I’m Awake

Funny how about 11 straight hours of sleep will make you feel much better.

Although I did have dreams of the apocalypse. It was all right, however, since in the dream I had a gun and lots of ammunition.

Also, here’s a fun trick I tried yesterday:  Explaining the first chapter of Android’s Dream to my French publisher, where I did not know the French word, nor he the English, for “fart.” Oh, how those language problems gave us such a chuckle!

Also, FYI: When you’re overseas, Skype is just about the greatest thing ever.

Off to my book signing. Catch you all later.

24 thoughts on “I’m Awake

  1. Me and my Austrian roommate often encounter either English words with no German translation, or the other way around. The funny part seems to be finding the words to substitute the meanings in other words..

  2. While you’re in Paree, if you’ve got limited time, skip the Louvre and go straight to the Musee D’Orsay. Great exhibition space, airy and light. Great collection of impressionist art, great sculpture “garden” in the main space that was once train platforms.

    If you’ve got a little more time, head up near Sacre Coure (sp?), and find the Espace de Salvador Dali. Huge collection of his work in a small space.

  3. The French word for ‘fart’ is “pet,” which adds a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘my pet dog.’

    In most Indo-European languages, ‘fart’ has a ‘f-r-t’ or ‘p-r-d’ combination. Sometimes the ‘r’ drops out, and the ‘f’ and ‘p’ are interchangeable, as are the ‘t’ and ‘d.’ This all indicates that the word has a pedigree going back several thousand years, with an onomatopoiaic origin.

  4. The word in Russian is Bzdet’ – “b” and “p” and “f” and “v”are voiced / unvoiced pairs, so I’d suspect some I-E languages substitute “v” for “f” and “b” for “p”.

    Another common ancient I-E paradigm is ‘m-r-t / m-r-d’ for “death” – English: murder, French: “mort”, Russian: “smert’ ” (the “s” is an Old Slavonic prefix).

  5. I have a friend living in Brussels and, yeah, Skype really is about the best thing ever…especially if you’ve got a webcam.

  6. When I left my mobile at work for the weekend in August, Skype was there for me. I was living in the future––all my contact with the world mediated by the tubes in the internet.

    All of which makes me oscillate between eschatological horror and nihilistic revelry in it.

    Also it opens, for me, the old question of “are we living so far in the future that scifi is obsolete?” i do not buy it––but Skype, to me, represents a giant leap into the beyond if the hypothesis were valid.

  7. Thanks to my dog farting in a French class in Paris last year, I learnt the full range of French expressions relating to (gaseous) pets.

    When I told this story to a Frenchwoman in Naples she told me of a 18th century treatise, an analytical dissection of the occurrence and presentation of farts, taking the Enlightenment to places where the enlight don’t shine. A particular phrase caught her eye: “Pissing without farting is like visiting Dieppe without seeing the sea.”

  8. John it’s all about body language. Last summer in Italy I was looking for eggs in a small market and “oof” was not cutting it. So I flapped my wings and schucked my hips to one side while making a blooping sound. They laughed and understood, I got my eggs and reinforced the notion that Americans are nuts.

  9. I think the phrase, “Hoisted on your on petard” originally was a reference to being lifted by your own fart.

  10. Its because the french had a small bomb called “the little fart” ( i.e. petard),
    meant for use in breaching castle gates in a siege.

    If it blew up before you had a chance to run away, you were hoist on your own petard.

  11. Please bear in mind the standard rules for Americans attempting to speak French:
    1. First, it is essential that you imagine that you hold everyone around you in contempt.
    2. Any word can be Frenchified by approximately 15% by adding “zee” in front. Example “Zee fart, she is silent but deadly.”
    3. You may also try adding extra vowel-sounds: “Zee fart-tay, she is silent but deadly.”
    4. Use expressive hand gestures when you get to the word. “Zee fart,” [wave wave wave], “she is silent. But she is, how do you say, zee deadly-ay.”

  12. Ex-Fed,

    I feel like we’ve given John enough French lessons. We have not, however, giving him any guidance on what to do in case of invasion. With that in mind, I think we need to start giving him helpful phrases in Zee-Churmin.

    Achtung, Baby!

  13. I’m still worried he might accidentally have white paint poured down his back and end up romanced by a deranged woodland creature. I don’t know why the prospect has me so on edge. I am, however, open to the possibility my concern is baseless.

  14. Prefer SightSpeed myself – works great to friends in Oz.

    Gonna try ooVoo next time to check that out.

    Nope, I’d go to the Louvre every time – it’s fantastic, especially with a guide. We paid for one (http://www.parismuse.com/seminars/family.shtml?ef=0000068) to help keep the kids interested and it was the best couple of hours of our trip. (Getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower would have topped it for the kids but it was too windy the day we went :-( )

    By the way, kids can get right up close to the Mona Lisa – the seat belt webbing type barriers are to keep the adults back.

  15. This all indicates that the word has a pedigree going back several thousand years, with an onomatopoeic origin.

    “Onomatopoeic” meaning here “having eaten a lot of cabbage.”

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