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In Which My High School French Skills Were Not Fully Assed

In case you didn’t read the alt-text in yesterday’s post header¹, I played speculative games about the meaning of culottées. The closest to smart in that digression was the start, where I noted that Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin would have to check me. And check me he did, in the comments:

There is a double meaning, in that « avoir du culot » indeed means “having some nerve”, so culotté -> cheeky, but there is also the meaning of « culotté » meaning “wearing breeches”, something which women were traditionally not allowed to do; the breaking of such expectations is very much in the theme of the series.

Which is to say, I’m an American native English speaker, and I can count it a massive success if I can recall enough of a different language to obtain any two of {train ticket | hotel room | food and booze}. My logic was maybe 30% correct, which is more correct than I had any right being. I’m just chasing past foreign-language glory².

As always, our thanks to FSFCPL for taking the time to correct my egregious inaccuracies without actually using the word dumbass. And now, it’s really nice out on Friday afternoon and I’m going to enjoy it. See you on Monday for the countdown to {doom | salvation}.

Spam of the day:

I see your website needs some unique content. Writing manually is time consuming

You don’t know the half of it. When Jon Rosenberg browbeat convinced me to start this blog, I argued about how long the writing would take. He mocked me, insisting I could knock out 300 – 400 words over lunch without a problem.

Joke’s on him — now I often knock out 700-1000 words over lunch. If I ever figure out how many words I’ve knocked out on this site over the past nearly eleven years, all unpaid, I’m going to be less than fully pleased. In conclusion: Jon, you stole my youth.

¹ For your convenience:

I’ll have to have FSFCPL check me on this, but I’m pretty sure that the title is a pun. Culottes are short pants (a class signifier in the revolution), culo is “ass”, and culottees could slide along the axis of buttcheeks -> cheeky -> impertinent or ambitious or impolite, with the second “e” at the end making it more feminine. Possibly not too far off the recent phenomenon of “Nasty Women”.

² At a screening of Night On Earth some 25 years ago, I was the only person in the theater to laugh at a joke in the Paris segment³, which was entirely in French. A pair of drunken businessmen demand to know where their cab driver is from and he replies Ivoirean, indicating he’s from Ivory Coast — Côte d’Ivoire.

One of the passengers starts laughing uproariously, shouting Il voire rien, that’s why he drives so badly! He’s blind!. Il voire rien means, literally He sees nothing. Later, the cabbie picks up a blind woman; Jim Jarmusch is all about the thematic unity, yo.

³ Everybody laughed nonstop at the Rome segment, missing probably 2/3 of the jokes because it was an improvised tour de force by Roberto Benigni before his career crawled up his own ass and became a parody of itself.

I figure that if I master “Hello”, “Thank You”, “Good Morning”, “Good Evening”, “Cold Beer, please” and “Where is the bathroom” I’m covered.

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