Tunes and Tickets

Since we actually had class today (what a travesty), Sheila and I got up at ten to have breakfast. Madame hadn’t bought/put out any more gluten-free bread, so I brought out the rice cakes I had in my room in case such a thing happened and had those for breakfast. I was messing around on Deezer and I found some really good new French music, so look up Pauline Croze (Singer-Songwriter) and Disiz (Hip-Hop) if you feel like it. We got ready for the day, and headed out around noon. I opted to not deal with any more traveler’s check-related things for the week, so since Sheila had to go to an ATM, I took some money out as well to tide me over for the start of November. Lunch ended up being a bag of chips and an apple from the vending machine, then it was up the stairs to Sweet Briar we went (the elevator STILL isn’t fixed, it’s been three weeks). Kyle was busy buying tickets to go see Charlotte in Nice, and to go to Brussels, so that reminded me to buy my tickets to see Mme. Remion in Tours, expecially since she’d emailed me again to tell me to come on Friday night after Sweet Briar’s trip to the Catacombs that day (and to tell me she’d be buying some gluten-free bread in preparation).

We went over irregular superlatives today in Atelier d’Écriture, namely how to say something is “the best” both in adverb and adjective form. Recall that the adverb of “better” is mieux (no agreement needed) and the adjective of “better” is meilleur (agreement obligatoire). To say that something is “the best” in adverb form, you say le mieux, and for the adjective, it’s le meilleur/la meilleure/les meilleurs/les meilleures. To follow this up, we put it in a sentence that kind of went a long with the lesson, but was morphed into a kind of idiomatic phrase… how do you say “to do one’s best” in French? Considering what we just learned, it’s reasonable to assume you’re supposed to say something like faire mon meilleur/mon mieux, but that’s not how it works. The proper idiomatic phrase for “to do one’s best” is faire de son mieux. Don’t forget that de no matter what you do! Moving on, how do you say “As I told you…?” We usually assume it’s something to the effect of Comme je t’ai dit (or Comme je vous ai dit if we’re trying to be polite), and that’s mostly right, but we’re missing something really tiny. Have you ever heard a French person speak really bad English say something similar? What do they say? “Az eye told eet to ewe…” OH. Big clue right there. We’re missing the “eet.” That being said (or “zat beeing zaid“), the proper translation of “As I told you…” is  Comme je te l‘ai dit… When you start a sentence with comme, you have to put le (and never la or les) directly in front of the IMPORTANT verb (not in front of “can” for example, you’ll see in a minute) in the sentence. Take a look at these quick translations…
“As you know” = Comme vous le savez
“As you can imagine” = Comme tu peut l‘imaginer
“As he wrote it” = Comme il l‘a écrit.
The le goes in front of the “important” verb (like “imagine” instead of “can” in the second example, or the auxiliary verb for the past tense in the third example) in these examples. There is a more elegant way to deal with comme in your sentences, but it only works if you have a real subject in your sentence, and not a pronoun. For example, if you’re working with the sentence “As the students would say…” (as opposed to “as they would say…”) you could definitely translate this as Comme les étudiants le diraient, but it looks (and sounds) much better if you do a fancy little move called réjet le sujet and make that phrase look like this: Comme le diraient les étudiants! See what I did there? It’s a little bit like inversion. All I did was put the le and the verb in front of the subject. Look at how crafty we were, and now we sound so much more French, it’s not even funny.

Shiela and I headed home after my class to relax… kind of for the rest of the week since that was the only class we had. Madame made us a really good dinner tonight. We had that delicious avocado, tomato, mozzarella salad for entrée, then we had some steak and potatoes for plat principal. After dinner, I headed over to the 19th arrondissement to hang out with Joel (a friend that I got to know in Normandy) for a while. I was complaining that my shoulders were bothering me, and he’s good at giving massages so he offered to get the knots out for me, which I thought was a Herculean task, but he somehow managed to do it! Thank goodness…

Sheila and I have plans with Rouge and Joan to go to the Marais tomorrow and FINALLY check out the Kilo Shop! I’m hoping to pick up some scarves to bring home as presents since they’re easy to pack.

Tous maux sont pareils alors qu’ils sont extrêmes. Corneille: Horace

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