169
submitted 1 month ago by ElCanut@jlai.lu to c/comics@lemmy.ml
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[-] Shdwdrgn@mander.xyz 12 points 1 month ago

If there's a stick of butter on the table, an ear of corn will get rolled right across the top. How's that for efficiency? 😆

[-] dohpaz42@lemmy.world 4 points 1 month ago

That’s just how’s it’s supposed to be done.

[-] Shdwdrgn@mander.xyz 3 points 1 month ago

Well yeah, but oddly some people are offended by it. Like, do you not know how to eat sweet corn?

[-] Albbi@lemmy.ca 3 points 1 month ago

When I was doing farm work, the Mennonite colony nearby who provided meals had a vertical butter contraption for cobs of corn. You just stick it in, rub it around and presto, perfectly buttered corn.

[-] Shdwdrgn@mander.xyz 2 points 1 month ago

Interesting, I've never seen something like that!

[-] Albbi@lemmy.ca 3 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Might have just been something like this with an interesting jar that I couldn't see inside.

[-] davel@lemmy.ml 12 points 1 month ago

I’ve never heard anyone say “on people” instead of “about people”? Is it an Albany expression?

[-] Zagorath@aussie.zone 7 points 1 month ago

Probably made by a non-native English speaker. Prepositions are so unique to each language and oftentimes seemingly randomly chosen (is that à, de, sur, or no preposition at all, French?). If you roughly know a one-to-one translation of the prepositions from your language into English, you can often get it wrong just like this.

[-] azertyfun@sh.itjust.works 2 points 1 month ago

En France, Au Canada, À New-York, Aux Seychelles, À Cuba.

Don't try to find a logic, there literally is none and anyone who tells you otherwise is just retrofitting rules to chaotic data and will inevitably have a list of exceptions longer than a French politician's criminal record. Half of it is literally just "what was grammatically fashionable at the time this toponym was discovered/imported/created".

This does not excuse English's abuse of prepositions though. Why do I get on the bus but in the car? Why, English?

[-] slouching_employer@lemmy.one 3 points 1 month ago

I once heard a non-native English speaker tell me they remember “on” vs. “in” as “if you can walk around while on it (train, plane, bus) then it’s on, if you can’t (car) then it’s in.”

I kind of liked that description.

[-] Zagorath@aussie.zone 2 points 1 month ago

It's definitely not an "excuse", but I don't think I'd say English is any worse than French in this regard. Just the examples you gave, they're all "go to a country"*, but we've got "en", "à", and "à la" (with conjugations). They're as bad as each other.

* New York obviously not a country, but its preposition is a duplicate of Cuba anyway, so doesn't change the point being made.

[-] azertyfun@sh.itjust.works 2 points 1 month ago

French is definitely way more complex than English grammatically which is comparatively dead simple. Although things get deceptively hard at more advanced levels (get up/to/at/through/off all mean wildly different things for instance and that's just crazy).

Where learning English actually gets tricky is the unpredictable pronunciation with zero rules. Through/Thorough/Thought/Cough/Geoff? Read/read? French has some exceptions when it comes to pronunciation but mostly follows a standard (albeit complex) set of rules that lets a native speaker approach an unknown new word with relative confidence. When I learned how y'all pronounce "Hermione" my eyes just about popped out of their sockets, why tf does "ione" have as many syllables as "secretary"?

[-] Zagorath@aussie.zone 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

French is at least mostly consistent, but its pronunciation is pretty wild to someone familiar with literally any other language written using a Latin script.

Mangé, manger, mangez, mangeai, mangeais, mangeaient. The first 3 are the same as each other, the last 3 also form an identical set with each other. All 6 are very similar. Then you've got mangerai, mangerais, mangeraient, mangerez... Or mange, manges, mangent.

why tf does “ione” have as many syllables as “secretary”?

idk, why does mangeaient have a grand total of 50% of its letters being entirely silent and contributing nothing to its pronunciation (or rather, all collectively contributing as much as ´ does).

Et maintenant, je dois manger le dîner. J'ai faim...

[-] azertyfun@sh.itjust.works 2 points 1 month ago

Silent letters make boys grow into men! Or something. You can know how to pronounce those if you read them, but you definitely can't know how to write those if you hear them.

Thankfully informal French gets rid of a few of the examples you gave by always using the composed form. Je mange, j'ai mangé, je vais manger, ils auraient mangé. All the tenses you actually need (don't mind the irregular forms of être/avoir). And we still fuck up and write mangé and manger interchangeably anyways.

Fun socio-linguistic fact: Mangerai and mangerais are distinct in Belgian (and I think Swiss?) French (é vs è ending) but not in France French (è in either case). There are a few other archaisms like this such as the Belgian/Swiss distinction between the pronunciation of "brun" and "brin" that the French don't make either.

[-] Zagorath@aussie.zone 2 points 1 month ago

You can know how to pronounce those if you read them, but you definitely can’t know how to write those if you hear them.

I do wonder about the history of that. Presumably they used to be pronounced distinctly and at some point the language evolved the habit of dropping ending sounds? L'academie would never go for this, but it seems like French would benefit from some spelling reform. What's wrong with je mange, il mange, ils mange‽  

Thankfully informal French gets rid of a few of the examples you gave

I'll admit one of the examples I gave was passé simple, which I recall my teacher saying is the "literary tense" and can be safely ignored; I included it only to make up the neat 3/3. But were any of the others rarely used?

The tenses I was told to care about were present, imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, conditional, futur simple, and futur proche. And tbh I still don't really understand the difference between those last two, so in practice I'd either think about whether in English I want to say "I'm going to" or "I will", or just default to futur proche 'cos it's easier. And I know you can do some fun stuff like the "past in the future" and "future in the past" by applying different tenses of the auxiliary verbs in perfect & futur proche tenses, even if those aren't especially useful to know very often. But yeah, I thought that apart from the passé simple my examples were pretty standard. Is that not so?

Mangerai and mangerais are distinct in Belgian (and I think Swiss?) French (é vs è ending) but not in France French

That is fun! My favourite fun French dialect fact is about septante, nonante, and huitante/octante being used in Swiss French and maybe Belgian and non-Quebec Canadian French instead of soixante-dix, quatre-vingt-dix, and quatre-vingt. I'm not sure of the history there, but I like it.

[-] azertyfun@sh.itjust.works 2 points 1 month ago

What’s wrong with je mange, il mange, ils mange‽

Nothing in theory, but my native ass recoiled in horror at "ils mange". I know it's literally equivalent and I shouldn't care, but French is culturally very attached to its written form, even moreso than English (the reasons why being outlined at the end of my comment).

But yeah, I thought that apart from the passé simple my examples were pretty standard. Is that not so?

In the written form, yes. In the oral form, it depends. Futur proche has evolved to be used quite generally.

  • Je mangerai: Can be rather formal? Not unusual but I'm more likely to say "ce soir je vais (j'vais) manger une salade" than "ce soir je mangerai une salade". Or in an email I will say "je verrai ça avec X" but on the phone I'll say "je vais voir ça avec X". I think the comparison to will vs going to is adequate, the main difference is that going to uses too many syllables; I'd say futur proche has the ease-of-use of "gonna" but the somewhat formal connotation of "going to".
  • Je mangerais / ils mangeraient / vous mangerez: Basically the same thing but with "j'aurais mangé / ils auraient mangé / vous allez manger" as the thing I'd be most likely to say orally.

French conjugation is incredibly complex by any standard, and especially compared to English. There are tenses (e.g. imparfait du subjonctif) that are so archaic they're a complete meme and they shouldn't be used even in the most formal literary setting.
Sarkozy (well-known for being a feisty classist right-wing money-laundering asshole) using it as an obvious flex made the news at the time and everyone made fun of him. To this day I'm not even sure if he actually conjugated that correctly (and neither are the people in the comments lmao). That video is absolute gold, the eyebrow raise he does as if to say "and there" tells you everything you need to know about his character.


That is fun! My favourite fun French dialect fact is about septante, nonante, and huitante/octante being used in Swiss French and maybe Belgian and non-Quebec Canadian French instead of soixante-dix, quatre-vingt-dix, and quatre-vingt. I’m not sure of the history there, but I like it.

The Celts! No, seriously. They used a vigidecimal (base 20) system and since they counted in "twenties", "four twenties" is an artifact of that. So are 'single digit' numbers up to 20 (quatorze/quinze/etc). In that way "Quatre-ving-quatorze" is arguably correct base-20, but "quatre-ving-dix-huit" is not (because there is no dedicated number for 18 anymore so the whole thing is clunky, but "quatre-ving huitorze" would be fine conceptually).
I wonder if the germanic "eleven/twelve" is related or if it's an equivalent but unrelated evolution for counting scores.


Regarding the history of the language and its lack of reform, I am not a specialist but this guy and his colleagues are (if you're willing to go through half an hour of French with admittedly very good auto-generated English captions). But generally the idea is that the Académie and the system which created it have worked together since the early 19th century (which not uncoincidentally had the last major reform of the French language) to turn language into a very strong marker of social status. Like, very.

French people (and esp. Parisians) have a reputation for being assholes who will get mad at foreigners for mispronouncing words or using the wrong grammatical gender. That's asshole behavior but there are assholes everywhere, so why the French in particular? Because the French are taught from the age of 5 that their mastery of the French language (both written and spoken) will be the main thing for which they will be judged in life. As the middle class rose in the 19th/early 20th century, they got access to more/longer education where grammar/spelling was very heavily emphasized. Proper grammar/spelling then became a huge indicator of a good education and predictor of social mobility.
This fundamentally classist idea persisted well beyond the industrial revolution and it remains a very big talking point. "Young people can't write anymore" is probably the most common/recurring moral panic, and the idea that children age 6-12 should do mandatory daily (!!) graded spelling bees again is a regular conservative talking point because that's how they grew up (and it's still the policy with more... catholic-conservative teachers, I had some of those).
We don't usually even have spelling bee competitions (in all my schooling there was only ever one that I knew of), because stellar spelling is the expectation, not the over-achievement.
I'm sure that happens to a lesser degrees for English speakers, but now consider how much harder French is to write. I hope I got across how incredibly neurotic the French are over these matters.

[-] Zagorath@aussie.zone 2 points 1 month ago

Je mangerais / ils mangeraient / vous mangerez: Basically the same thing but with “j’aurais mangé / ils auraient mangé / vous allez manger”

Oh interesting. That's not a conjugation I've ever learnt. In formal language are those kinda similar the same way je vais manger and je mangerai are at least mostly the same thing, or is it similar to what their more literal English translation looks like "I would eat" vs "I would have eaten", which have quite different meanings?

The Celts! No, seriously.

Oh yeah, no, I understand that. What I'm curious about is where septante etc. came from, and what process lead to their use in most other French-speaking countries apart from France.

if you’re willing to go through half an hour of French

Haha, unfortunately my French grammar is pretty decent, but my vocab is abysmal. Put it down to an entirely academic introduction to French in school, with almost no exposure to natural French.

Thanks for all that history/cultural information. I already knew that l'Academie was incredibly conservative (I feel like that's so well-known that even people with no interest in language are at least vaguely aware of it—I often see references to l'Academie in the western tech press, for example), but I didn't know anything about the wider cultural context surrounding that.

But anyway yeah, it was really just a hypothetical. I'm fully aware that in the real world there's zero chance of it happening. Even in English, without that level of cultural baggage or institutional oversight, there have been many proposals for spelling reform, none of which ever go anywhere.

[-] azertyfun@sh.itjust.works 2 points 1 month ago

In formal language are those kinda similar the same way je vais manger and je mangerai are at least mostly the same thing

I think I confused myself lol. Explaining intuitive grammar rules formally is surprisingly hard. You are right, "Je mangerais" == I would eat, "J'aurais mangé" == I would have eaten. Very bad example on my part because the conditional tense is actually one that escapes the general tendency of modern French to slowly move away from those simple past/future tenses which have a formal connotation. It's very much not a complete transition, but "vous allez manger" and "vous mangerez" are semantically equivalent but the former would be used in a lot of (but not all) day-to-day situations, even though the more formal future tense would probably used in an equivalent but formal or literary context.

To say "you will do as I say", an angry mother will say to her kid "tu vas faire c'que j'te dis!" but an angry boss will say "vous ferez ce que je vous dis". Completely different tenses, exact same meaning.
Whereas English generally only changes tenses to imply a change in habituality/causality. "You will have done as I say" implies another causal event between "now" and "you will have done", and French doesn't have a clean way to convey that from conjugation alone.

Even in English, without that level of cultural baggage or institutional oversight, there have been many proposals for spelling reform, none of which ever go anywhere.

I would say that reforming English would be counter-intuitively harder than reforming French. French spelling is rather orthodox, and getting rid of exceptions + simplifying orthographic rules would be pretty straightforward and could be done incrementally (it was supposed to be the job of the Académie before they turned conservative; they weren't always which explains how they survived the French Revolution!). English spelling is so inconsistent, if you were to make up strict pronunciation rules, adhering to them would require a completely new vocabulary and you might as well switch to Hangul (which would admittedly be pretty dope).

[-] Jax@sh.itjust.works 9 points 1 month ago

My mom has her shit together.

The woman will fork the butter. I'll walk into the kitchen and see a perfect stick of butter, with the ends clearly carved into with a fork.

I think the lesson I took from it is; it doesn't matter what the tool is supposed to be used for as long as the job gets done.

[-] this@sh.itjust.works 9 points 1 month ago

I don't care how the butter is cut as long as its free of breadcrumbs.

[-] rcbrk@lemmy.ml 1 points 1 month ago

I use the vegemite knife on the butter.

[-] DrPop@lemmy.world 4 points 1 month ago

My wife slices straight through the wax paper every time. I call her a monster, she claims it saves time.

[-] Gladaed@feddit.de 4 points 1 month ago

If you use a substatial portion of the butter (1/4th) this is the correct behavior.

[-] loaExMachina@sh.itjust.works 3 points 1 month ago

But doesn't she have to then remove the paper from the slice? Wouldn't that take more time if she ends up taking several?

[-] frightful_hobgoblin@lemmy.ml 3 points 1 month ago

Relies too much on the word "shit" to try and get a laugh.

[-] fmstrat@lemmy.nowsci.com 3 points 1 month ago

Roll your corn on top

[-] AnIntenseMoist@lemmy.world 2 points 1 month ago

I break my butter sticks in half with my bare hands, fight me.

[-] jose1324@lemmy.world -2 points 1 month ago

I don't eat butter

this post was submitted on 03 Jun 2024
169 points (90.8% liked)

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