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#7832 - 10/13/00 03:18 PM The Vidal Spark  
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maverick Offline
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4 lovely quotes from Gore Vidal, interviewed on BBC Radio 4.

“Southern ladies know everything…
They’re born knowing everything.
They are born unshocked.”


“Senile diabetes – the (American doctors) were somewhat rude about it. ‘Mature onset’ diabetes… hm, they (Brits) always have a name for it!”


A story about Macmillan, strait-laced English Prime Minister, meeting M & Mme Charles de Gaulle…

Mac: “What does madame look forward to in retirement from public life?”
Madame:….“A penis.”
Mac: “Oh. Aah. Yes. Yes, well, I, uh,… yes, suppose….”
The words crumble in his mouth. De Gaulle leans across -
De Gaulle: “She means happiness!”


And one of his Grandma’s sayings:
“You know, you’ve got to be careful not to stir up more snakes than you can kill!”

which I would like to suggest as an aphorism dedicated to fellow awaders


This reminds me of that saying by the inimitable WC Fields:

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite – furthermore, always carry a small snake.”

New and old hands, bless you all: keep those snakes loose and climbing all sorts of ladders.



#7833 - 10/13/00 06:31 PM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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belMarduk Offline
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I love it Mav. Thanks for those quotes. I can just hear Mme. De Gaulle dropping that H. (Hs are always silent at the beginnings of French words, and for some unknown reason French people ADD Hs when saying English words starting in a vowel..Happle, Hever, Honly...colour me clueless as to why)


#7834 - 10/13/00 06:47 PM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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Max Quordlepleen Offline
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[greeen]. (Hs are always silent at the beginnings of French words, and for some unknown reason French people ADD Hs when saying English words starting in a vowel..Happle, Hever, Honly...colour me clueless as to why)[/geeen]

I have a friend, a Lancashire man, who does exatly the same. He drops H's from the beginning of words like horse, and adds them before initial vowels. Has nyone heard of that famous literary character, Captain Hay'ab?


#7835 - 10/13/00 08:19 PM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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JaneEsp Offline
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JaneEsp  Offline
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I have heard an explanation for this adding/dropping of 'H' phenomenon, but I'm not sure I buy it completely. The theory is that the French speaker is in fact producing a sort of half-hearted-H in BOTH places. When our English/American ears EXPECT an "h" we note the lack of it, and when we expect no "h" we note its (faint) presence. This may be true, but somehow to me it doesn't feel true. Anyone out there buying it? Or besting it?


#7836 - 10/13/00 09:01 PM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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belMarduk Offline
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Hi Jane,

All you have to do is drop on in here (Montréal, Québec in Canada) to see that it is true. Drop by the French side of the Island and speak in English - you'll hear Hs poppin up where they shouldn't and missing where they should. If the person knows you, you will be greeted with a friendly, "Jane, ow har you?"

It is a well-known phenomenon in Québec and comedians (French and English) sometimes rag on us a bit for it. Those trying to learn English must really put in the effort to try to correct this tendency.



#7837 - 10/14/00 12:43 AM Re: Southern Ladies  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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"Southern ladies know everything… They’re born knowing everything. They are born unshocked.”

Jackie, let's leave 'em in suspense on this one.


#7838 - 10/15/00 07:06 AM Re: Southern Ladies  
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Bridget Offline
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"Southern ladies know everything… They’re born knowing everything. They are born unshocked.”

Unshocked or unshockable?

When I think about it, the ability to be shocked seems to be a learned one. Most children are far less shockable than most adults. At least, that's how it appears to me.


#7839 - 10/16/00 03:39 PM Re: Southern Ladies  
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TEd Remington Offline
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>"Southern ladies know everything… They’re born knowing everything. They are born unshocked.”

But usually their hair gets much thicker later in life.



TEd
#7840 - 10/17/00 03:29 PM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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RhubarbCommando Offline
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for some unknown reason French people ADD Hs when saying English words starting in a vowel..

Maybe they learnt their English from Cockney speakers, who tend to do the same.
My favourite story illustrating this habit is as follows:

Family party at London Zoo, at the Aviary designed by Lord Snowden. Big argument in progress - "It's a Howl.", declares Grandma. "No it hain't - it's a Heagle," counters young Bert. This exchange is repeated several times, before Grandma spots a Zoo Keeper. "'Ere, young Bill, go an' ask that there man wot this 'ere bird is." Off goes Billy, and comes back a minute later, slightly out of breath, to confound them all with the information. "Hit ain't neither a Howl nor a Heagle - it's an 'awk!"


#7841 - 10/18/00 12:29 AM Re: The Vidal Spark  
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belMarduk Offline
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Substitute London Zoo for Montréal Biodome and it sounds exactly French people trying to converse in English. There has GOT to be a reason for this similarity. Any students of speech among us??



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