Tuesday, May 19, 2009

on en a mare (sic)

Seen on our walk yesterday morning. This is one of the gates of the park of Tiny Town's manor (it's technically a "chateau" but it's only a couple hundred years old, it feels funny to call it a castle), which are now the Town Hall and a public park. Anyway, it says "POLICE et GENDARME on en a MARE" which basically translates to "Police and Gendarmes (State Police), we've had it up to HERE." It's hard to take them seriously when they can't spell (should be "marre") but it just goes to show that we're not exempt from graffiti out here in the boonies.

Speaking of boonies, I stumbled on a website that featured postcards from around 1900 of Tiny Town, and you'd think it would be even smaller but in fact it had everything back then! A hospital, a courthouse, and since we're on a river, a mill or two and a couple of factories. All gone now. I'd love to know at what point everything changed. May have to do a little homework...


Matthew and Tara said...
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Clare said...

It's a constant amazement to me how big villages in France were way back then. One village near us which has only got a Vival and the ecole primaire for the area used to be a thriving community with 8 bars, 3 boulangeries, butcher, alimentaire, etc. When we first moved here our tiny village had a boulangerie, depot du pain/alimentaire, bar/restau, the ecole maternelle for the area and was thriving. Now it's got the ecole only and is dead!

Tant pis! C'est la vie.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the depopulation had a lot to do with WWI, the Great Depression and WWII. It would be fascinating to hear the story as told by locals who remember.

daen said...

(From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8096988.stm)

The other day I was reading an article in a French newspaper about how we regularly mishear words, particularly in foreign languages, and how that completely changes our comprehension of the conversation.

The writer spoke of a British acquaintance of his who was struck when he arrived in France by how much the French seemed to talk about Johnny Marr, the Smiths' guitarist.

Until the writer realised what his friend was actually hearing was "J'en ai marre (I'm sick of it)".

He went on in his article to inform his readers that the English even had a phrase for such a misunderstanding. It was called, he said confidently, a "slip of the ear".

Vivi said...

That's pretty hilarious, daen!