WIX: Aporia

Aporia, a Greek adjective pronounced a-po-ree-a, is used to describe a feeling you get when you are at loss in a situation.

Again, I found this one in Christopher J. Moore’s fascinating book In Other Words: A Language Lover’s Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World. These days, I figure, the citizens are tired of it. I feel for them, I really do, and hope they do well to help boost morale. But who shall I root for on Friday when Greece heads into the quarter finals against none other than their EU-opposers – Germany. Yes, I am talking about Eurocup 2012, again! I tend to want the better team to win, but in this case I am unentschieden, (undecided – a tie in sports) which just might be what I could feel good about!

There is no equivalent for the word compromise, reaching an agreement with some give and take, in Arabic, but they do have  taarradhin [tah-rah-deen], used to imply a win-win situation where no one has has to lose face.

I would be happy with a state of harmony…a union!

W.I.X.: In Other Words

While researching for WIX, I found an amazing though (too) small book: In Other Words, Christopher J. Moore, a Levinger Press Book, Walker & Company. It is indeed ‘A Language Lover’s Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World’.

In the section on Western European languages I stepped into rire jaune, literally translated from the French as “to laugh yellowy”, meaning to “give a laugh that betrays your true feelings”. The author states that yellow is not seen as a positive color by some cultures, but in France it does not represent a ‘coward’, as in English, but a ‘traitor’.

Then I remembered my Dutch friend’s reaction to a poor joke of mine: “hahaaaa…..I’m laughing like a ‘farmer with a toothache”: lachen als een boer die kiespijn heeft. I asked her to explain: “it is sour grapes….I did not really want to laugh, the joke is bittersweet…Does that make sense?” We might laugh out of the wrong side of the mouth, but my question now is whether those grapes are also yellowy!