Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Irony, Ironía

"Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity."
-Gustave Flaubert

Irony is just this, perhaps:
Spouse successfully completing a four-month-long Spanish class in a Northern California community college;
Spouse's teacher subsequently delivering the record of achievement, emblazoned with an 'A+' grade, and a short note;
the message, written in Spanish, being beyond Spouse's understanding;
Spouse opening a dictionary to determine the meaning, which turns out in the end to signify a warmhearted letter of congratulations.
As a happy afterword, Spouse has never forgotten the meaning of that Spanish phrase and has maintained a reasonable level of the language.
Ironía is just that, perhaps.


Jaime said...

That is a wonderful irony.

I wish I had paid more attention in french class, because now I would love so much to be able to speak it fluently. I guess it's never too late, right?

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Jaime, No it's never, never too late :)
We're thinking of going soon to Montreal or Quebec for a day or two, and no doubt we'll meet a lot of French speakers. Too bad it's on the other side from you!

polona said...

it is not uncommon, i think, that a word or phrase you had to work hard to grasp its meaning becomes etched in your memory ever since. irony? i don't know...

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Polona, I want to clarify that I was referring, when I talked about irony, to the fact of Spouse having to look up the word on his A+ grade paper and not the after-fact of remembering the phrase forever. I agree, that is a very common result- you'll never forget it.

San said...

Ironia, si, senora.

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful story -- thanks for sharing :) I finally made it to your blog, now that school is out i will have plenty of time to....

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

San, welcome- it's very good to see you coming by. I'm a quiet reader of your blog- I got my mother to read that lovely post you wrote about your own mother, and the hand washing. She loved it.

Hepzibah, you too- I'm glad to see you popping in here in your spare moments. Enjoy your free time!

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