talk to tourists in patois,
pretend it is French.
There are more Normaund words in
English than you think.
The prompt at dVerse Meeting the Bar this week is all about de-familiarisation:
…Shklovski goes as far as saying that without defamiliarization there is no art! no poetry, he also says that poetry has to be difficult to read. In his essay Shklovski exemplifies from the work of Tolstoy three techniques that can give this effect:
- To describe an object without naming it. Thereby forcing the reader to live through the same observations that you do the first day.
- To describe the situation from the perspective of someone else. Such as Tolstoy used a horse named Kholstomer in his book with the same name.
- Tell it in a dialect or foreign language making it unfamiliar. Some of our fascination with old poetry lies in the archaic language that makes familiar object seem unfamiliar. But the same works by mixing it with dialects or foreign language.
Personally I have no wish to read incomprehensible poetry – I can’t see the point, but in the spirit of the prompt, I am re-blogging a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I live in the presqu’ île of the Cotentin peninsula. In this part of Normandy, the local patois varies considerably within a short distance, so my thoughts turned to the seriously endangered normaund, with its residual use in British constitutional law. When a Parliamentary Bill is submitted to the Monarch he/she passes it into law with the words (purely ceremonial nowadays) “La Reine/Le Roy Le Veult” (“The Queen/King Wills It”). There are many words derived from Norman French such as captain, kennel, cattle and canvas which are in common usage in English.