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French Greetings
October 23, 2014
07:51 AM

French Greetings

The French are quite a formal crowd when it comes to greetings, they have a greeting for just about every occasion but even with the simple “Bon Jour” there are quite a few subtle and significant variations.

Passing someone on the street with whom one has a nodding acquaintance one says “Bon Jour”.

Should one have a slightly more than nodding acquaintance, or wish to convey a little extra respect one says “Bon Jour Monsieur” (or “Madame”, or” Messieurs” or “M’sieur, Dames” as the case may be.)

But just recently (as one relaxes more into the French language) I have begun to hear another subtle variation on this theme. By simply saying “Madame (Monsieur) Bon Jour” and thus inverting the order of the greeting one is being slightly more polite and formal and therefore showing just a little more respect to the person greeted.

Joyce's Tundish
07:32 AM

Joyce's Tundish

From Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man :

– To return to the lamp, he said, the feeding of it is also a nice problem. You must choose the pure oil and you must be careful when you pour it in not to overflow it, not to pour in more than the funnel can hold.

– What funnel? asked Stephen.

– The funnel through which you pour the oil into your lamp.

– That? said Stephen. Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish?

– What is a tundish?

– That. The funnel.

– Is that called a tundish in Ireland? asked the dean. I never heard the word in my life.

– It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra, said Stephen, laughing, where they speak the best English.

– A tundish, said the dean reflectively. That is a most interesting word. I must look that word up. Upon my word I must.

Auntie Dot
October 22, 2014
12:17 PM

Auntie Dot

Morris Minor indicator.jpg

Some further anecdotes about my Auntie Dot who was brought back to mind thanks to the information delivered by my newly discovered cousin Brendan Daly.

As I described her she was a lady of a certain age who couldn't drive but did.

My cousin Alan Fleischmann describes her crashing a red light at the Colliseum junction in Cork. When she noticed that he was sitting in the passenger seat with his eyes tightly closed she reassured him saying that he must remember that the purpose of traffic lights was to speed up the movement of traffic not to slow it down.

On another occasion she was driving in her Morris Minor down Mc Curtain Street in Cork when she decided to put out her left indicator to go up Summer Hill. (In the Morris Minor this took the form of a small lit up wing which would project from the car behind the top of the front door.)
Unfortunately she had forgotten to retract her right indicator.
Apparently a Garda, who must have had a dry sense of humour flagged her down and, pointing out she she was inticating both left and right said "I presume Madame is intending to take off ?"

The Daly Family
October 21, 2014
10:41 AM

The Daly Family

Previously unknown second cousin Brendan Daly arrived yesterday carrying sheaves of information about my mothers family ; The Dalys.

Most of the information has been gathered by our mutual cousin, Alan Fleischmann who lives in the USA.

I am having a fascinating morning discovering who shadowy figures from my youth actually were :
People like my Auntie Dot who couldn't drive but did, and my Auntie Snow, so called because she had ash blond hair and another Great Aunt ; "Lady" Barton who was haunted by the ghost of Warren Hastings in India.

Great Stuff !

Le Lustre des Entonnoirs
October 19, 2014
08:49 PM

Le Lustre des Entonnoirs

ben (640x480).jpg

There is a little "Lost in Translation" here as the English word Chandelier means a candle holder in French, what we call a chandelier in English the French call a Lustre.
The English Tundish (on the other hand)is in fact etymologically identical to the French Entonnoire.

  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef