to be so bloody specific?

Sacre Bleu!

From deep in Rosetta Stone I am yours,

with love, and preparing some bloopers,


At 11:01 PM , Anonymous Elise said...

When do you leave for Paris? It sounds oh so thrilling!

At 1:07 AM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I wasn't in Paris very long, but I'm happy to report that if there was a merde des chien problem it didn't make a lasting impression on me -- so there's hope! What I do remember noticing was a lot of graffiti, maybe more so away from Paris, particularly near anything to do with trains.

Gender-neutral French would certainly be a challenge. I'll bet the translation of firefighter has TWO genders, one for fire and one for fighter! Maybe the trick would be to come up with a compound that includes both genders... I'd be happy with something like "la/e" and "un/e" -- what percentage of my dictionary lookups have been to check the damn gender?!

BTW, following your logic about the pen, doors and windows are rather, um, not phallic, so that fits... maybe you've stumbled on the secret! (Except for, say, sweater and belt...)

At 7:02 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Just my luck, sm, I'd be standing there shuffling around talking about transgender firefighters and getting myself in deep merde de chien. My dictionary will be close at hand.

Elise, I am going Dec. 16. I am psyched to the max.


At 9:02 AM , Anonymous Elise said...

I hope all turns out wonderful for you - You should be psyched. Will you be there for Christmas (since you are leaving Dec 16th)?


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