Monday, October 04, 2010

Dreaming of the south, bag and imperfect words.

Word Imperfect is back in action with her invented meaning word game -- go on over and join in.

1. That book that Caroline thought I'd like -- she was quite right. I do really, really like it. Tim Gautreaux's Waiting for the Evening News: Stories of the Deep South. It manages to be both dark and up-lifting. These are stories about people who fall and fall, and come back stronger and wiser.

2. Nick shakes off his umbrella and pulls from his bag: a very large box of chocolates and the latest Gardener's World magazine.

3. I was emailing secret chef -- yes, we have a clandestine restaurant in the area -- asking for a quick interview, and my spell-checker flagged the word restauranteur. A quick search later, and I discovered that the word is actually restaurateur (although my spelling is just about tolerated in more liberal circles). I've never noticed that -- never seen it mentioned in all the newspaper style guides that I've read. But that's the English language for you: she's always got something new to amuse and intrigue.

1 comment:

  1. I just checked the dictionary, and was correct in thinking that 'restaurateur' came first in English, and perhaps in French too (Plutarch could probably check that for you in his big posh French-to-French etymological dictionary). I certainly remember noticing it in Thackery; in 'Vanity Fair' after Waterloo they go for a disastrous meal at 'the restaurateur's'.

    It's the same root as 'restore', you restore or refresh yourself by getting something to eat! The person who supplied this was a 'restaurateur', and the place for doing it was a 'restaurant'. But I think the profession came before the place.


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