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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There are a lot of different theories about language learning in children and theories on how to raise bilingual kids, but my parents weren’t having any of that. As a result of this and my own peculiar synapses, I have what I call Rabies Moments.

In Spanish, if something drives you crazy (annoys you), it da rabia [it gives one rabies]. I knew the idiomatic expression my whole life, but I never actually made the connection of the meaning of the words until after I’d moved to Spain in 2005 and started examining every. single. thing. everyone said. Of course, I knew from reading Cujo as a lass that a dog with rabies is “a mad dog” and knew from Shakespeare and other olde English lit that “mad” was the Old World equivalent of “crazy.” Once I’d realized the totally logical (colloquial) connection between the two phrases, I started finding them everywhere.

So, in the future when I talk about Rabies, I’ll probably be referencing this phenomenon. Rest assured that I was frothing mad when I made the link I’ll mention since some of this shit’s so obvious, it’s painful to even acknowledge how totally dumb I can still be.