mardi 24 novembre 2009

Nombrilisme anglais

This is almost as bad as "the French don't have a word for entrepreneur"...



I occasionally run across clippings I tucked into books years ago, and I just found one that had a quote so marvelous I had to share it with you all. A Scott Kraft piece on the Lumière brothers in the Los Angeles Times of Dec. 24, 1995 (on the occasion of the centennial of their first public exhibition of films to a paying audience) included this sentence:

The Lumière brothers have a special place in the hearts of the French, who now use the word lumière to mean "light."
No, this is not The Onion, and as far as can be told from context he was being entirely serious. (In case you were wondering, lumière is from Latin lūminaria, originally 'torches,' derived from lūmen, -inis 'light'; in northern Gaul, lūminaria ousted the classical word lūx, which is retained in other Romance languages.)

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