English words I struggle with

Lawmakers concerned about Trump’s mental state summoned a Yale University psychiatry professor who said : “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

I understand it’s something about collapsing, but I’m not sure. It’s knitting vocabulary, right? When do you say that about a human being? Isn’t this verb a bit positive too (like unravelling a mess)?

I guess that stiff upper lip sounds UK, but I’m not sure? Do you use it in America? Does it mean composure and phlegm like in France, or is it colored with coldness? In French, “le flegme Britannique” is a way to stay calm in all circumstances, even if your house is bombed. Thus there’s an (almost) invisible smile in it.

I ask, because stiff is tough and rigid, right?

Shanty is a mystery. Is it a ruin, a small ruin, a sweet ruin? Isn’t it a little house? Is a shanty town a poor ghetto, or can it be a quiet chalet village for tourists? It’s a sailor’s song too??!

What’s the difference between ruse, trick, cunning?

I have a big problem with reckon. First, it’s a false friend, because “reconnaître” in French is “to acknowledge”. OK, it means to estimate and to consider, but also to think. In this last meaning, does it sound Southern, or do you say it in Massachusets too? Reckon on, reckon with, reckon without : do you SAY them?

To bedight : do decorate. Is it vintage? Never said? Funny?

To diminish, to dwindle : What is the difference? To peter into… When do you use this??

Colloquial and familiar…

Ohhh…

Someone told me one day that to learn a language is an infinite process. Tonight I feel terribly weak.

 

Have a nice day!

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A possible Machine-Manifesto for afrenchtoolbox

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She told me
“A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see

 

I could use a deleuzian concept for this blog : Machine… a word Gilles Deleuze used for S/Z of Roland Barthes, too. Those who know, will know.

My blog is a Machine, an entity which swallows things, ideas, concepts, memories, sights, life, quotes, website. Anything can enter my blog and will potentially come out a few paragraphs later like a little candypoo.

The machine itself is a bit quirky :

  • It’s changing all the time
  • It’s casual (because I’m an amateur, and… “I’ve seen things…”)
  • It’s multi-faceted
  • It contains plenty of little engines

 

Many little engines are indeed running in operation here.

  • Recycler (I use old letters, emails, diary, even my own blog)
  • Thief (I steal concepts from many books or articles, and I built up two bookshelves of “books with seeds” for this purpose).
  • Many mouths (sociology, music, art, psychology, parenting, etc).
  • Antennas. To guess.
  • Combiner that links ideas that should never be linked.
  • Microscope that searches tools, structures, patterns, skeletons.
  • Translation : I’m French and I write in English on purpose. Like a “necessary displacement”, an important decenterization. I needed it.
  • Collecting : I like to gather ideas like seashells, which will in the end draw something, globally.
  • Blender mixing concepts or domains to see what spillspurts out.
  • Frenchiness : I don’t work that much, I’m casual and I like to define my own rules. I’m disobedient. And certainly not steady. And I judge. Ohlalaaaaa.
  • A bunch of tools : a map drawer, a mirror, a fences jumper, a rules eroder, a veiled referencer.
  • Hydra : A child having fun. A storyteller. A thinker. A lover. A father. A bookseller.
  • Inchoater (“don’t finish, please, and let it opened”).
  • Grid : most of the time unappropriate, to see what it can see.
  • Energy. It’s been provided – at the beginning – by the golden knowledge that a splendid high-level of conversation can exist. It stayed in the machine, like a burning core. This core radioactivate a wave : SHARE.

 

This machine held me alive for a long time! Today it’s a part of me. A daily one. I’m this machine. I like to blog!

Most of the time, everything I put in it helps me to know who I am, what I want, what I’ve been through, what I wish, what makes me smiles.

This article was the meta-article of the month, yeyyyy.

Is your blog a machine too? What is YOUR machine made of? Do you need to decenter too? Why?

 

Have a great day!

 

Here’s to the mess we make

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Pecking ways & means of apprehend a work of art

#French #Blogging in #English : un Songe

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

 

 

Everybody’s talking about “golden voices”. But don’t you hear, when Emma Stone speaks at the beginning of the clip, that her voice is made of silver?? There’s a veil. It’s silver. Period.

Examining a problem with Valéry

In found this very little structure in Paul Valéry’s notebooks. I cut, bolded and translated my way. As it’s a “tool”, Mr Valéry won’t be angry (and well, he died in 1945). Where would we apply this screwdriver? How do I say “I will can”, in English? I’ll be able to? Hmm?

 

The spirit won’t be in a hurry to imagine what is necessary to considerate a problem.

it will examine, not caring about time & duration of the process.

Aware of the remarkable contrast between 1/ promptness, impatience and worries of the “heart” and 2/ this slowness, made of criticism and hope.

This lateness, this delay – which can can unlimited – has an effect : to transform the problem.

The transformed problem will be able to transform the questioner…

 

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 Also :

“To overcome one’s talents.

My skills unplease me.

My easy bores me. 

My difficult drives me”.

 

From Wrong Promises to Constellations Seeking

Be afraid of your own big statements! They are often linked & enchained to Big Promises. And promises are promises, it’s forbidden to be casual with these, right?

That leads to a funny assessment : what do we do with wrong promises? MMhh, double-bind, right? Whatever I choose, I’m done.

I shouldn’t have promised, because…

  • It’s unreachable
  • I was drunk
  • It was stupid
  • I put other people in it
  • I changed my mind
  • I have new elements
  • It’s boring
  • It’s a cage
  • Haecceity (I’m dancing, I’m alive, I’m changing all the time)
  • I forgot life is complex
  • I’ve changed
  • I held it for long enough
  • I lied
  • It’s not true to my ideas
  • Adaptation
  • Someone told me to think
  • I got a proposition
  • I want to undergrade my promise
  • Assuagement
  • Fuck it

 

Voilà. Fine. Now what?

Inspiration. Try to stay a creative thinker, find new ideas (and people who think like you), have good conversations around them, peel off clothes (after you’re done with the ideas). Connect to radioactivities. Ask questions. Twinkle. Be a firefly.

Have a nice day!

 

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Instagram : teget

 

 

You should hear a French classroom trying to pronounce LE English!

I learned Latin and I hated it. To translate Latin is like to open a clock and take it to pieces. In a minute there’s a mess on your desk, and you want to chuck everything in (which doesn’t help at all). Then, have a beer and watch the sky thinking about the Romans. When in Rome

I learned German. Pronunciation was fun (ahh the ch sound in “ICH”!), but their sentences are bags of knots with the verb at the end – “I know that Kansas in the USA is” – and words are too crazy for my Frenchiness. Try to say Schlittschuhlaufen (ice-skating) or Streichholzschächtelchen (little box of matches). OK. Bye bye!

 

I began English at 11 years old and I liked it. As kids already, we were training our American accent on recess time, playing indians and cow-boys, with a faked and imaginary drowning nosy duck John Wayne accent. Imagine us in short pants running everywhere like crazy swallow birds, saying in loop “wayne right wayne right way yeah I kill you right okey” in a pinchedy nose tone. Yeahhh.

The first thing we struggled with is the ze. Well : THE. We don’t have this “tongue between teeth” thing here. So, well, ze French often tell ZE, and with consequences : Zat music, Zhere it is, Zis is gonna be hard. EVERYSSING will be!

Then, as we like to say the “R” differently, we struggle with your way of saying it. Strrrrruggle is a good example, by ze way. Romance is pronounced RRrromance here, we had to learn Wwomance (oh, this makes suddenly sense!). We had to get used to it, including the ending R, like in RIVER. Hear this classroom munching “Rivehhhwwwaow“, oui?

The first time I read the word “River” out loud in the class stays a trauma for me. I was 11 and I said “Ryver” (because I knew that “Life” was NOT pronounced “lif” but “life”).

– “Not Ryver, River, Jean-Pascal”.

What ze?????!
Today, what stays difficult for me is : the accentuation in words (what, you say “Word Stress”? Really??). Therefore, I don’t know what to do with PREsent (the gift) and to preSENT (the verb). You’re all crazy, that’s what I say 🙂

Where’s the accent on TELevision? TeleVIsion? Eekkk! OK I can say Tivi.

I had difficulties with words like Flaw of Law (we always pronounced this one “Low” in class) – this is such a strange sound, and I hate to open my mouth like that. For Christ, it seems I’m about to drool, being astonished and to swallow a fly at the same time! The LAAAH.

We said NEW like niouw, and I never would have guessed that American people say Noo York for the city. And if you don’t say the k letter in knife… why is it needed?! Nife would do the thing…

Little by little, I make progress though. I know that English blogging for a French is absurd, in a way, but it is not :

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day. Look : it all ensnowed! :

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Proust was a blogger…

“Remembrance of things past
is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”

― Marcel Proust

 

 

Proust is a well known French writer, renowned for his… difficult style. You’ll Google it if you want to try, OK?

Thus, in France (and probably elsewhere) you often hear this “I tried Proust, but I couldn’t finish it”, with a little funny face.

Well, OK, I never finished it either! Reading Proust is like eating a feast everyday. It’s exhausting!

  • Worse : you can not really read something else, because every writer looks like a dumb moron after Proust. Too much intelligence pulls you in an awe, where air is rare.
  • Worse : you want to grab anyone you know to scream “Read Proust, it’s amazing!”. No, come on, it’s impossible to read him.
  • Worse : Proust’s style, made of long, complex phrases, with an absolute lack of concessions (for the reader), is like dive into it, or else…

Therefore : you have to make an effort. Each time you plunge in Proust you have to. You’re like “OMG it’s dense!”, then you find the marvels. A bit like opera, you see? If you don’t make an effort, an opera is a boring story with people singing like crazy about stupid dramas. Make an effort to find your own pleasure : voices, performance, music, comparing, etc…

Once you did it, here it is : Proust is a blogger.

One day I explained it to my best friend. She was like “Meh”. OK, I said. I picked up the book, read a page (randomly), and we found an idea. So good it filled the evening in conversations.

The only secret is this : do not take it too solemnly. It’s not a cathedral. La Recherche (“In Search of the Lost Time”) is just a huge great book. If you’re bored, breathe and pass a page. YES. Go on. You’ll find emerald & pearls. It’ll kill you (it’s soo good). One day, it’s enough. Read something else.

In each page you’ll find one or more ideas. Each one could let you thinking smiling watching the sky, like “Ohh, that’s true!”.

He’s a blogger. But he’s better than you, I warn you…

 

Have a nice day!

 

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.”
― Marcel Proust, Time Regained

 

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“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
Marcel Proust

 

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Reading Kundera in a crowded football stadium

I had a friend who was a teacher. She was a book lover, a quiet person you could meet in an art gallery or in a library.

She was in love with a guy who loved soccer. She was intrigued and decided to go watch a match.

I suggest you go on YouTube to 4’00” and listen to it loud…

She went there with a book, a Kundera book. She was not interested in the game, but in the festive atmosphere. 

At one moment, the whole stadium stood up (because of a point, of course). Screams! The guy next to her, then, excited and yelling, said to the reading lady : “Sorryyyyy”.

She smiled.

Listened.

Kept reading…

 

Have a nice day!

Bollaert is the RC Lens Stadium, North of France. Well…