Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Unbearable Weight of a Tag by Dulwich Mum


Sweet, sassy (and slightly saucy in this post), Dulwich Mum tagged me last month. And I am pretty sure someone else did as well. But in the depths of the mush (that bears a remarkable resemblance to 2 tsps of No Egg mixed up with rice milk and ground linseeds) that passes for my brain, I cannot find anything. Not one hint of who tagged me to do what, but I'm vaguely kind of sure you did. I apologise for my rubbishness.
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Well, this is what Dulwich Mum asked me to do:
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1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
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So whilst the oven heats up for me to trial the GF-but-with-eggs version of my next delectable deliciousness (swing by around about Thursday and you might get an eyeful), I shall comply.
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Of course the temptation is to pretend that the nearest book is actually quite impressive and/or a little obscure,
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'Ya, Theroux's 'Riding the Iron Rooster' is one of my personal favourites; he gives such a fascinating insight into China during the 1980's'.
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Or how about,
'I am just loving Desai's 'Inheritance of Loss', it so reminds me of my time in India, she really captures the essence of that glorious part of the world'
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Should I pretend it was Kundera?
'Ya, ya, he makes such a good point about us needing weight in our lives to feel anchored and essentially alive...'
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But really it was none of those. The nearest one doesn't actually belong to me, and I can't divulge the contents of my husband's reading matter which he has left (again) next to the computer, because I suspect I'd be revealing classified information. And really, there are only so many Central Marketing Commercial Reports a girl can read.
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So shall I get to the point? It was my old fave, Collins Robert. Now call me square, but I had such fun reading the dictionary at University. Look, when you're faced with a translation about the economic impact of frozen fishfingers on some obscure Breton port, the dictionary is a very welcome distraction.
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I particularly love the asterix system in Collins Robert.
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One asterix next to a word denotes,
'...that the expression, while not forming part of standard languages, is used by all educated speakers in a relaxed situation but would not be used in a formal essay or letter, or on an occasion when the speaker wishes to impress' *
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Two of our starry friends means,
'...that the expression is used by some but not all educated speakers in a very relaxed situation. Such words should be handled with extreme care by the non-native speaker unless he is very fluent in the language and is very sure of his company' **
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So now you're agog aren't you? You can't wait to know what on earth three of the little beggars could possibly mean,
'... 'Danger!', such words are liable to offend in any situation, and therefore are to be avoided by the non-native speaker' ***
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Some of those three star words are priceless! They don't just list the word, but give examples of how they might be incorporated into a sentence. Such complicated, vicious insults! Marvellous conjugations of eye-popping profanities that had me in hysterics when I should have been doing dull translations.
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And of course those are the phrases that stick. In the same way a 14 year old exchange student can't conjugate the verb, 'avoir' but is quite au fait with the reflexive verb 'se peloter', so the really bad phrases stick in my head, and threaten to tumble out of my mouth at horribly inappropriate moments. I really wish I hadn't learnt the one about your mother. One of these days when the French driving gets too much for me, I'm going to have to hurl it out of my car window complete with a bras d'honneur. I will be found weeks later in a wheelie bin, stinking in some chic, slate-rooved Parisian apartment.
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So now you're expecting some hard core filthy words from page 123 of my dictionnaire aren't you? You know I could have bent the rules, and given you some corkers, but I am nothing if not full of integrity.
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So hélas, with only one tame and boring asterix between them, I give you:
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chouette* adj smashing* (yawn)
chrême nm chrism (yeh, me neither)
chrétien, -ienne 1 adj Christian 2 nm, f: ~(ne) Christian
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8 christian-related words follow the above entry. In the interests of bringing this post to a close, I have chosen not to list them. Although you may like to note the mildly interesting - in a huh! look at that paint drying kind of a way - offshoot sentence,
être enseveli chrétiennement ~ to have a Christian burial
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And with that I would like to thank the dearly beloved for gathering here, with special thanks to Dulwich Mum, and I'm going to extend this tag to anyone who wishes to receive it. May you all be truly grateful, and let not your mouth be as profaned as mine own.
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Pigx


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12 comments:

GoneBackSouth said...

Oh, Pig. I'll do steps 1-4 but I really can't be arsed to tag anyone else ... and I think that's forgiveable, since I've been away, and anyway I wasn't really tagged by you ... I just took the challenge upon myself. So, excuses made and without further ado:

The nearest book is called "Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox". The cheerful words are:

"indigestion, excessive hunger, jaundice, lots of perspiration, ulceration, burning eyes, colitis, sore throats as well as being particularly..."

Pig in the Kitchen said...

gbs, ooo, you're back! and I'm so impressed with your smug reading matter. I think i can tick all the symptoms, especially 'being particularly...'
;-)
thanks for stopping by, i'm resuming my blog visits, very soooon!
Pigx

Frog in the Field said...

You've lost it woman, really lost it!

I like reading the Dictionary, though. Must get the TV fixed.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

FITF, ah yes, but that means at some point I had it! The dictionary is the new Proust, but yes you should get your tv fixed!
Pigx

Sheltie Girl said...

Ah...no pithy words of wisdom from me. I just finished reading a couple of the French gf blogs and my brain stopped conjugating a while ago. If only my French wasn't so rusty.

I got tagged my Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried for 6 words all about me...still haven't been able to decide on 6. Wonder what that says about me?

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Sheltie Girl, I think that's a tough one. What it says about you is that there is too much depth, wisdom and charisma to be condensed into a mere 6 words. Voila!
Pigx

Naomi Devlin said...

Great post! I love the way you write, very dry.

I'm glad you found my blog, but I think I use way too many eggs for you - now I'm grain free, eggs are my best friend.

I think I'm going to take up the baton of this tag too, it's an interesting one. Of course I can never move at my desk without casually knocking a copy of something by Goethe, Joyce or Dostoyevski with my elbow....

x x x

Potty Mummy said...

You know Pig, for some reason I would have assumed your preferred reading matter was something along the lines of '1001 ways to kill a Mouse, and other forms of light relief'. Finding out it's the dictionary - well, I have to say, it's a bit of a come-down, asterisks or no...

Elsie Button said...

ha ha ha i feel so ashamed after reading your line 'Of course the temptation is to pretend that the nearest book is actually quite impressive and/or a little obscure'

I have a confession - actually, no, i'm not going to say.

Grit said...

now that's led me to cruising through picture descriptions of french gestures to recall just what the au pair from last year was really saying...

but she did teach me je fais au piffe which i now use for all cakes. and please do not tell me it is *** because i say it in front of the children.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ND, thanks for your visit and lovely compliment. I'm going to drop by again soon to see which hefty tome you are reading. I know what you mean about the literary masterpieces being strewn around the house. Sometimes I just have to rush out and buy Hello! or Heat and leave them lying around. It keeps the hoi polloi happy.

PottyM, '1001 ways to kill a mouse', yes, that could be my next project. I didn't tell you about the one where the trap didn't quite get it, dear hubby had to put it in a bag and smash it agains the outside wall of the house, did i? I know, reading the dictionary says anorak and thick glasses to me too, but where else can you learn to say, 'i'm awfully sorry, but it appears that your penis is protruding from your fly' in French?

Oh ElsieB, you're not going to tell me that you went to the library and took out that little-read first edition of 'The dawdling, rose-smelling, stray-dog-lovin', soap dodging, tax evading, lazy layabout earth mother'? I feel a trifle let down...

Grit, grit, grit. When i tried to look up 'je fais au piffe' on the computer, my parental control stopped me accessing. I don't want to alarm you, but it may involve 3 scottish men, 1 fatted calf and a gnome from Kurdistan. On the other hand, it may just mean 'a guesstimate / roughly'. Let's hope for the latter.
Pigx

Naomi Devlin said...

Hey, I forgot to say - I would like to award you and E for excellent blog award for your great writing and warm inclusive style, oh yeah and your recipes aren't bad either har har...

You can lift the E badge from my blog to proudly display in your side bar if you like, or I can send you the J peg.

Then you're supposed to nominate two other bloggers to receive the award - but I forgot to do that and am only just doing it now a good month on from nomination.

x x x