The other was to a wonderful story by Lauren Collins in The New Yorker about her travails in learning to speak French, and about language in general. I needed to clarify a few terms:
Calvary, also Golgotha, was, according to the Gospels, a site immediately outside Jerusalem's walls where Jesus was crucified. The use in the story might refer to The Sacred Mount Calvary of Domodossola, a Roman Catholic sanctuary on the Mattarella Hill, overlooking Domodossola (Piedmont, northern Italy).
Coopering is what coopers do. A cooper is someone in the trade of making utensils, casks, drums and barrels and other accessories, usually out of wood, but sometimes using other materials.
Savoyard means of or pertaining to Savoy -> Savoy is a cultural region in southeast France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps between Lake Geneva in the north and Dauphiné in the south. The historical land of Savoy emerged as the feudal territory of the House of Savoy during the 11th to 14th centuries. The historical territory is shared between the modern countries of France, Italy, and Switzerland. When I was a kid my dad drove a Plymouth Savoy. What's with that?
Slap bracelet manipulation by Alex Pivovarov
Radio France Internationale has has support for people wanting to learn the French language.
Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel
Quoi, the French equivalent of Dude. Captain Tidwell ends every casual phrase, with "Dude". When he uses this term while talking to his, and every red-blooded male's, heartthrob, Sarah Shahi, it pisses her off. You never saw such a mis-matched couple.
knullrufs n. (slang) the unordered hairdo after having sex; bed hair.
Kummerspeck (uncountable) Excess weight gained due to emotional overeating.
plus one. your guest when you are invited to an event. I sort of knew what she meant by this, but I fail to see how it can be a "little mean". But then I have several decades of accumulated armor, so even pointed barbs don't dissuade me, much.
Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson
Zadie Smith FSRL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)
Alice Kaplan, French scholar.
Joni Mitchell - California
assiettes à grillades - grilling plates
adumbrate - report or represent in outline, indicate faintly, foreshadow or symbolize.
collants - tights