Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thinking in French

All day long, I've been thinking in French. I blame Michael Brown (not in a bad way) for his facebook note to me (which was, of course, en fran├žais). Earlier, while writing in French, I noticed something: my handwriting was neat and even. Flipping back a few pages, I realized that while writing in English, my language was erratic, large letters, small letters, loooong words squished up and short words made to take up more space than needed. Back to the French: even, pretty and neat.

There's only one explanation: in France, when my handwriting wasn't neat and perfectly legible, I had a professor who would mark a point off - for each word that was spelled incorrectly or which he felt was not legible. I remember one day where I rewrote a seven-page paper four times to get it looking nice (you wouldn't believe how many times I rewrote that). Using computers in France isn't allowed, as the French (typically) believe that by looking at one's handwriting, one can determine what sort of person the writer is: neat and organized, sporadic and unpredictible, sloppy and unkempt or whatever else.

It never mattered what my handwriting actually looked like in the states - except to me - as long as it was legible. Interesting.

La France me manque, Paris en particulier.


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