Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Come again?

Ai, aie, aies, aient, ais, ait, aits, é, ée, ées, er, ers, es, és, et, ets, ex, ey, eys, ez.

French is a pretty tricky language to write. Lots of letter combinations (like the ones above) sound exactly the same. Combine that with all the silent letters that crop up in every other word, and you can get tons of words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean different things.

This can often lead to very unfortunate mixups of homonyms -- one of which lead to this set of instructions, seen earlier this week:

"Pas de pretraitement jus ce que la page 1."

Which means:

"No pretreatment juice that page 1."

Somehow, I don't think that's the message the writer wanted to convey...

PS. "A". That's what all those bizarre letters up at the top sound like. The letter A.

PPS. For everyone who wanted to know what kind of hot chocolate Mom was so desperate to rescue from Osker, here it is (on the left):

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