One way is a dance; The other, a requirement. A requirement of attention.
|Kim Stengel (to play Bianca Castafiore in Spielberg's|
Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, scheduled
for December 2011 release)
Were I feeling creative, I'd transcribe the argument La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore put forth earlier this evening over a beautiful meal of roasted vegetables -- mounds of caramelized goodness, celery, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, new potatoes, three kinds of quartered onions, several heads of garlic, all tossed and drizzled with sea salt and good olive oil, left unmolested in a very hot oven -- bothered only by half-hearted, swift stirs every twenty minutes or so. It is done when it's done. It is done dependent on what you want roasted to be, there and then.
The Castafiore contends that the entire issue of verbal demonstration, be it blatantly dependent or pronominal in nature and style, is best explained by the state of one's lips, which is also in correlation with a certain ready tension of the mind.
French-speaking individuals, she points out, tersely, have thin, muscular, *ripped* lips. And if they don't, she explains, they are supposed to. On the other end of the Lip Buff continuum lie lisping and lazy English speakers, usually American English speakers, to be precise. You will never catch a French phonetician begging students to make their lips round and soft, she crowed. The tongue, the jaws, the lips -- the French speaker holds their position for the life of the sound while the American English goof idles, lags, drones, and vacillates -- eyes all vague, sometimes even crossed. Oh, and they drool. Frequently. The big parasitic linguist lumps!
I had time to write a freaking treatise on the subject, or at least speak one, because the Milanese Nightingale burst into song at that point, ruining the pleasure of mushroom goodness exploding in my thirsting mouth.
Ah, je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir-oir-oir!
[In a linguistic side note, her once beautiful operatic vibrato has fallen into contrivances of trill and shrill tremolo.]
Anyway, a remarkably wordy deposit for the normally reticent Bianca. I hesitate to speculate, but ever since she began negotiations with Spielberg and Jackson over the terms of her nonappearance in the soon-to-be-released Tintin film, her English has remarkably improved, her French has grown weirdly circumspect, all while her Italian, Romanian, Russian and Hebrew have declined almost to the point of nonexistence. (Her Master Classes in Spanish continue apace, however.) Prohibited from playing herself by odd media restrictions in Tête de Hergé entertainment law, Bianca calls the film "a nothing much of a petit rien" and "an insult to opera lovers everywhere."
"It makes mustard go up my nose," she sniffs.
Je perds le fil de mes pensées...
Okay, so there's a really neat hoity-toity* academic video that encapsulates the absolute enfer out of this whole titillating issue, but I cannot find it, of course. It's an intense, slowmo, hot sweat of a black-and-white -- a languid, lingual scene, showcasing an American English speaker doing jitterbug lips with the word know, and a hep cat of a Français intoning -- with laser-like precision -- its homophone, the possessive adjective nos.
Like I said, I can't find it.
Ever-focused, however, I found *this* -- and it is sufficiently erudite to invite your trust as it breaks down the pedagogical complexities involved in "[l[earn[ing] to pout your lips and make French sounds." Uploaded to YouTube in March 2007 by the inimitable Mickelino, whose video contributions to the world of social media are part of a "tentative de la Sorbonne" designed to level the academic playing field, it's a grand introduction to World Politics of the Lip.
What's that? You say I've lost more than that one particular fil de pensée? Perhaps, perhaps. Let's be kind, though, on this, the eve of my return to relevance. Unless you absolutely chafe to faire la moue, to purse your lips in disapproval or skepticism, in which case, allez-y, mon ami, allez-y.
And so I wish you a pleasant Friday night, and good sleep with sweet dreams. Language has been set loose and I am excited to see what tomorrow may bring.