Sunday, December 24, 2006

word needed, persiflage, recipe-talk

A word is needed to describe what happens when you bump into a word by chance in a dictionary. It could be a word you know or one who don't. What counts is that it catches your eye as you turn the pages in pursuit oif something else. Serendipity would do, but it is refers to any chance discovery.

I have always had a weakness for persiflage, which I tripped over in the dictionary last night. It comes from the French word, which is spelt the same way, means the same thing and is pronounced as though it were French. It means to banter and talk in a frivolous manner -something, which I am fond of doing, especially if I can find another persifleur to persiflate with. Both derivatives are in the Oxford English Dictionary, incidently. According to my Oxford English Dictionary, (complete in one volume and requiring a magnifying glass to read and a forklift truck to carry), Thomas Carlyle wrote of Voltaire "... there never was such a persifleur, " which is good enough for me.

Talking recipes with people who like cooking. Jenny, who is staying over Christmas, is an enthusiastic cook, and knows how to feret out the best things from parisien markets. Her French mother-in-law, to whom she refers often, is a most accomplished cook, and you can pick up intriguing kitchen smells from this conversation. "She always stirs an egg yolk into her polenta before serving," she says. Technical stuff.

1 comment:

tristan said...

i've instructed our casting agent to contact you ref the remake of fellini's satyricon