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29 Jan 2009

Coincidence, interesting, or boring?

The piece below was posted yesterday afternoon. Last night, on BBC television, I saw a programme called QI, which included reference to the same stuff. Does that mean that I am connected to the zeitgest, or that my ideas are commonplace?

QI stands for Quite Interesting, and the programme is a panel game hosted by Stephen Fry, a British National Treasure. The idea is that the panel, of four comedians, discuss questions around a particular subject, and get points for answering specific questions correctly, and extra for mentioning something considered quite interesting by Stephen Fry. They also lose points for giving the obvious answers to questions, which are also wrong as common knowledge often is, which means that sometimes the final scores are all negative.

Last night's programme was around the subject of France, and part of it was done in rather poor French, but French nonetheless. Two of the specifics were around the stilt walking shepherds of Les Landes, who covered long distances on stilts to locate their sheep in the flat land of the Languedoc marshes, up to the mid nineteenth century, and the fact that at that time only about one fifth of the French population actually spoke French, the rest speaking Breton, Occitan, Basque, Provencal and other local languages, and extreme dialects.

As part of the discussion on language the panel were asked what they thought brushing and relooking meant. They were also asked what les people meant, which is a word I forgot to include. It is the French term for 'celebrities', the subjects of Heat and OK magazines, and the tabloid newspapers in the UK, so you will often see headlines in French magazines and newspapers talking about les people, with photos of actresses, singers, and usually Johnny Hallyday or Eddie Mitchell.

I think I have to assume that the timing was just coincidence.

1 comment:

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