notes from an urban hibernation

Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn

Dick & Jane, Janet & John, & Brian

 

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When I was learning to read I met Dick and Jane.  They were in our school books.  As we progressed and gathered more words, we learned what Dick and Jane did, where they lived and what they ate.  We learned what colors were in their life and how large or small things were. We met their parents and their pets. Dick and Jane taught us language to describe the world we lived in.  English friends have spoken of Janet and John.  They learned about their own world through Janet and John.  Same idea but no doubt they learned different words for the same things.

On Saturday we walked from Porte de Champerret back into the center of the city. Most of the walk was through wide streets and quiet well-heeled neighborhoods.  There was not a lot of street activity.  Each time we attempted to get off the main boulevards and meander through smaller streets we automatically came back to the big, airy places.  It was a sunny morning so the big spaces were pleasant. After the residential areas, we passed through equally wide streets with shops full of expensive things. Eventually we found more normal streets with more normal mixes of shops.  We passed a restaurant with the name Brian is in the Kitchen.  I found it a funny name.  Then it was explained to me that this is a joke which everyone knows.  It is a joke shared by French people who have learned to speak English.  It is not the learning of children but it is the same thing in that people with names and personalities are used to explain the world in another language.  The question asked is Where is Brian? The answer is always Brian is in the Kitchen.

EVH

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This entry was posted on February 8, 2016 by .
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