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Les Dix Mots

APRIL 11, 2010
Baladeur: this word generally means to wander or walk
about sometimes listening to a portable "Walkman".
Les Dix Mots: a new gallery of ten images here.
I first learned about "Les Dix Mots" from Laura K. Lawless's useful, comprehensive and entertaining French language blog at About.com. Each year, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie chooses ten words and invites Francophiles the world over to use them in some creative endeavor. This is done in the spirit of celebrating the effervescent nature of the way words move, migrate and make-do across cultures and time. You can find out more about this year's list here.
The French have a reputation for being protective about the French language. But I think this is how the French are about many things. It's not a reactionary conservatism that tries to keep French free of foreign "contamination". Rather, it's a specifically French tendency to seek nuance in all things. They are detached and engaged in the same moment. Life is a series of aesthetic experiences that, nevertheless present real dilemmas that are solved in creative and sometimes logically expedient ways.
Crescendo: definitely this is coffee-break work.