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Showing posts from June, 2015


RSVP I know what RSVP means? You probably do too. But it's clear that we are in a minority. RSVP - origin: French, acronym - repondez s'il vous plait From an era of manners and etiquette (... also French). Whilst we native English speakers are not  renown for our enthusiasm or ability to grasp and learn another language (and indeed our tenure on our own tongue is often forged on dodgy ground), there are elements of the French language that creep into our everyday lives. RSVP is one such element. Neatly capitalised at the bottom of invitations, it politely asks for attention. Even if ignorant of the litoral meaning, its message is clear to anyone who has ever received an invitation - reply! Please reply. I know that. You know that. We both know what is expected; how to respond. In other words, those little letters standing to attention, so neatly vowel-less, and requiring of lovely linguistic acrobatics, prick us into action and elicit the desired response - a reply. Or

Losing touch with reality and planting marigolds

Dare I whisper that the sun is shining and summer is skipping into view. * Or with those fourteen words have I condemned us to shivering defiantly in our seasonally-compatible if weather-inappropriate clothes braced on holiday against summer winds and showers of rain? Please note I didn't conjure up gales and torrents - I might be a bit of a pessimist but that would be glugging down the entire glass rather than leaving it half empty. To be a pessimist is, after all, to be pleasantly surprised when things turn out better. Perhaps the summer will too. Turn out better I mean. I hope so. So does Bertie Baggins. Or is he laughing at me? - 'Thinks it's possible to jinx the weather now? Definitely lost the plot.' Or am I anthropomorphising a wee bit too much? I mean: dogs don't really smile - do they? Or look disdainful ... Narrowed eyes, mouth shut in a bored harrumph. Why? ... ... 'Gardening! Again!! You said it would be how long before o