Vive la France

Custodians of the French language are reportedly on the verge of enacting a linguistic "revolution" by finally accepting that job titles take the feminine form. For centuries, members of the hallowed Academie Française — created in 1635 to "fix the French language, giving it rules, rendering it pure and comprehensible by all" — had refused to accept that words such as professeur (teacher) or ingenieur (engineer) be made professeure or ingenieure for women.

They repeatedly argued that to add an "e" would "end up with proposals that are contrary to the spirit of the language". But according to l'Express, the Academie will announce on February 28 its intention to include "feminised" versions of such occupations alongside the longstanding masculine nouns. Bernard Cerquiglini, an eminent linguist who has written a book on the subject called Le Ministre est enceinte (The minister — masculine form — is pregnant), said the Academie's position had become untenable. "I think a large part of the Academie realised it could no longer stick to a stance that was, in fact, misogynistic." (Via Daily Telegraph)

Small pleasures


Back scratch by someone with natural nails. I start drooling every time.



When you're cutting wrapping paper and the scissors start gliding.


Sliding into clean cool bedsheets after you've shaved your legs.


When you hit a tennis ball just right and it goes THWOP.


When you've been busting for the loo for the hours and you finally get to go.



When the bit of water that was stuck in your ear finally comes out.

Restrain from judgment

A reader writes: "Having read a little article about using child restraints such as reins on young children and then reading about a parent for whom English was not her first language having someone tell her, 'We don't do that in New Zealand', I was moved to start a conversation on social media. A parent from Kerikeri district replied: 'I have used them on my little run-away in the last few years, he is a bolter and moves a lot quicker than I do. I was in a mall and a lady accosted me about treating my child as a dog, so I told her to be aware that he was good at peeing like a dog, so be careful or he will pee on your leg ... and she took off muttering about people these days ... '"

Misheard words


Friend and I were talking about changes in taste preferences when she said "taste bugs". I corrected her, "you mean taste buds" and she looked at me confused.


Co-worker and I were going on a work trip. Met at work and took one car to the airport. She asked if I'd move her soupcase into the car for her.


My dad learned when he was 47 that it isn't "very close veins" it is "varicose veins".