The internet black hole I traveled down this morning led me to the website of the French Academy - the body that governs over the French language.
Being word nerds, the Academy has added a "to say and not say" blog to their site which includes posts ranging from reflections on the politicization of the French language in Algeria to burns about French organizations using English words for slogans to straight up grids of how to correctly and incorrectly use French words. I'm actually pretty impressed by the shade the Academy throws. It's harsh. For example, here is the French Academy's reaction to the recently unveiled slogan for Paris 2024 Olympic bid, "Made for Sharing" (the slogan is not translated - it is a slogan in English):
"What can be said about "Made for Sharing," the slogan chosen to promote Paris as the candidate for the 2024 Olympic Games? Are we so ashamed of our language that we dare not use it? Do we think that they can rally a people behind this project by refusing...
Soon it will be the day after Thanksgiving. Soon everyone will be excitedly trading turkey leftover recipes and revelling in some sort of communal turkey endorphin high. "Ohhh, you can put cranberry sauce on your turkey breast and slap some sage aioli on that baby and rub it all over your face for breakfast," they will say. "Shred that leftover turkey into little strips and throw it up in the air like confetti in a celebration of day-old poultry!" I can hear them now.
Well, let me let you in on one of my dirty little secrets. I don't like turkey leftovers. I don't really like fresh turkey all that much, either, but I am into tradition so I appreciate a turkey on Thanksgiving day. But once Thanksgiving is over, I think it is time to move on. And you know what they say. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. That saying really doesn't work at all in this situation, but I think you get the idea.
So, I'm in this wine club. I know what you are thinking. You think that wine clubs are just excuses to get drunk on a week night. Maybe that is true. But this is not any wine club. No, this is The Wine Club. We have Powerpoints, ok? And we take notes. Sure, the notes get less and less comprehensible as the night goes on, but there is a record of our meetings. Not anyone can just join The Wine Club. You will be mailed one of our letterpressed invitations with our motto on it:
C'est ici que tout commence, c'est ici que tout continue, que tout évolue.
Yeah, we are not messing around.
Our invitations drying after being letterpressed
Our most recent Wine Club session was about the Gamay grape, a grape that grows primarily in the Beaujolais region of France. If you want to learn about it, too, check out the amazing Powerpoint I made here. There is some intense, earth-shattering animation in that presentation, so make sure to experience it in slideshow mode.