November 2005

Expressions taken from the Bible

November 30, 2005

A reader asked me how "The scales fell from my eyes" should be translated in French. Very literally: "Les écailles me tombent des yeux". It is an expression taken from the Bible (Acts 9:18) and this led me to wonder...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 30, 2005
Idioms

Why I love working in an office #3

November 28, 2005

My very first office party!...

Bookmark and Share

Guest blogger: E-mail and communication

November 25, 2005

By Paul Sharville Let’s talk about e-mail. Back in the old days, Edwardian Britain was nuts about writing. There were at least seven postal deliveries a day – from early morning to tea-time. Some of those were letters of epic...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 25, 2005
Culture, Guests

Unpaid tests

November 23, 2005

I never, ever do unpaid tests. Well. Maybe sometimes. The problem, as I see it, is that there are unpaid tests and there are unpaid tests, and each of them has to be considered separately. When I first started off,...

Bookmark and Share

Whet/wet one's appetite

November 21, 2005

Ha ha! I believe an eggcorn (it is an eggcorn, isn’t it Chris?) has been spotted in the wild on this very website (in the comments of the entry before this one)! Apparently, it’s a very common one: a search...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 21, 2005
Idioms

De but en blanc and à brûle-pourpoint

November 18, 2005

While writing my so-called novel, I caught myself using the expression "de but en blanc", which means suddenly, without warning. According to my useful Dictionnaire d’expressions et locutions, it comes from shooting. "Blanc" represents the target, while "but" should really...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 18, 2005
Idioms

Online data backup

November 15, 2005

I tried for a long time to work out the best way to save my data. I was terrified that I would turn my computer on one morning and hear it implode (it happened to me once) and lose the...

Bookmark and Share

Search engine optimisation

November 11, 2005

This blog is two years old today. In that time, it’s gone from having no visitors to attracting around 1,900 unique visitors a day, and it’s allowed me to be visible on the Internet and to attract clients: earlier this...

Bookmark and Share

Banlieue

November 9, 2005

This word dates back to the Middle Ages and is formed of "ban" (the authority of a lord) and "lieue" (a distance of around 2.5 miles): it used to be the area around a town which was submitted to the...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 9, 2005
Words

Racaille and kärcher

November 7, 2005

The importance of language in politics has rarely been as clear as it is now. Listen to a French radio station, tune in to a French TV programme and you will hear the words "racaille" (rabble, scum) and "kärcher" (powerhose)....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 7, 2005
Words

Hurricane, cyclone, typhoon

November 4, 2005

Did you know that the only difference between a hurricane (from Hunraken, the Mayan god of storms), a cyclone (from Greek kuklos, circle) and a typhoon (from Chinese tai fung, "big wind") is their geographical origin? Hurricanes happen in the...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 4, 2005
Words

National Novel Writing Month

November 1, 2005

When I was growing up, I was forever writing little stories, and at school, my favourite class for French; essays, far from being a chore for me, were an opportunity to play with language, which I always loved, and exercise...

Bookmark and Share