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Proverb: EN_CZ

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  • Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni
    PrázdnéDobre odpoledne, znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do AJ prevest: kdyz ptacka lapaji,.... (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 20 8:45 AM
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      Pr�zdn�Dobre odpoledne,
      znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do AJ prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu zpivaji).
      Predem diky
      Iveta

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • melvyn.geo
      ... Hi Iveta, I think the lack of response is in itself revealing. I myself have been racking my brains but cannot come up with a traditional English proverb
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 20 12:27 PM
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        --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni" <preklady@p...> wrote:
        > PrázdnéDobre odpoledne,
        > znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do AJ prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu zpivaji).

        Hi Iveta,

        I think the lack of response is in itself revealing. I myself have been racking my brains but cannot come up with a traditional English proverb or saying that comes anywhere close. I suppose we could make up something proverb-like along the lines of "the sweetest bait catches the finest fish" or we could update Luther a bit with "the Devil has all the best lines/slogans/commercials/PR executives" :-) etc.

        Actually, I think that in some contexts there is a strong argument for retaining the original idea. I get a bit miffed when I read, say, a translation of Dostoyevsky, hoping to smell the smell of samovars and hear the clatter on the cobblestones of carriages carrying penniless princesses, only to find that the translation is so smooth that it all sounds a bit like the adventures of Roddy from Surbiton, and all the local colour and texture has been lost. In literary translations at least, the reader often wants to hear and smell and feel the original foreignness, especially when it comes to nice turns of phrase.

        That's what I think, anyway. :-)

        M.
      • James Kirchner
        On Tuesday, April 20, 2004, at 11:45 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a ... Can you explain the general meaning of the proverb? When is it used? What is it
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 20 12:45 PM
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          On Tuesday, April 20, 2004, at 11:45 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
          tlumoceni wrote:

          > PrázdnéDobre odpoledne,
          > znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do
          > AJ prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu
          > zpivaji).
          > Predem diky

          Can you explain the general meaning of the proverb? When is it used?
          What is it supposed to say? I wanted to help you, but even though I
          understand the literal Czech meaning, I don't understand the real
          meaning of it.

          Jamie
        • Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni
          Thanks Melvyn, I finally used what Lenka suggested at CzechEd (Promises, promises...) since it expressed the meaning. Sorry for not giving more context. Iveta
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 21 12:25 AM
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            Thanks Melvyn,
            I finally used what Lenka suggested at CzechEd (Promises, promises...) since
            it expressed the meaning. Sorry for not giving more context.
            Iveta

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...>
            To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 9:27 PM
            Subject: [Czechlist] Re: Proverb: EN_CZ


            --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni"
            <preklady@p...> wrote:
            > PrázdnéDobre odpoledne,
            > znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do AJ
            prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu zpivaji).

            Hi Iveta,

            I think the lack of response is in itself revealing. I myself have been
            racking my brains but cannot come up with a traditional English proverb or
            saying that comes anywhere close. I suppose we could make up something
            proverb-like along the lines of "the sweetest bait catches the finest fish"
            or we could update Luther a bit with "the Devil has all the best
            lines/slogans/commercials/PR executives" :-) etc.

            Actually, I think that in some contexts there is a strong argument for
            retaining the original idea. I get a bit miffed when I read, say, a
            translation of Dostoyevsky, hoping to smell the smell of samovars and hear
            the clatter on the cobblestones of carriages carrying penniless princesses,
            only to find that the translation is so smooth that it all sounds a bit like
            the adventures of Roddy from Surbiton, and all the local colour and texture
            has been lost. In literary translations at least, the reader often wants to
            hear and smell and feel the original foreignness, especially when it comes
            to nice turns of phrase.

            That's what I think, anyway. :-)

            M.









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          • Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni
            Hi James, well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you to advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you have
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 21 12:28 AM
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              Hi James,
              well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you to
              advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you have
              to sign the contract, the reality is different.
              Iveta
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "James Kirchner" <jpklists@...>
              To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 9:45 PM
              Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Proverb: EN_CZ



              On Tuesday, April 20, 2004, at 11:45 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
              tlumoceni wrote:

              > PrázdnéDobre odpoledne,
              > znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do
              > AJ prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu
              > zpivaji).
              > Predem diky

              Can you explain the general meaning of the proverb? When is it used?
              What is it supposed to say? I wanted to help you, but even though I
              understand the literal Czech meaning, I don't understand the real
              meaning of it.

              Jamie





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            • James Kirchner
              On Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at 03:28 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a ... I guess the closest thing we would have in the States is to say that they sell you
              Message 6 of 17 , Apr 21 4:20 AM
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                On Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at 03:28 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
                tlumoceni wrote:

                > Hi James,
                > well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you
                > to
                > advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you
                > have
                > to sign the contract, the reality is different.
                > Iveta

                I guess the closest thing we would have in the States is to say that
                "they sell you a pig in a poke". ("Poke" here is a southern dialect
                word for a sack. They do what they have to to sell you something
                that's supposed to be really good, and when you open the bag, it's not
                what you bargained for.)

                If I think of a better one, I'll tell you.

                Jamie


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni
                We have kupovat zajice v pytli for that. But the idea is there. iveta ... From: James Kirchner To:
                Message 7 of 17 , Apr 21 4:49 AM
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                  We have "kupovat zajice v pytli" for that. But the idea is there.
                  iveta

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "James Kirchner" <jpklists@...>
                  To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 1:20 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Proverb: EN_CZ


                  >
                  > On Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at 03:28 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
                  > tlumoceni wrote:
                  >
                  > > Hi James,
                  > > well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you
                  > > to
                  > > advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you
                  > > have
                  > > to sign the contract, the reality is different.
                  > > Iveta
                  >
                  > I guess the closest thing we would have in the States is to say that
                  > "they sell you a pig in a poke". ("Poke" here is a southern dialect
                  > word for a sack. They do what they have to to sell you something
                  > that's supposed to be really good, and when you open the bag, it's not
                  > what you bargained for.)
                  >
                  > If I think of a better one, I'll tell you.
                  >
                  > Jamie
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Czechlist Users' Guide:
                  >
                  > http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7953/newfaq.html
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
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                  >
                  >
                • melvyn.geo
                  ... well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you to advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you have to
                  Message 8 of 17 , Apr 21 7:02 AM
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                    >Hi James,

                    :-) I like it.

                    well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you to
                    advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you have
                    to sign the contract, the reality is different.

                    Ah yes, they are all sizzle and no sausage. Or as the womenfolk in Manchester say, they are all mouth and no trousers. :-)


                    > I finally used what Lenka suggested at CzechEd (Promises, promises...) since
                    > it expressed the meaning. Sorry for not giving more context.

                    Ja jsem zvedav, jak ten vyraz vejde do tveho kontextu. Muzes mi to prozradit?

                    M.
                  • Terminus Technicus
                    ... That (and other Eng proverbs) are equivalent to Czech zajic v pytli - Kdyz ptacka lapaji pekne mu zpivaji is a bit different, the difference is subtle,
                    Message 9 of 17 , Apr 21 7:49 AM
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                      > I guess the closest thing we would have in the States is to say that
                      > "they sell you a pig in a poke".

                      That (and other Eng proverbs) are equivalent to Czech "zajic v pytli" -
                      "Kdyz ptacka lapaji pekne mu zpivaji" is a bit different, the difference is
                      subtle, but it's there, IMHO.. there wouldn't be two different
                      (conceptually) proverbs if it meant the same...

                      Matej

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "James Kirchner" <jpklists@...>
                      To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 1:20 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Proverb: EN_CZ


                      >
                      > On Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at 03:28 AM, Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
                      > tlumoceni wrote:
                      >
                      > > Hi James,
                      > > well the meaning in my context is that when a company tries to get you
                      > > to
                      > > advertise in their catalogue, they would promise anything but when you
                      > > have
                      > > to sign the contract, the reality is different.
                      > > Iveta
                      >
                      > I guess the closest thing we would have in the States is to say that
                      > "they sell you a pig in a poke". ("Poke" here is a southern dialect
                      > word for a sack. They do what they have to to sell you something
                      > that's supposed to be really good, and when you open the bag, it's not
                      > what you bargained for.)
                      >
                      > If I think of a better one, I'll tell you.
                      >
                      > Jamie
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Czechlist Users' Guide:
                      >
                      > http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7953/newfaq.html
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
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                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a tlumoceni
                      ... since ... prozradit? The Czech version read: dalsi postup firmy: kdyz ptacka lapaji.... . Obvykle teprve po obdrzeni faktury na bezmala..... So inserting
                      Message 10 of 17 , Apr 21 8:05 AM
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                        > > I finally used what Lenka suggested at CzechEd (Promises, promises...)
                        since
                        > > it expressed the meaning. Sorry for not giving more context.
                        >
                        > Ja jsem zvedav, jak ten vyraz vejde do tveho kontextu. Muzes mi to
                        prozradit?
                        The Czech version read: dalsi postup firmy: "kdyz ptacka lapaji....".
                        Obvykle teprve po obdrzeni faktury na bezmala.....
                        So inserting "promises, promises" was not that bad.
                        Iveta
                      • Mike Trittipo
                        ... There s promise like a merchant and pay like a man-of-war s-man ; Men are April when they woo, December when they wed ; Promising much means giving
                        Message 11 of 17 , Apr 21 9:40 AM
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                          > "Kdyz ptacka lapaji pekne mu zpivaji"

                          There's "promise like a merchant and pay like a
                          man-of-war's-man"; "Men are April when they woo,
                          December when they wed"; "Promising much means
                          giving little"; "fair words please only fools";
                          "fair words don't fill the pocket" (or "won't feed
                          a cat" or "won't make the pot boil"; "you can
                          catch more flies with honey than you can with
                          vinegar"; "He who gives fair words feeds you
                          with an empty spoon"; "promise mountains, perform
                          molehills"; "Between promising and performing a
                          man may marry his daughter."; "the bait hides the
                          hook"; "Whisper sweet nothings in their ears"; . .
                          . .??? Not exactly common these days, any of them,
                          but probably all understandable enough, if you
                          don't want to use a straight translation.
                        • Mike Trittipo
                          ... I see I should read my mail in order. I like it. Please ignore my other message.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Apr 21 9:42 AM
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                            > along the lines of "the sweetest bait catches the finest fish"

                            I see I should read my mail in order. I like it.
                            Please ignore my other message.
                          • melvyn.geo
                            ... Impressive! My guess is that the bait hides the hook comes closest in meaning to the idea behind Iveta s proverb. I seem to remember Jamie once pointed
                            Message 13 of 17 , Apr 21 11:08 AM
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                              --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Mike Trittipo <tritt002@t...> wrote:
                              > > "Kdyz ptacka lapaji pekne mu zpivaji"
                              >
                              > There's "promise like a merchant and pay like a
                              > man-of-war's-man"; "Men are April when they woo,
                              > December when they wed"; "Promising much means
                              > giving little"; "fair words please only fools";
                              > "fair words don't fill the pocket" (or "won't feed
                              > a cat" or "won't make the pot boil"; "you can
                              > catch more flies with honey than you can with
                              > vinegar"; "He who gives fair words feeds you
                              > with an empty spoon"; "promise mountains, perform
                              > molehills"; "Between promising and performing a
                              > man may marry his daughter."; "the bait hides the
                              > hook"; "Whisper sweet nothings in their ears"; . .
                              > . .???

                              Impressive! My guess is that "the bait hides the hook" comes closest in meaning to the idea behind Iveta's proverb. I seem to remember Jamie once pointed out that in practice, sayings (and other prefabricated routines?) are most often quoted in some adapted or truncated (or even combined?) form, so I'd see no harm in elaborating a little, maybe along the lines of "but swallow the bait and you'll soon get hooked"...

                              On the subject of 'fair words' I am reminded of 'Fine words butter no parsnips' ( http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-but2.htm - always sounds convincing in a West Country accent: "foin wurrds ba'err neou porrsnibs" :-), but again that is getting a bit remote from the original idea.

                              M.
                              ---
                              Kdo je samy med, toho neoblizuj.
                            • James Kirchner
                              I didn t get the original message, for some reason, but I agree with everything Melvyn says here. I once had a run-in about something like this with an
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 8, 2004
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                                I didn't get the original message, for some reason, but I agree with
                                everything Melvyn says here. I once had a run-in about something like
                                this with an inexperienced editor (one of those American wonderboys who
                                got work in Prague far beyond what his experience and knowledge would
                                get him in the US). Besides not accepting perfectly normal,
                                right-in-the-dictionary idioms that were outside his realm of
                                impoverished language experience (even the literate American university
                                grads here these days can be kind of illiterate), he also took
                                exception to my making up new proverbs where no English equivalent
                                existed. He wanted an exact correspondence of each Czech proverb to a
                                traditional English one, except that sometimes there was no precise
                                equivalent, or the English equivalent ruined the tone of the text. , I
                                gave him a whole list of proverbs that he would never be able to find
                                an English equivalent for, but that only made him insist even more on
                                the importance of finding equivalents. I finally threw the job back.

                                Anyway, the closest thing I've ever heard to that proverb you gave is,
                                "Never smile at a crocodile." The idea is that a crocodile naturally
                                looks like he's smiling, but he's vicious and wants to eat you. I
                                don't think most people know or would understand the meaning of that
                                expression, though. You might try saying something like, "A predator
                                is always charming." That's not a real proverb, but I think it would
                                do the job.

                                Jamie
                                "If you count the layers of the strudel, you'll never get to eat it."

                                On Tuesday, April 20, 2004, at 03:27 PM, melvyn.geo wrote:

                                > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Iveta Pecinkova - preklady a
                                > tlumoceni" <preklady@p...> wrote:
                                > > Pr�zdn�Dobre odpoledne,
                                > > znovu se obracim na vsechny kolegy, jestli mi nekdo neporadi, jak do
                                > AJ prevest: "kdyz ptacka lapaji,...." (kdyz ptacka lapaji, hezky mu
                                > zpivaji).
                                >
                                > Hi Iveta,
                                >
                                > I think the lack of response is in itself revealing. I myself have
                                > been racking my brains but cannot come up with a traditional English
                                > proverb or saying that comes anywhere close. I suppose we could make
                                > up something proverb-like along the lines of "the sweetest bait
                                > catches the finest fish" or we could update Luther a bit with "the
                                > Devil has all the best lines/slogans/commercials/PR executives" :-)
                                > etc.
                                >
                                > Actually, I think that in some contexts there is a strong argument for
                                > retaining the original idea. I get a bit miffed when I read, say, a
                                > translation of Dostoyevsky, hoping to smell the smell of samovars and
                                > hear the clatter on the cobblestones of carriages carrying penniless
                                > princesses, only to find that the translation is so smooth that it all
                                > sounds a bit like the adventures of Roddy from Surbiton, and all the
                                > local colour and texture has been lost. In literary translations at
                                > least, the reader often wants to hear and smell and feel the original
                                > foreignness, especially when it comes to nice turns of phrase.
                                >
                                > That's what I think, anyway. :-)
                                >
                                > M.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                              • coilinoc
                                ... with the ... executives :-) ... Trad musicians in Ireland often say the Devil has all the best tunes (perhaps the musical reference might be that
                                Message 15 of 17 , Dec 8, 2004
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                                  > > up something proverb-like along the lines of "the sweetest bait
                                  > > catches the finest fish" or we could update Luther a bit
                                  with "the
                                  > > Devil has all the best lines/slogans/commercials/PR
                                  executives" :-)
                                  > > etc.

                                  Trad musicians in Ireland often say "the Devil has all the best
                                  tunes" (perhaps the musical reference might be that little bit
                                  closer to the original Czech saying..._)

                                  Best
                                  Colin
                                • melvyn.geo
                                  ... Well, I read that Martin Luther is supposed to have come out with it originally, so make of that what you will. Anyway, I think the Devil has been grossly
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Dec 9, 2004
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                                    --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "coilinoc" <coilinoc@y...> wrote:

                                    > Trad musicians in Ireland often say "the Devil has all the best
                                    > tunes"


                                    Well, I read that Martin Luther is supposed to have come out with it originally, so make of that what you will. Anyway, I think the Devil has been grossly overrated in the past and quite unjustifiably credited with works by Dvorak and the Beatles, to name but a few.

                                    Jamie, note the date on Iveta's query - it's over six months old! See message 21267 et seq. Yahoogroups is quite good at bringing up old arguments like this.

                                    Glad you agree with this principle of accepting a little "foreignness" in certain contexts. That is why I will sometimes be tolerant of certain Czenglish phrases, e.g. very close translations of the names of national holidays.

                                    But I seem to remember you were once puzzling over an equivalent for some French saying, which I have now quite forgotten - something to do with stomachs perhaps? Whatever it was, I would leave it in its original form in many contexts - the French have some marvellous phrases like that - today I heard 'rire aux anges' = to smile in one's sleep.

                                    M.
                                  • James Kirchner
                                    ... Leaving the foreignness does wonders to transfer the flavor of the source language society. That s what was so wonderful about some of those bad
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Dec 9, 2004
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                                      On Thursday, December 9, 2004, at 01:15 PM, melvyn.geo wrote:

                                      > Glad you agree with this principle of accepting a little "foreignness"
                                      > in certain contexts. That is why I will sometimes be tolerant of
                                      > certain Czenglish phrases, e.g. very close translations of the names
                                      > of national holidays.

                                      Leaving the foreignness does wonders to transfer the flavor of the
                                      source language society. That's what was so wonderful about some of
                                      those bad translations the Chinese used to come out with during the
                                      real hardcore communist days.

                                      Some of those strange foreign expressions end up entering the common
                                      language. Do you remember back to 1991 and how strange "the mother of
                                      all battles" sounded? Now it sounds normal. And I think some people
                                      (like me) still use "running dog lackey", from that classic Red Chinese
                                      slur "running dog lackey of the American imperialist warmongering
                                      pigs". I once called a writer who was too obsessed with excessive
                                      punctuation a "running dog lackey of the academic imperialist
                                      speck-mongering prigs".

                                      And then there's "wild and crazy", which began in the 1970s as two TV
                                      comedians' imitation of Czenglish (that Czech tendency to add a
                                      conjunction between adjectives where we wouldn't). People jokingly
                                      talked about the "wild and crazy guys" so much, and then wild and crazy
                                      everything, that I'm sure there are kids who think "wild and crazy guy"
                                      is grammatical and don't know why it sounds bad to add "and" between
                                      other adjectives. (This would be the same generation that has no sense
                                      that the title "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was originally humorous.)

                                      > But I seem to remember you were once puzzling over an equivalent for
                                      > some French saying, which I have now quite forgotten - something to do
                                      > with stomachs perhaps? Whatever it was, I would leave it in its
                                      > original form in many contexts - the French have some marvellous
                                      > phrases like that - today I heard 'rire aux anges' = to smile in one's
                                      > sleep.

                                      Yeah, but you probably didn't have a mother who devoured one or two
                                      cheesy historical novels per week, and would constantly interrupt what
                                      you were doing to ask, "What does 'rire aux anges' mean?" or, "What is
                                      'cornuto'?" On the other hand, it's my fault for studying so many
                                      languages that I could usually answer the questions, thus inviting more
                                      of them. I used to yell that good writers should be able to create a
                                      foreign atmosphere without using foreign languages, but she still read
                                      those middle-brow novels.

                                      Jamie


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