Page 1 of 2

Jan's writing basics #5a--An interesting word

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:07 pm
by glorybee
Hiya, class!

I've had some computer issues and some family issues, both of which are taking me out of town tomorrow (Monday). I hope to be back in time to post a class Monday afternoon or evening--I'll write it in the car. Yeah, on paper, with a pencil.

In the meantime, I'll give you the

Quick Take

Okay, picture this--you're working away in the kitchen. Everyone's waiting around the table, and you bring in something wonderful with a cover on it. You lift up the cover, and you say...

Or for those of you who aren't cooks, let's try this scenario. You're getting ready for a really nice evening out. You've been primping for hours, and your spouse is waiting expectantly on the sofa. You peek around the corner, then hop out in full view, saying...

What did you say? Wahlah? Walla? Waa laa?

Nope, nor any similar variation. What you said was "Voila!"

It's French, a form of their verb voir, to see. Those who know more French than I should feel free to correct me, but I believe it means approximately "see there!" Our word voyeur has the same root.

I've seen this word misspelled many, many times. That French "v" at the beginning almost sounds like a "w", and if you've never seen it written, that's quite often what you might hear. A very understandable mistake.

Go here to hear it pronounced correctly.

A full lesson on another topic altogether will follow in a day or so. Bear with me.

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:08 am
by violin4jesus

I hate those French words....never sound like they're spelled.... :roll:

Re: Jan's writing basics #5--Topic TBA

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:40 pm
by Anja
glorybee wrote:
What did you say? Wahlah? Walla? Waa laa?

Nope, nor any similar variation. What you said was "Voila!"
Thank you... from a Canadian... who, although she doesn't speak French as fluently as the promoters of national bilingualism would have hoped, still recognizes when the language is being butchered.

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:03 pm
by Symphonic
I've also seen it misspelled as "Viola!" But then, I do know some violists who are very good cooks... :)

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:49 pm
by Cajunluvie
Ah, the language of the French.

I took three years of Parisian French in high school. My grandparents, except one, were native Franco-phones in Louisiana. Granted, Acadien French is a sub dialect but many words are retained.


Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:23 pm
by yvonblake
I love French words! Sometimes they express things better than we can in English. Yes, voila means "see there." You'd be surprised how many French words are part of our daily vocabulary-hors d'ouevre, professor, deja vu, etc. (On the other hand, they are taking some of our English words - le weekend, le hotdog, etc.)

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:34 pm
by glorybee
I'll give one of Jan's coveted gold stars to anyone and everyone who's willing to admit that they've been writing this word wrong...I just need to know that these "classes" are actually reaching the people who will benefit!

Seriously, a gold star is very close in value to a Pulitzer Prize for Literature. C'mon, someone. 'Fess up.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:45 pm
by Chely
Lol. I am not fessing up to nothin'.

This made me think about something though. What if you are using a foreign word in dialogue that will establish a character? For instance, I saw the movie Inglorious Bastards. In it, Brad Pitt's character was from the hills of Tennessee, and he had a wicked accent. At one point in the movie he said (while preposterously undercover as an Italian), "Arrivederci." I laughed out loud because he said it more like, "Erreevadirtchee." :lol:

So, in some cases, I think it could add more to your story if you spell it out phonetically as the character would say it, but only if said character is pronouncing it wrong. :D

(Just ignore me and listen to Jan. I've had four lattes today and I am rambling.)

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:03 pm
by glorybee
Chely, I would allow for that. Unfortunately, it ain't always the case.

No gold star for you.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:28 pm
by Chely
glorybee wrote: No gold star for you.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:17 pm
by philippa
Do I get a gold star for confessing that as a chronic 'can't speller' I have probably -very probably- spelt it wrongly? Voila! Your classes are reaching out and making us reflect. P

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:26 pm
by glorybee
A gold star for Philippa!

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:43 pm
by philippa
Oh Yippee (hover hover hover)

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:45 am
by A Nonny Mouse
Having taken two years of French in high school from a teacher who was the wife of an ambassador to France, I have to say that I not only can spell it correctly but can also say it correctly.

However, the teacher's name (which we were required to say "en fran├žais" as well) was "Madame Waller" and many times I found myself incorrectly pronouncing her name as... "Voila"! I guess I threw in a little German with the French pronunciation.

(and there I go with the exclamation point again. jeepers.)

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:22 am
by philippa
Aw Nonnie Mouse we will love yu' despite lots of '!'. :lol:
I agree with you - this class is a great learning area and heaps of fun.
I wonder will dashes come under scrutiny one day. I like dashes a lot.
Do you think I am talking in class right now? Perhaps I should not be rattling on.
Just a thought before my silence. Maybe you can enter the 50 word challenge on the blog site and since it is all about winning gold - or not - you can exclaim until your heart is content. P.