Tag Archives: Social Sciences

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 91. On Gobshites.

I suppose every language has that one word that stands out from the crowd. The kind of word that says what it means and means what it says. I don’t think gobshite is Irish (or Gaelic) but it’s as much part of our language as go raibh mile maith agat.

Go on, say it – with feeling. “You are a gobshite!” “What kind of gobshite are you?” “Don’t listen to him, he’s only a gobshite.” “I wouldn’t vote for your man over there, sure he’s only another gobshite politician.”

Let’s hear it for the gobshite, a word as versatile as any I know.

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100 Words, 100 Days: Day 87. On Languages, Foreign or Otherwise.

Coming back from my recent trip to Nice, France, I am still concerned about the need to have another language under your belt. Yes, it’s true that most countries we visit will speak English as a second language, including (although cynics will say otherwise) France.

I think it’s a matter of common courtesy to address those who host our annual visits in as much of their native tongue as we can manage. The next time I travel abroad, I intend to learn as much of the language as I can. Even those who visit us know our language. We should return the favour.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 49. On Montaigne.

Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592) was a French philosopher – but don’t hold that against him. He lived through turbulent times and survived long enough to gift the world his Essays. Rather than writing material so dry it made the Sahara seem like Hawaii, his engaging personality and writing style endeared him to readers past and present.

He asks us to look at the world through another’s eye. He got this idea from his cat. He wondered, “When I am playing with my cat, how do I know she is not playing with me?”

Once again, maybe cats know more than we do.