- Pêcher : to fish
- Un pêcheur : a fisherman
- Une pêche : ...a peach
- Schools won’t save our languages.
- Focusing on correct grammar and forgetting the importance of speaking your language at home, no matter how bad you speak it, is a sure way to kill it and any passion you had for it in the first place.
- You need to speak your language whenever and wherever you can.
- You need to speak it, even when you think you can’t speak it because of the presence of non-speakers in the room.
- You won’t save your language by waiting on others to speak it first.
I think the common mistake of using “whom” in the nominative is proof that the word form is officially archaic.
The average speaker of English doesn’t use “whom”, and only knows that it sounds slightly fancier/more formal to use “whom” in places where they are used to using “who.” (similar to the “use thou instead of you to sound fancy/old-fashioned” misconception)
Also for hypercorrection. If you don’t register “who” as needing a distinct accusative or oblique form, then you’re not going to register all of the “whom not who” from grammarians and prescriptivists as having that function.
At this point using “whom” is almost artificial, like the “no prepositions at the ends of sentences” thing, only used by people who have it beaten into them with correct/perfect vs. incorrect/uneducated rhetoric (and even then fairly inconsistently).
let’s just take a moment to think about the fact that when you say ‘1634th day’ in english
it would be ‘tuhanneskuudennessadaskolmanneskymmenennesneljäs päivä’ in finnish
to be fair, it’s ‘one thousand six hundred and thirty fourth day’ in english. not exactly short, that.
If I could remove one word from the English language, it would be “normal.”
That one little word gives so many people so much grief. “Am I normal?” “Is this normal?” “I just want to be normal.” But I’ve never met one person who was actually happy because they were normal. All the happy, confident, well-adjusted people I know are people who embraced the things that made them odd.
When I get messages asking me if it’s normal to feel or be a certain way, it always makes me feel torn: I want to reassure the asker that they are okay and there’s nothing wrong with them, but on the other hand, I want to tell them, “Fuck normal, be you! Being your weird self is so much more fulfilling!”
The word “normal” carries an implicit value judgment: it says, “typical or common, and therefore good, satisfactory, or desirable.” It says that a person must be like other people in order to be good enough. It says that if you aren’t normal, there’s something wrong with you, something inside you that deserves to be despised and mocked. That’s one of the most arbitrary and disgusting concepts I can imagine.
I’ve never met a “normal” person. And most of the people I met who tried to be normal just wound up hating themselves. By accepting that “normal” was a valid concept, they set an impossible standard that they could never achieve. Even if they could have done it, they still wouldn’t have been happy, because it would have required them to reject the parts of themselves that made them unique and wonderful.
I’ve never met a normal person, but I have met good people. Good people can be popular or friendless, healthy or sick, happy or miserable. Most of them don’t even realize how good they are. It’s not terribly difficult to be good; all it takes is treating other people with kindness, patience and respect. That’s something anybody can do.
I’d rather hang out with a good person than a normal person any day.
"today seems like a good day to start learning another language!" I say as I ignore the 5 other languages I’m learning
do german snakes go ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß
to be honest swiss don’t use ß when writing german so I automatically read that as a raspberry noise
A few days ago, a few non-French friends and I were trying to figure out how to translate the idea of entitlement. (This was in the middle of a pretty cynical conversation about French culture, mind). Wordref, however, informed me that the translation is ‘avoir droit’ which actually translates to ‘having [the] right.’ So, in French one either has the right or doesn’t.
I went and looked at some of the discussions, and the best translations still seem to center around the idea of being ‘autorisé’ (authorized) or ‘permis’ (permitted). (The closest and best translation, imho, is ‘se croire tout permis’).
I find this sort of difference interesting in the sense that, in English, we mostly use the word ‘entitled’ in reference to the idea of ‘fairness.’ (Of course we also use the idea of entitlement in the same connotative sense as the French, but it’s mostly in law). The French version seems to reference a set of rules (evident or not) that tells you what can and cannot be done.
Whereas an American teacher might say something like, “You can’t take all the colored pencils, it’s not fair to the other students,” a French teacher would say, “Vous n’avez pas le droit de prendre tous les crayons de couleur” (You don’t have the right to take all the colored pencils).
Warning, this is where the cynical part comes in. Feel free to ignore.
I think that this turn of phrase is a bit indicative of French culture, in general. A lot of things are based not on consideration for others or fairness, but on the idea that you can do something unless otherwise indicated. The Anglo-saxon in me always wants to shout, ‘Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.’ Or just because you can get away with not doing something doesn’t mean you should.
When everything is based on rules rather than consideration, it makes working with your colleagues a lot more difficult…
Feel free to lambast my cynical opinions. That’s what the internet is for.