Thursday, December 01, 2022

French TV recommendation - Audrey est revenue

A few years back, I decided to work on my French and improve my understanding of French-Canadian culture by watching French-Canadian tv shows with the French close captioning on.

I discovered that the shows that work best for me are comedies because even though I don't understand everything that is being said, they still entertain me and make me laugh.

My current favourite is Audrey est revenue on Télé-Québec.

Although Audrey est revenue has a gentle sense of humour with frequent laughs, it is not really a comedy. It shows Audrey's progress after she comes out of a 15-year coma following a traffic injury on the night of her high school graduation.

The show is not one of those stories where the person out of the coma is just fine but has to comically learn about smart phones, social media and online shopping. 

Audrey is brain injured. She has to relearn how to talk, how to walk, and how to interact with her now divorced parents, her new stepfather and a half-sister born after she was injured.

I've seen all the episodes except the finale that airs tonight. Every episode, I've been blown away by the actor's performances. Without their explicitly saying so, they show how it is such a big deal for their characters that this loved one they thought would never come back to them, has come back. Even the actors with small parts, like the Paratransit driver, manage to subtly convey that their characters are aware of what a big deal it is that they're with Audrey.

Although the finale is being broadcast tonight, you can still stream all the episodes for free on the Télé-Québec website, or by putting the Télé-Québec App on your phone or tablet.

Random notes

One of the two writers of the show is Florence Longpré who plays Audrey and previously played Ada in M’entends-tu? Another awesome show available on Télé-Québec (all 3 seasons) and on Netflix (only the first two seasons but with English subtitles). 

The other writer of the show is Guillaume Lambert who grew up in Sorel-Tracy where the show is set. There are many scenic shots of the town that make me want to spend some time there the next time I'm on my way to Quebec City.

The show has been sold to France and Italy and won major awards, so I'm optimistic that we'll get a second season.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Repress - a new contranym?

I think I spotted a new contronym this morning.

Here's the definition of contranym and one of my favourite examples from Wiktionary:

A contranym or contronym is a word which has two or more generally accepted meanings in the English language that directly or generally contradict each other.



"To permit"; or "to restrict" (as in "economic sanctions").

Wikipedia seems to prefer the term auto-antonym and says:

An auto-antonym or autantonym, also called a contronym or antagonym among other terms, is a word with multiple meanings (senses) of which one is the reverse of another. For example, the word cleave can mean "to cut apart" or "to bind together".

New example - Repress

For a moment, an email this morning from the indie pop band Lucius had me thinking their 2016 album Good Grief was being restrained, prevented or inhibited from being distributed. But then I realized that in fact, the album is to be reissued and given wider release:

Good Grief has just been repressed on limited edition blue wave swirl vinyl through the Minneapolis-based co. Bandbox. [bolding added]

I've done some checking and although I can't find a dictionary that talks about the reissuing of recordings,  people are using the word "repress" to refer to an album release from an original master recording. From Discogs Database Guidelines 6. Format:

...A repress must originate from the original master disc, and the term is only applied to formats that are stamped or pressed out, such as vinyl and CD. The 'Reissue' tag can be used in other circumstances, see the guideline for the correct usage of that tag. 'Reissue' and 'Repress' can be used together...

Other artists are using "repress" as well, like PJ Harvey:
IS THIS DESIRE? is repressed on vinyl. Out 29 January 2021 on UMC/ Island.
and the Skatalites:
REPRESSED: THE SKATALITES “Platinum Ska” LP vinyl includes 3 bonus dubs!
Jamaican ska legends’ latest album “Platinum Ska” finally repressed on vinyl with three bonus dubs.

What to do?

I really don't know what to do now. I feel too intimidated to email the experts at Language Log and adding a word to the lists on Wiktionary and Wikipeda goes way beyond the simple grammatical edits I've done before.  

I see that the Talk page for the Auto-Antonym page on Wikipedia has a heading labeled "oo got a new one". I'll try adding my discovery to that and see what happens.

Update - November 15, 2022

"Repress" won't be appearing in Wiktionary or Wikipedia. At least not this week.

My trial-run on the Auto-antonym Talk page on Wikipedia did not go over well. An editor named Meters didn't think "repress" is an auto-antonym and another editor named Sundayclose thought it is a questionable example and for Wikipedia "a reliable source that these words are auto-antonyms is required". 

I should have realized that Wikipedia would need a source. I've read about celebrities trying to fix mistakes on their Wikipedia pages and having their edits reverted because the mistakes had an internet source and the corrections were only the celebrity's unverified words.

If someone would like to take on a campaign to get a language maven to add "repress" to contranym lists, you have my full support.

But if I find time to put into changing the world, I think I should focus on something that is at least as important to our lives as getting elevator buttons fixed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Watch Lynn Miles from your couch!

One of the great things about living in Ottawa is how often you can go see a Lynn Miles show. 

With the pandemic, these options are more limited, but now Lynn is doing shows from her living room that you can see in your home anywhere in the world.

She did a wonderful show this past Saturday. It had the same intimate feeling as her shows used to have at Rasputin's.

She'll be doing three more, on Saturday nights at 8:00 pm, EST.

$10 tickets are availabe through Sidedoor.

If you are so deprived that you're unfamiliar with Lynn's music, this video will help. 

You can find more videos of Lynn performing on the internet, but they won't give you any appreciation for what she says between songs. 

On the technical side: The shows are broadcast on Zoom. So they'll show up on any internet connected computer. We like to watch on the big TV screen, but to do that, we had to connect a computer to the TV with an HDMI cable. Using our Chromecast was not an option.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

My new way to display marbles

 When you and your spouse both have enormous hoards of marbles, you are always looking for new ways to display them.

This morning I hit on something that had never occurred to me before: hanging them with a spring. I'm sure others have thought of this before, so I'm not the inventor of the technique, but still I'm inordinately pleased with this.

As an added bonus, my habit of hanging on to bits of junk because they might come in handy some day has been rewarded! I have a nice collection of old springs to go through now.

Other marble display methods:

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Local Vegetables

On Friday, we went out to 200 Moodie Drive to buy vegetables that are grown right there. One of the main growers is a friend who recently came to Canada from Syria.

The vegetables were sold to us by this charming man and if you bring the lovely Manon with you, he will give you extra free vegetables with the things you ask for.

My main object in going was to get these eggplants that I've never seen anywhere else. It turns out they are called, Graffiti, Zebra or Sicilian Eggplants. They are awesome. And another benefit of bringing the lovely Manon with you, is that she might be inspired when she gets home to make eggplant parmesan with some Graffiti eggplants. Oh, that eggplant parmesan is good! Eggplant Parmesan Night could conceivably take the number one spot away from Grilled Cheese Night.

Along with the Graffiti eggplants, they have Italian Eggplants, various types of zuccini, fresh garlic, and cucumbers including Armenian cucumbers that look really weird.

Later in the season, they will have tomatoes and other vegetables including a type of green vegetable that is popular in Syria, but not well known here.


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cooking with Manon Episode 3 - Grilled Cheese Night!

 Grilled Cheese Night is my favourite. I should only eat one, but I always ask for two.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

My new haircut

259 days ago, I had a #4 buzz cut from a professional hair stylist who came to our yard. I loved it. Since then, the hair has been slowly growing longer until I could stand it no longer.

It became clear that if I wanted another haircut, I would have to take action. So I ordered a "Wahl Canada Elite Pro High Performance Home Hair Cutting Kit" and it arrived shortly after 5pm today.

I found a helpful Youtube video where a man named Chris Roberts shows how to give a buzz cut and I made Manon watch it.

It took some convincing, but I persuaded her to use the clippers on me after supper.

I am glad to report that the lovely Manon has learned a new skill and I am extremely happy with my new hair cut.