I wasn’t quite sure what to blog about today. There are always plenty of possible topics and I very efficiently (at least for me) keep a folder of clippings from papers and magazines that I can use if nothing topical is happening that would be more immediate to talk about. But today wasn’t the sort of morning that you want to blog in much detail about – picking up a vomiting son from school, obtaining a hefty quote from the garage for necessary car repairs, dealing with a deceased sheep – so I was pleased to happen across something in Ruadhri’s latest edition of Mon Quotidien, the mini-newspaper for 10-14 year olds that he gets every day, postlazy (i.e. our lazy post lady who only delivers mail when she feels like it) permitting. In this kids’ mag was a heading that caught my eye on the last page which featured a music review by ten and eleven year olds. It read: ‘Musique : Le 2e album de Lilly Wood and the Prick’.
Ok. Slight double take at the band’s name and the fact that it was being brought to youngsters’ attention so starkly but then I remembered that the vast majority of kids reading the paper, and presumably the journalists who wrote it, won’t realize precisely what one of prick’s meaning is! That’s a feature of living in a foreign language but where English songs are very popular: quite often you’ll hear graphic pop songs coming over the airwaves in shops that are full of kids shopping with their parents and on the radio stations, which obviously have a lot of young listeners. The f-word floats out loudly and clearly and no one bats an eyelid. It even occurred during an interview I saw on TF1 once where one of the interviewees said he wanted to eff the other interviewee. I know this is France, but still! It was a little bizarre.
Where the f-word is the one most English speakers resort to when swearing, in France it’s merde (shit). I think it’s ingenious how it has become incorporated into various verbs such as enmerder (to get stuck in the substance), [se] démerder (to get [oneself] out of it) and remerder (to end up in it again). Interestingly I didn’t pick these up from the kids, as I have done most of my French swear words, but from Nicolas Sarkozy, or at least comedian/impersonator Nicolas Cantaloup’s rendition of him.
But enough on the subject swearing. I do enough of it at the animals and the weather at the moment! Let’s finish with a song by Lilly Wood and the Prick. (They sing in English by the way.)