Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The best words to use . . .

A book I am currently reading about life in France (please, save the tomatoes...) includes a chapter on Marseille. Within these pages I have learned many interesting things, not the least of which being the fact that residents of Marseille speak a version of French quite removed from the rest of the country.

There are differences in accent, spelling, pronunciation, and then there are the words that simply do not exist to other Frenchman. The most interesting aspect of Marseille-Speak, however, would be all the marvelous sayings found there alone.

My personal favorite (and something I have resolved to incorporate into my speech) is a phrase which, literally translated, is “He's good for the fifty-four.” This refers to no. 54—the tram servicing the local mental hospital in days gone by.

So, next time you are tempted to tell someone he's nuts, just tell him he's “good for the 54.”

Mayle, for the third time, you've really done it!

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