Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Propos du Blog

Google Translator has taken it upon itself to publish a French edition of this blog. Gallic nations can now breathe a collective sigh of relief. It did not concern me before today that I have created a blog with an essentially untranslatable title. Bloggery it seems is not a word, at least not on, which helpfully provides seven alternative suggested words which are found in its dictionary, including buggery.  
Image added March 1, 2013

What I like about the word bloggery is that its sense is perfectly plain in English even if it isn't quite a word. I like to think it sounds somewhat British and perhaps a little eccentric. Google Translator is right to just leave it be. 

So the French blog is called Tentative Bloggery. The nuance here is not quite right. It sounds as if I were afraid to let my fingers touch the keyboard. There is nothing really tentative about the blog. The English is rather meant as an acknowledgement that the blog is imperfect, neither as wise nor as comprehensive as I would like. Its tone is set by what is meant to be a humorous play on Attempted Robbery. It might have been preferable to leave the blog's name untranslated since it is after all quite untranslatable.

I wonder what the French make of the Dr. Seuss quotation? It is there because it delights me every time I read it, but, unlike my title, it never was really quite right in setting the tone of the blog. Dr. Seuss is making fun of the consumer economy where people buy things even though they don't have a need for them. I, on the other hand, am chronicling what people pay for a variety of luxury items, many of which I think are quite splendid. It is never my intention to mock anyone for what they purchase, although I believe I have been misread on this point on at least one occasion. It's the rhythm of the Seuss quotation that makes it work. Without that, and without the rhyme, a French reader would probably take me for a Socialist thumbing my nose at the bourgeoisie. Hardly. I wouldn't do that, not even tentatively.

Attempted Bloggery/Tentative Bloggery

April 27, 2013 Update:  You can read this blog in French or in a number of other languages here.


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