May 22nd, 2012 | Comments Off on only the kind you won’t miss

kto ci powiedział, że wolno ci się przyzwyczajać?
kto ci powiedział, że cokolwiek jest na zawsze?
czy nikt ci nie powiedział, że nie będziesz nigdy
w świecie
czuł się jak u siebie w domu?

–Stanisław Barańczak

who told you that you were permitted to settle in?
who told you that this or that would last forever?
did no one ever tell you that you will never
in the world
feel at home in the world?
(trans. Frank Kujawinski)

Feelin’ restless. I tell myself it’s because I’ve been cooped up writing my thesis, but I wonder if it’s not because I feel cooped up by something else, something that’s been going on longer than this thesis push.

Posted in snippet
June 19th, 2011 | Comments Off on your ex-lover is dead

There’s one thing I have to say so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save

Watching the Stars secret show in Toronto… I’m very convinced this band has a hold on my heart for a very long time. Drama? Check. Boy/girl vocals? Check. Songs of love won and lost? Check.

And to think, I never would have gotten into them if I hadn’t randomly followed up on a concert poster I saw a few years ago on my way to work. Funny how that works.

Tags: ,
Posted in snippet
May 12th, 2011 | Comments Off on La participe passe

I am completely outing myself as a prescriptivist grammarian here, but I can’t be the only one who winces when native speakers say “I would have went.” Don’t even get me started on the decline of the subjunctive mood in English.

My boss’ pet peeve is “Me neither” (which he’s caught me on twice), but that doesn’t make my ears hurt, at least.

Posted in snippet
April 16th, 2011 | Comments Off on So logical

Comment 106 here:

For us, we choose who we wanted to invite (everyone) and then chose a venue and a budget to suit. […] Friends were far more important than some overpriced venue or food.

Going to have to keep this mind if I ever get married.

Posted in snippet
March 16th, 2011 | Comments Off on I will be learning French forever, part 2324

I think I can finally remember the meaning of the French phrase “à l’insu de” (though more commonly “à notre insu, à mon insu”)

in – not; su – PP of savoir, to know => insu – not known

“à mon insu” – “without my knowing, unbeknowst to me”

Posted in snippet
October 3rd, 2010 | Comments Off on French travel advice for Canada

In addition to all the usual stuff about weather, health, and security, there’s this line:
Eviter les remarques sur l’accent québécois.


Posted in snippet
September 11th, 2010 | Comments Off on !!!

It blows my mind that @riefuofficial follows @viennateng! Unbelievable!

(And I only knew this because I follow @loveyanen!)

Posted in snippet
July 21st, 2010 | Comments Off on Phoenix!

Phoenix makes me pretty happy. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sounds like a happy album, but reveals itself to be a little more somber underneath (just look at the lyrics). That doesn’t stop me from adoring this album to bits. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of them before last fall.

“so sentimental, not sentimental, no…”

Also terribly excited to be seeing them live in September! My entertainment budget has shifted to concerts from travel, clearly.

Posted in snippet
March 14th, 2010 | Comments Off on Mixed metaphore

Stumbled onto Wikipedia’s article on perronismes, which reminds me of English mixed metaphors.

Never quite having fully grasped what a mixed metaphor was (and being unable to come up with them on demand), I found the examples presented here interesting. Perhaps they’re easier to see when it’s not your native language? Plus—it’s always a joy when such things can be translated correctly, with the right amount of awkwardness.

“Atteindre la lumière au fond du baril”
“To reach the light at the bottom of the barrel”

“La forêt vierge est une forêt où la main de l’homme n’a jamais mis le pied. ”
“Virgin forest is a forest where the hand of man has never set foot.”

Posted in snippet
February 12th, 2010 | Comments Off on this is definitely a French thing

One of the hardest things for me to keep straight in French is the difference between ‘tu’ and ‘vous’. I mean, obviously I know the difference, but I haven’t internalized it… it often happens that I start a sentence with ‘vous’ and switch to ‘tu’ halfway through. I figure I get a semi-free pass as a foreigner, though.

Anyway, this is only relevant because I was in Munich recently, wandering around Marienplatz. It’s right by the city centre: tons of shopping to do, quite touristy overall. One of these survey people (I think) came up to me and asked, “Sprichst du Deutsch?” I muttered “Nein” and kept walking, but the first thing that popped into my head was “He just tutoie-d 1Fr. tutoyer, to use “tu” with someone me! He doesn’t even know me!”

So maybe the French are getting to me a little.

ETA: I was talking to the Franco-German student at work and he explained to me that people in Germany systematically tutoient people if they appear to be less than 18, which is not necessarily the case in France. Hum. I don’t think I look that young.

1 Fr. tutoyer, to use “tu” with someone
Tags: ,
Posted in snippet