Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Language and other discoveries


Driving into town these past few days, one is hit by the ad from one of the local cell phone suppliers, which is plastered on the side of the summer open-air cinema: “ENJOY”

This morning as we yet again remarked upon the stupidity of having an English-language ad in a French-speaking city, we got to playing how-would-the-locals-pronounce-this?
I spontaneously said “en joie” and (light-bulb moment) realized that our English word thus probably came from the French “to be in joy”.

Searching confirmation, the online etymology dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/ states:
“late 14c., "rejoice, be glad" (intransitive), from Old French enjoir "to give joy, rejoice, take delight in," from en- "make" (see en- (1)) + joir "enjoy," from Latin gaudere "rejoice" (see joy). Not often that I figure such things out spontaneously, so it made my day.

I love languages, their origins and all those wonderful plays on words in the three languages that I kind of operate in.

Other discoveries: today is a day that is also blessed by the birthdays of two separate friends: my housemate and the oldest daughter of one of my best friends.

So to the both of them I raise my glass in gratitude for friends both far and near: Enjoy!