Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas ...wrong button, visibilty

Posted by Picasa....to all who visit or pass by.

It is not just recently that I have become absent minded. I believe that I have always buttoned up my clothes with the buttons in the wrong holes. I know of no single expression to describe this failing in English. But today I come across the charming French phrase for it, attacher Lundi avec Mardi. Could it be that the French are so careless about the way they button their clothes that they have to have a special phrase for it? Are they therefore less concerned about sartorial precision than the English? Surely not.

The shortest day just behind us, I have been waking in the morning while it is still dark. At first my eyes can discern the shapes of very little in the bedroom. Then slowly as the light comes under the blinds, familiar object come into view. One of Heidi's pictures, the books on my bedside table, the shape of the window, a chair. The degree of light is one way of telling the time without looking at the clock.

4 comments:

Lucy said...

Merry Christmas Joe!

Barrett Bonden said...

There's something rather provincial about that phrase; it's hard to imagine the average Parisian using it. My favourite example of a word defining the difference between two nations is préciser as in "Two-point-three rather than two-point-two," he precised. I worry that we Brits haven't found the need for it.

The lightening room. Normally we get up at 9 am but on days I swim, I get up at 8.10 am. I am able to check this by staring very hard at my analogue wristwatch on the bedside table and determining the angle defined by the hands. As we reached the equinox this became harder and harder. Next year, if I'm spared (a favourite punctuative comment of my grandmother), I think I'll need a new plan.

Plutarch said...

Maybe we don't have an equivalent to "preciser" because we don't like to appear to be too clever. The Germans, who share this approach have the word "besserwisser" for those who seem over committed to "precising".

On the other topic, there was a time when the bedside clock nearly always indicated 7.20 when I opened my eyes in the morning. This went on for several years and did not seem to be releated to any consicous routine such as going to work, until just recently when I seem to open my eyes in the morning more randomly.

Lucy said...

I used to fumble around for a French word for 'specify' until I got the hang of 'preciser'...