Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

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“Jennifer poops at parties and peoples know this?”

This video had me crying within the first minute. Is it just because I love Germans so much? That’s very possible, but I think that it’s because this is hilarious and because English is really damn hard and there are so many things which can be misinterpreted.

WARNING: Do not watch this video if you are eating or drinking. You may choke.

Learn something

A “party pooper” is a person who sucks the fun out of a social occasion. Other ways to express this idea include saying that someone is a killjoy, a wet blanket or a spoilsport.

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James Brown v. Kool & The Gang in Paris

Saw these signs at the train station at CDG airport and couldn’t help but giggle a bit because they immediately brought to mind an epic showdown.

In this corner, The Godfather of Soul, Jaaaaaaaaaaaames Brown!

SNCF Get uphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMjOn7YjtWI

Aaaaaand in this corner, the New Jersey funksters, Kool & The Gaaaaaaaaaang!

SNCF Get down

I know that English is hard and I know that phrasal verbs (verbs + particle and/or preposition which form new meanings) are hard, but I laughed all the same because I am Spanish, and, therefore, an asshole.

For the record

I’m not sure who would win in this epic battle of funktacularness, but since Eddie Murphy used to do James Brown on SNL in “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub“, he gets the edge because I have all the SNL sketches in my brain all the time.


English is hard: The Chaos (1920)

It’s not everyday that I appreciate that I already know how to speak and write well in English. Sometimes, I don’t even think about it at all, but when I come across something like Gerard Nolst Trenité’s (a Dutchman!) 1920 poem “The Chaos,” I thank my lucky stars.

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse.

I will keep you, Susybusy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
Queer, fair seerhear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare hearthear and heard,
Dies and dietlord and word.

Sword and swardretain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Saysaidpaypaidlaid but plaid. Continue reading

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English is hard: A one-way monkey edition

In this day and age, it’s hard to know when there’s a genuine moment on reality TV. There are so many recognized tropes and cliché phrases that the whole genre is basically a parody of itself. But sometimes, there’s a moment that’s so wonderful that I don’t even care if it was planned.

Last week’s “Project Runway” had one of its contestants, Dmitry Sholokhov, a native of Belarus, complaining about how another contestant is always doing the same thing. “He’s a one-way monkey,” he said, causing me to start laughing for a good thirty seconds. “No. No, I mean, a one-trick pony,” he quickly added, smiling a little bit.

Don’t bother making fun of me for watching such a dumb show. I can’t really explain it since I don’t care at all about fashion. It’s possible that what keeps me coming back are the interstitial shots of New York City locations. Maybe that’s what a one-way monkey can be: something that stubbornly moves ahead, regardless of what lies there.