Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#5284 08/16/00 05:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 4
R
reeses Offline OP
stranger
OP Offline
stranger
R
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 4
Many years ago a college professor of mine told us the word that describes "knowing the right thing to say after the right time to say it has passed." I remembered it for about 5 seconds and then, whoooosh!, out of the brain it went. Does ANYONE know what that word might be????


#5285 08/17/00 10:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
J
member
Offline
member
J
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
What the French call "esprit d'escalier" or "l'esprit de l'escalier", ie the witty saying (or bon mot) that only comes to mind too late. From the French philosopher Diderot, <Paradoxe sur le comedien>. Sorry I can't work out how to do pronunciation accents.


#5286 08/17/00 02:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
broadly, ess-SPREE dess-kahl-YAY

broadly translated, wit of the staircase

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations:"An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."

on a related note: afterwit - wisdom or perception that comes after it can be of use


#5287 08/17/00 03:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 200
W
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
W
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 200

"An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."

now this is one i can use, since i NEVER think of the smart retort until it's too late.
mind you, it's not on the stairs, it's usually after a couple of whiskies back at home.
esprit de l'esprit?


#5288 08/17/00 07:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Welcome aBoard, reeses!
Are you related to the candy, by any chance?
(And if you are, will you adopt me?)

Anyway--don't "tritz" as you drink your spirits, going
either up or down the stairs!


#5289 08/18/00 01:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
J
member
Offline
member
J
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
I know a few people with the tendency to make a witty and barbed comment rather too readily - they'd benefit from a dose of esprit d'escalier. Is there a single word to describe that, I wonder?


#5290 08/18/00 01:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
J
member
Offline
member
J
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
<Sorry I can't work out how to do pronunciation accents.>

what i really meant was that i couldn't figure out how to put in the acutes, graves, cedillas, etc.





#5291 08/18/00 01:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
J
member
Offline
member
J
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
.........and i've always wondered what you call the "O" with a diagonal line through it that you get in Swedish, Norwegian, etc./???????????


#5292 08/18/00 01:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
J
member
Offline
member
J
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 167
oh look I'm a newbie!!!!!!!!


#5293 08/18/00 03:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 4
R
reeses Offline OP
stranger
OP Offline
stranger
R
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 4
"esprit d'escalier"!!!
This is not exactly what I was looking for---it's better! Being of Cajun descent, I much prefer the French phrase to the word the professor actually gave us which was "afterwit". Thanks y'all for the great input!

P.S. How does one move from being "stranger" (than what?) to "newbie", etc...?


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,904
Posts228,050
Members9,150
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Zekiye, silvercity_becky, gonekrazzzy, accCngrssMRA, rexdee
9,150 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (A C Bowden), 79 guests, and 1 robot.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,807
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.26 Page Time: 0.015s Queries: 34 (0.005s) Memory: 2.9337 MB (Peak: 3.2481 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2021-12-07 17:58:49 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS