Saturday afternoon over a steaming bowl of homemade broccoli soup (I make my own chunky soups, since all soups here are puréed), Leslie and I discussed with amazement the fact that we’ve been here several weeks, and were very thankful that we’re staying a year. Really, we feel like we’re just settling in, and yet in only two months almost the entire BCA group will return home. It feels so…transient. Although I suppose since I moved to college I’ve lived on ‘I can do without’s, waiting to buy or do or wash something until I go home on a break. I’m trying to get out of that mindset here, changing from ‘I can do without’ to ‘No, this would really make my life here a lot more pleasant…’. Not that I’m going on shopping sprees or anything, mind you. I’m just settling in, unpacking, realizing that now the word ‘home’ refers (in part) to
This week in review: It’s a good thing I read linguistics books for fun! This week in my linguistics courses we distinguished content words from function words, and I think I would have been quite lost had I not read Steven Pinker’s (MIT linguist, Chomsky cohort) The Language Instinct this summer. A content word (or mot lexicale) is a noun, adjective, verb, and sometimes adverb; the category is open—we’re always adding new words to it; think ant, bluish, to blog, and standoffishly. A function word (or mot grammaticale) is a preposition, conjunction, determinant, pronoun, and sometimes adverb; the category is closed—we don’t just invent new ways to say and/or/with/he/she/very. If you can master this distinction, consider yourself a linguist. If you think you can invent a new function word, consider yourself an idiot. If you have trouble with the word and but not ant, if you can construct a perfectly grammatical sentence without understanding what it means, or if you have a hard time remembering the names of vegetables, consider yourself a victim of SLD (specific language disorder)—No really, it exists!
Just in case you missed the ball…
Espero (from the Spanish verb ‘esperar,’ which means both ‘to wait for’ and ‘to hope’) for the day when the
French Culture 101
Since I’m not exactly sure who my audience is, I think I ought to clarify the importance of wine in
I can't disclose whether this was actually taken in France or not, but it was with family, around a meal, with a Reisling.
Due to the incredible cost of peanut butter in the local Match supermarket (3.85 euro per jar…I think at the current conversion rate that’s about $5.75), it is now officially a sin to waste peanut butter. O ye heathens who consumeth not thine entire portion! Just think of all the poor, peanut-butter-starved Colleens in
I’m doing well, healthy and whole and safe and sound in