I just asked someone, “How do you say Vorlesung in Korean?”
euny hong official bloody web site.
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Hong (Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners, 2006, etc.) has a mischievous sense of humor when it comes to culture clashes, so it’s a pleasure to see her turn her wicked talents on “Hallyu.”
I used to have my own weekly TV column in the Financial Times, back when you could actually get paid pots of money for writing what bloggers now write for free. Because of my resentment of those kinds of gigs having disappeared, I don’t usually write about TV unless someone is paying me to do so. But I cannot resist. After last night’s Mad Men episode, I just cannot.
First of all, that genius, jazz-quality riffing between Don and Peggy when they were coming up with the ad campaign for Burger Chef.
(I’m paraphrasing here. Don’t feel like rewatching the episode to check quotes)
Peggy: What is Burger Chef rescuing people from…. What if the mom can’t cook because she was at work?
Don (incredulously): What kind of work would she be doing?
Peggy (also incredulously): You are surrounded by mothers who work!
Don: It’s too depressing for an ad.
This is amazing dialogue. Nailed it. Nailed it, reason 1: This natural, automatic assumption that working mothers symbolise the erosion of civilised living. How horrific it sounds to our modern ears, all the more horrific because we can’t help feeling it contains a ring of truth. Which is of course NOT to say that mothers shouldn’t work, but that almost 100% of working mothers still feel terribly, terribly guilty about working.
Nailed it, reason 2: Creative epiphany comes after painful, truth-telling sacrifice. After Peggy’s gut-wrenching reflection on what she did wrong her life, that is the very very moment at which she realises she has stumbled on the perfect ad campaign.
Bravo, Weiner. Chapeau.
Une femme ayant sa raison,
Un chat passant parmi les livres,
Des amis en toute saison
Sans lesquels je ne peux pas vivre.
If you were to ask me which fictional character I most identified with, of course I’d say Lizzy Bennett or Cathy Earnshaw. But there’s another, rather less appealing one: the 14 c. hunchback Italian monk Salvatore from Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, who speaks no real language but a mixture of at least half a dozen, including Latin, vulgate Italian, French, Spanish, English, German. Here’s a sampling of his speech:
penitenziagite! watch out for the draco who cometh in futurum to gnaw your anima! death is super nos! pray the santo pater come to liberar nos a malo and all our sin! ha ha, you like this negromanzia de domini nostri jesu christi! et anco jois m’es dols e plazer m’es dolors…cave el diabolo!
That. Is. What. Speech. Sounds. Like. In. My. Head. And it’s alienating. And lonely, unless you are around people who are like you. Which is why in some ways it’s fitting that this character would be a hunchback, and burned as a heretic (spoilers fair game; if you’d wanted to read an Eco novel you’d have read it already.)
I only know 4 languages. And I do mean “only”–Americans think 4 is a great deal, but I know loads of people who speak a lot more languages than 4. But I often can’t think of the word for something in one language and I get very frustrated when the correct word, but in the wrong language, wants to trip off my tongue. I honestly feel like some kind of feral child sometimes. Like those nightmares some people have – and I am one of them – about wanting to say something but finding you are mute. Or trying to text someone and discovering your phone keeps texting the wrong words.
Those consonants at the end the phrase “coup de grace” are not silent. So if you pronounce it coup de “graaahhh,” I will laugh. Not to be mean, but because phonetically speaking, you have just said “a blow of fat.” (coup de gras, as it were, which I hope is not a real thing)