Sunday, 8 June 2014

Mum at The Rock

Here is my mother taking a break at Uluru in April 2006.
French Expression: Gaspillage = waste. I'm hearing this word a lot lately in the media, in relation to food waste (gaspillage alimentaire). In this sense perte (= loss) is synonymous, and my aged orchard neighbour often gives me things that he says would otherwise be perdus (= lost). I don't recall him ever using gaspillé (= wasted).


  1. I want that wonderful seat....
    right here, right now....
    out in the meadow!!

    That said, the air-freight cost would probably be horrific...
    it looks to have been carved from one hunk of timber...
    better send it here by sea!!

    I adore wooden items like this...
    and this one has developed great patina...
    your Mum looks like she's developed great patina, too...
    nice, happy picture.

  2. Susan, CHM and I were talking about gaspillage vs. perte yesterday.

    Gaspillage is seen in French as the result of intentional or at least neglectful actions and attitudes. When you leave the lights on in an empty room, or pay good money for food that you let spoil and then toss out, that's gaspillage. Accusing someone of it is slightly moralistic — a value judgment. The accusee is seen as "wasteful".

    Perte, on the other hand, is seen as nearly unavoidable. Inevitably, some part of a vegetable or fruit crop will go bad and end up as "wastage". When you do wood working or stone cutting, there will be a certain amount of perte. All you can do is try your best to limit the losses. It's not a moral issue.

    I think French is clearer on this point than English, where we cram the two meanings into one word, "waste" and many of its derivatives.

  3. Ken: After our discussion the other day I meant to change this, but didn't get round to it. This was written a couple of weeks ago, and having spoken to you I think your explanation of the nuance is exactly right.