Friday, January 25, 2008

wisdom, language, and bad packing!

I'm in Vancouver again this weekend as we're going to see the opera The Italian Girl in Algiers tomorrow night. It's freezing outside but very sunny right now so I think I'll head out for a bit of window-shopping and maybe a coffee before I get back to my stack of marking. A bit frustrated to find that I obviously focused too much on what to pack for wearing to the opera and completely forgot to pack tops. So I have two pairs of pants plus the jeans I leave at the apartment, but only yesterday's sweater which doesn't really work with the jeans and really doesn't work with my skinny black pants that tend to be my Vanc'r staple. Might be the perfect excuse to pick up the sweater I resisted even trying on at Club Monaco last week. Or the perfect chance to prove I can manage a weekend in Vanc'r with a very limited wardrobe!
While I'm out and about, I'll be trying to see what wisdom I've learned so far, because Une Femme d'un Certain Age has tagged me with such a meme. I'm not sure I'll be able to reach the standard she's set: you should check out her list. Une Femme only uses the best four-letter Anglo-Saxon words judiciously, when their emphatic nature is demanded and when the departure from her normally elegant prose hammers home her point. Here she wants to tell her 20-year old self (and the contemporary versions of that self) that "You can't fuck someone into loving you," and we older-and-wiser types have to nod and say, "You tell 'em, sister!" sadly aware of how often the attempt has been made.
(For the record, I think that must be the first appearance of "the f-word" on my blog, although I use it very comfortably and all-too-regularly in my daily life. When I speak it, I'm always aware of audience so that I only use it in front of a class if I'm quoting or if I'm discussing the word as word. I wouldn't use it in front of my mother, mother-in-law, or even some of my colleagues, and since I put my blog writing out here for a very broad audience, I'm so far choosing to find language that makes the point without offending. Une Femme's use is a perfect example of when this word is the only word that will do; coyness would be the greater offense here.)


  1. I fucking love you.
    I am sure that I missed the point of this post, but I have been searching since I was about 13 for an excuse or at least a reason for my sailor's mouth. Now I have written proof of where my lovely lyrical ludeness (sp) comes from.

  2. So what are you wearing to the opera?

  3. It is far more of a challenge to find words to convey emotion and to make an impact without cursing, however, there are times when it absolutely must be done!

  4. materfamilias,

    Thank you so much for your lovely praise. It means a lot coming from someone who makes a living with language.

  5. You are right, the comment is spot on and so utterly pertinent to 90% of the girls that I teach and I confess myself when I was a teenager. Oh if only I had known.

  6. okay, first, daughter: yes, well, alliteration aside (and I don't think you really mean you're lewd, but the "l"s are lovely), the point was something about knowing when to use the language, and you might have to work on that!
    Pseu: you deserve it!
    Gina: yes, just so
    Alison: Absolutely!
    and Leona: Report to come.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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