Shiny Happy Readers

Two new blog categories have emerged on this beloved space of mine.  They are "Baby Singe" and "Common Knowledge".  Not that I expect anyone to ever notice or care about the categories I pick, but whatever.  A brief description of each category can be found below.

Baby Singe –> yep, you guessed it.  This category will pertain to any offspring news.  So if you don’t want to read about how I’m going to corrupt a child, talk about contractions, estrogen levels, hunger pangs, or anything kid related… you can look away.  Apparently there’s a reader who thinks I need to save my money for the kid’s therapy sessions.  There’s another reader who states they won’t read my blog if it turns into a baby blog.  It’s fantabulous to know there are conditions about readership.  Perhaps they would like a binkie with their coffee?  Thanks again to all of  you who have been so kind and wished me and my wife the best of luck throughout Mrs. Lessinges’ pregnancy.

Common Knowledge –> I will use this when I have a general (or random) question relating to what I imagine is common knowledge.  I have a good buddy/mate in real life we use to gauge whether something is common knowledge or not.  We call him The Barometer of Common Knowledge.  I think it’s good to quiz you since that will give me a larger sample.  At the bottom of this post there will be a simple question to test how well this will work. 

Common Knowledge question #1: Do most people (i.e. Americans) know French is one of two official languages in Canada?   

–> my reason for asking this is as follows.  When I say I work with Canadian clients and get to use my French language skills, I get many blank looks.  Discuss!


About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
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68 Responses to Shiny Happy Readers

  1. sprizee says:

    France is in Canada?

  2. egan says:

    Sprizee – yes, France is in Canada. And England is in the United States.

  3. Oui! We honeymooned in Canada, and I learned how to say several French phrases in preparation (e.g., “How much is this?”)…but didn’t learn what the responses might be, so was totally lost anyway.
    Mon dieu!

  4. Karla says:

    Yeah, but as a Canadian I have rarely used it, but that might be because I am a grade 2 french school drop out.
    The only exceptions are the time I vacationed in Montreal and needed to learn how to ask for a pint of beer and when vacationing in a spanish speaking country because the languages are so similar.

  5. BV says:

    Well, I for one HOPE this blog turns into a baby blog. It needs that kind of direction. 🙂
    Congratulations by the way!
    Oh, and yes, I knew that. Maybe it’s because I have a little French Canadian in me. ha ha

  6. tinabellina says:

    I also wouldn’t mind a baby blog, but I’m a baby fan, so it goes with the territory.
    And yes, I did know that French was one of the two official languages of Canada. I believe the other is Estonian.

  7. L says:

    You and your sneaky little ‘pregnancy’!

  8. Churlita says:

    I think what people are trying to say here, is that we love you and everything, but our love is extremely conditional. Oh, but the internets is so insecure making.

  9. Curare_Z says:

    My husband is from Canada…so I DO know that. That being said, he is NOT French-Canadian and hates being referred to as such. He’s one of those Ontario lot that calls Francophones “frogs.” Perhaps that’s a discussion for your racism section…. 🙂

  10. kayla says:

    I am absent from blogland for several days, and suddenly you and your lovely wife are expecting!
    Very cool.
    I am anxious to read about your adventures in this arena, so go ahead and make it a baby blog!
    Yes, I knew that
    (common knowledge #1)

  11. Pants says:

    I’m fine with the offspring category as long as you don’t start calling him or her Jellybean and Gummybear in a high pitched voice.

  12. egan says:

    Mona – salut et bienvenue à mon blog! Did you go to Niagara Falls? Montreal is a cool city. I’m anxious to take my wife there and Quebec City.
    Karla – mais oui mon amie. I thought you were required to take French for 6-7 years in Canada. Maybe that was just a part of the curriculum in my friend’s school. My first chance to study a foreign language was grade 9. I happen to think that’s way too late in the game.
    BV – merci! I’m going to be a father and it’s certain to be a wild ride. Baby blogs are entertaining to read, at least the ones I know of. Thanks for your feedback on the question.
    Tinabellina – I’m glad there are those interested in hearing about the baby stuff. This is a good sign. I think the other language is actually Jive and not Estonian.
    L – shhhh… they’ll be on to me.
    Churlita – you’re going to give me a guilty conscience. Conditional love is the best type.
    Curare_Z – oh boy, can I have a chat with your hubby? There’s a decent amount of anti-Quebecois sentiment in the country. I understand why, but it’s not nice to hold grudges. Frogs? That’s just not cool. Their culture is very unique and I can see why they want to preserve it. They’ve got to fight, for their right…. to parler!

  13. egan says:

    Kayla – thank you for the comments. My wife and I are stoked for the little one. I don’t anticipate making this blog entirely about the offspring, but one never knows. I did some covert work today which I can blog about tomorrow. So far everyone knows Canadians also have French as an official language.
    Pants – so no audioblogging cutesy baby names? I see where you’re going with this. I won’t do that Pants.

  14. ChrisTx says:

    I know you would be stunned if I did not know about Canada’s language issues 🙂
    Most Canadians I knew never cared for having to speak French, but I only knew a few Quebecois.

  15. The Grunt says:

    I think it is funny how out of touch people are with the rest of the world.

  16. egan says:

    ChrisTX – it’s not all that shocking. French Canadians have a similar reputation to Americans from the South. Neither stereotype is fair. Anglophones don’t tend to give a rat’s ass about French speakers. Yes, I realize that’s a rather sweeping generalization, but from my work (and personal) experiences it seems to hold true.

  17. egan says:

    The Grunt – I hear you sir. It’s like thinking only Spaniards speak Spanish. I think it’s great to keep a narrow focus, learning about other cultures is so overrated.

  18. Burr-ee-toe says:

    I knew about the French because my cousin went to Quebec to study it. I’m still mad at Canada for Alanis Morrisette and Celine Dion.

  19. egan says:

    Burr-ee-toe – I’m kind of surprised it took 18 comments to hear the first Celine Dion mention. She’s freaky alright, but don’t let her bizarre appearance speak for the other cool Québecois. Thanks for the feedback yo!

  20. Leezer says:

    Egan, ma petite chou: Je parle le francais souvent. J’ai enseigné ma fille pour dire, “Je vais cherchez du bon vin”.

  21. egan says:

    Leezer – ah, t’es trop drôle. Et qu’est-ce qu’elle a dit apres ça?
    “Maman, j’ai soif. Puis-je boire du vin aussi?”

  22. Chris says:

    I would be curious as to how many people actually know that about Canada without having been there.
    Celine Dion is so hard to pin down. There are times I’ve seen her look great and times where. well not so great. However, when she uses that big voice the way she knows how, to me that is very sexy.

  23. Chris says:

    Here’s a question – would Celine Dion commonly be referred to as a “butta face”?

  24. egan says:

    Chris – you raise a good point. If you’ve been to Canada you’ve seen the bilingual product packaging and maybe seen the French channels on tv. Otherwise you might be left in the dark French knowledge wise. I think Celine is quite talented vocally. I just don’t want to hear her talk about Rene and the babies as often as she does. (I might regret typing that in about 12 months).
    Chris – butta face? Huh? Is that your Manhattan accent speaking?

  25. Jules says:

    *sniff. You lied to me? How could you?
    Oh, and because of my two courses in French in high school, I knew they spoke it in Canada. I would probably be one of those “blank stares” if I hadn’t learned about it in high school.

  26. egan says:

    Jules – ha, yes I figured you would question me about this later. The not liking kids thing was a cheap ploy. I had to say whatever I could to prolong the announcement. I still am not fond of kittens if that makes you feel any better. Ah yes, high school French.

  27. Amanda says:

    Meh – people are lame, aren’t they? Like I said yesterday, I’m very excited to read your baby posts! But, why did you italicize “nancy” in pregnancy?
    And ooooooh do I love the new common knowledge section. Because it’s sarcastic, yet at the same time, a genuine question. As far as your Canada/French issue, my stock answer will be because said people are just plain ignorant. They apparently didn’t pay attention in school, they never watch any kind of sketch comedy, and they never saw the Southpark episode where the boys go to Canada to save Kyles little brother. And that’s all I have to say on that.

  28. CSL says:

    By most people, do you mean most Americans? Probably not! I had a brother who thought Canada was within the U.S. YOu know, one of the states. But lots of us do. In fact, I tell people my decision to take French in college will serve me well if Canada ever decides to invade the U.S. Here’s a related question – do most people know that there are four official languages in Switzerland and none of them are “Swiss”?
    Bring the baby stuff on, by all means. And, if you read my post last Friday about the evil OB, DO NOT let your wife read it.

  29. Melissa says:

    Hello Mr Les Singes!
    I just thought I’d make a little trip around monkey corner, and yes I did know Canadians spoke french too, I’m clever like that, being a student is obviously doing me well 🙂
    Congratulations again! I’m so pleased for you! And I think the baby blog is a great idea, I may even become a regular round these parts once again!
    Congratulations to you and Mrs Les Singes!!!!

  30. Tall Chick says:

    It’s common knowledge for those who know; for those who don’t – nos so much.
    I’m in the first camp. But I think a lot of people hang out at the other camp because it’s cheaper. 😉

  31. Tall Chick says:

    “nos” is an obscure French word for “not” in case you were wondering. Uh, yeah, that’s the ticket. . .

  32. egan says:

    Amanda – I’m only going to answer a couple of your questions here. Your first one I can handle offline. Glad you like the Common Knowledge bit. I figured it can’t hurt to ask readers what they know on the subject. The sample could be a bit skewed, but it does help me gauge what’s common knowledge and what isn’t. South Park is real right?
    CSL – yes, I guess I do mean Americans. I will clarify that on the post. I would assume Canadians already know this because their cold cereal box says “Captaine Crounche”. There’s a market for French speakers. I’ve used my French skills here in Seattle for my past three jobs. Not a lot of jobs, but usually not much competition if you apply.
    The Swiss thing is quite funny. French, German, Italian, and Romansch? What the hell is Romansch? The version of French is technically called Swiss French and the German is Swiss German. It’s kind of like the French spoken in Quebec or how the Brits hear American English.
    Let me check out your OB post.

  33. Randa says:

    Je connais que le francais et une de les deux langue du Canada — mais ca c’est parce que je suis canadienne 🙂

  34. egan says:

    Melissa – hello and welcome back. I’m happy to hear university is treating you well. Education is very important in my eyes so good luck to you. I don’t think I will ever start a unique baby blog. It will be easier to mix the topic in here. Thanks for the visit.
    Tall Chick – you’re one of those aren’t you. You’re the type of person who gives wacky quotes. Like if I asked you something such as “how much further to the end of the trail?” You would likely say “wherever you’re going, there you are”. I’m on to you Candace.
    Tall Chick – your French is fantastic. Great nasal skills.

  35. egan says:

    Randa – mon dieu, tu es trop intelligente. Mais, tu travailles dans une ville bilingue où on peut parler francais quotidien.

  36. meno says:

    That’s pretty much all the french i know.
    Someone seriously said they would stop reading you if this became a baby blog? Merde pate. (doubt if that’s the correct usage, but you get the idea.)
    New Mexico has the only license plates that feel the need to have USA on them, because people keep asking if it’s in the US. So your question about Canada is well founded.

  37. Randa says:

    ohlala — le shutdown.

  38. egan says:

    Meno – did you know California used to be part of Mexico? Geesh, why can’t those damn hispanics go “home”? I think we ought to have a bunch of washed up military folks patrol our borders. That’s exactly what we need. You with us New Mexico?
    Randa – vive le Québec libre!

  39. ubermilf says:

    A baby! A baby! Hooray! All that bike riding DIDN’T render you seedless! Yay!
    And, I happen to know that parenting stories can be endlessly entertaining, brilliant even. Just don’t mention the mucuous plug. That’s kinda gross.
    And people give blank stares all the time. Don’t take it personally.

  40. Burr-ee-toe says:

    haha… well I’m glad to have started the Celine Dion talk. She can sing, yes.. but there’s no doubt that I still find her incredibly annoying. When I went to Vermont I noticed there was french-english bilingual stuff going on there. Would it be safe to say that Vermont is to Canada as California is to Mexico?

  41. egan says:

    Ubie – hey, thanks for checking in. Now you no longer have to ask me about the kids thing. I told Mrs. Lessinges the bike riding didn’t hurt my swimmers one bit. Now we have proof. I had daily talks with them about stragies once “inside”. I fitted them all with Speedos too. Parenting stories are equally as interesting as frat boy-esque stories involving sex with anything that moves. Blank stares are the new white.
    Burr-ee-toe – I love this question of yours. Vermont. Allow me to break it down for you with a quick French lesson. Ver –> green; mont –> short for montagne or mountain. Thus why Vermont is nicknamed the Green Mountain state. There are plenty of French speakers in the NE region of our country. They’re logically huddled around the shared U.S. border with Quebec in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Yes, this is very similar to California although the number of speakers is vastly different compared to California.

  42. Leezer says:

    Elle a dit, “pourquoi devons-nous le chercher? C’est ici.”

  43. egan says:

    Leezer – je pense que tu as une fille ivre-dézingué.

  44. egan says:

    Jennifer – you’re silly. “si” as in Yes in Italian or “si” as in IF in French? Those romance languages are damn confusing.

  45. Burr-ee-toe says:

    Ooh fun, I learned something new! Thanks Egan!

  46. kirk says:

    Of course, I know about that because unlike many of my countrymen I actually do give a shit about our neighbours. And if things still stay weird here, I’m going to sneak across the border.

  47. egan says:

    Burr-ee-toe – I’m than willing to share the little bit of knowledge I have.
    Kirk – which border ami/amigo? Your Spanish is much better than your French oui?

  48. L says:

    You’ve done a good job slipping that in.

  49. egan says:

    L – see, my cleverness knows no bounds.

  50. Eunice says:

    French fries are Canadian?
    Egan, I can attest to the fact that even unintentionally, parenthood can turn anyone in to a baby blogger. You of course know that though.

  51. Amber says:

    This is your journal which means you get to write about whatever it is that you want. I, for one, will be most interested in hearing about your wife’s pregnancy and the reactions from a male’s point of view to the whole reproduction thing. It’s an endeavor I’ll be doing eventually and I’m a firm believer that the more you know about something, the better it is for you. And what could be better than a real-life journal?
    In answer to your question, I did know that French is one of the two main languages spoken in Canada. I was in DeBeque for a while and I remember it being quite the culture shock as I’d never been in a country where English wasn’t the primary language. I was 14 at the time and it was a first for me to look at the line below the directions/instructions/etc. to read the English version; i.e. the only one I could understand, lol.
    Despite our somewhat differing views on politics, I think you’ve posed some interesting debate points and write very well. I hope you don’t mind a new reader?

  52. ChickyBabe says:

    *slaps head on forehead*
    are you kidding??

  53. Karla says:

    Hey Egan
    You do need to get a French credit in high school to graduate, but my grade nine class was a joke as was my teacher. I used to colour a kleenex with red marker and fake nose bleeds to get out of class. My only memory of doing anything academic was a project where we made a menu for a restaurant we called the “dindon maison”.

  54. Jennifer says:

    “Si” as in I took Spanish for four years, and no French, but did indeed know that French is one of two official languages in Canada.

  55. egan says:

    Eunice – you’re very right about this. Parenthood does many things, the least of which turning innocent blogs into baby blogs. It’s all good. French fries aren’t even technically French. Please don’t bring up the whole “freedom fries” thing. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine.
    Amber – hello and welcome to my blog. I’m happy you swung by after my comments on Mez’s blog. New readers are always welcome, even with differing viewpoints. We can’t all be the same or life would be very boring.
    Hey, what’s DeBeque? Did you mean to say Québec (pronounced Kay-Beck)? Thanks for the insight and the kind words about my blog and parenthood. I hope to keep it interesting and insightful. Come back anytime.
    ChickyBabe – look at my face! (stares Chicky in the eyes) Do I look like I’m kidding?
    Karla – is The Turkey House restaurant still in business today? So you only had to take one year of French? Ouch.
    Jennifer – okay, that clears it up. I figured that’s what you meant. Gracias amiga.

  56. CSL says:

    Captaine Crounche? That’s fantastic. If I ever have another baby, that’s what I’m naming him.
    Romansch is a Latin dialect (a carry-over from when Switzerland was govered by Rome, I guess). I believe it is primarily in one small region, but they do have a TV station, so I got to hear some. Swiss German is called the “throat disease” because it is so gutteral. And Swiss French is more sing-songy than regular French (and what little I know, that’s how I speak it.) There you go, cultural lesson for the day!

  57. CSL says:

    Oh, and if you read that OB post, don’t let it freak you out. I think that kind of thing is very rare.

  58. egan says:

    CSL – yes, you’ve been very informative. I knew Switzerland had three official languages, but didn’t know about the fourth one. Thank you for that. I’m part Swiss so it might behoove me to know more about that country. My wife got very lucky and was able to travel to Switzerland for work last year. I was very jealous. Sing-songy French is cool. French spoken in New Brunswick is very fun.
    Captaine Crounche is a great name. If you don’t cut up the roof of your mouth while eating the cereal, you will win a prize.

  59. Amber says:

    I really need to proof-read before submitting comments. DEBEQUE is a town around where I live – in order to get to the nearest large(ish) city where Wal-Mart exists, you have to drive through DeBeque canyon; which is quite harrowing.
    I did mean to say Quebec and I feel real “special” right about now, haha.

  60. egan says:

    CSL – I think I read the post and left a comment. Let me check it out.

  61. egan says:

    Amber – where the heck do you live? Dubuque, Iowa? I’m so confused. Oh, you’re in Colorado. Land of the red rocks. I figured you meant Québec, but I wasn’t certain. Thanks for the clarification.

  62. Tall Chick says:

    Nope, I would say, “It’s not about reaching the end of the trail. It’s about enjoying the walk.” And then I would break into a sappy song about loving everybody and do a little Riverdancing.
    You still haven’t seen Saints I bet. This makes me weep.

  63. egan says:

    Tall Chick – you still haven’t sent me links yet and this makes me weep.
    I think you would say “wherever you’re going, there you are.” I can hear you saying it now.

  64. col says:

    I always thought French was an official language of Canada. How else could street signs in Quebec be in French?

  65. egan says:

    Col – don’t ask me. Some people have never been there to witness the signs en français I suppose. If it’s not American, it’s crap.

  66. ChickyBabe says:

    Je ne comprends pas comme les gens sont comme ca!

  67. egan says:

    ChickyBabe – ni moi mademoiselle. Les gens sont compliqués.

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