Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Respect the H

En classe today, we were introduced to the Germanic H and the Latin H. Somehow, I muddled through Very Many Years (tm) of French without being aware of the existence of either a Germanic H or a Latin H. But there is a never a dull moment when it comes to French grammar (I have a very haphazard approach to French grammar to begin with, forgetting most of the rules and just throwing articles and genders at a page/conversation and hoping one of them sticks) and hence, I should not have been surprised by the sudden emergence of a second H.

The second H -- the Germanic H -- is also not pronounced, a la the Latin H; however, unlike the Latin H, there is no liasion with the Germanic H. Hence, a Latin H will blend together with its article -- le, la, les -- wheres a Germanic H has no blending, no liasion. An example of a Latin H is l'homme -- man -- and a Germanic H would be Le Hollande (the country). The first example is literally pronounced lohm, while the second is Le Ollande. Got it?

Apparently the Germanic H is prevalent in English too. Words like hero and heir are Germanic -- we don't pronounce the 'h' for those words. The Latin H in English is in words like 'hair'. I'm so glad I take French lessons -- finally, I'm getting some English grammar lessons!

In other news, il fait pleut beaucoup. In other words, living in a swamp is vastly overrated and I've never seen so much rain before in my life. Unfortunately, it's going to rain all through the weekend. This is no good because a group of us are going to the amusement park on Sunday and it'll be no fun getting rained out. I also had the experience of driving very slowly through 'Lake University' as a good chunk of the road at the university was under water. However, a Honda Civic ahead of me made it through with no problems and I'm proud to report my sturdy and dependable Corolla was also able to ford the water.

The one good thing about the copious rain is that many large flying critters with at least six legs met their end on my windshield this past weekend; this rain thankfully eliminated bug guts from the wipers, winshield and whatever that front grate thing is on a car. Also, that nice layer of pollen that accumulates every now and then, that's gone too. Cross car-wash off my list of things to do, thankyouverymuch.

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