Sunday, 10 October 2010

Basket News

Yes, I have fallen for this one many times forgetting that "baskets" to a Francophone are a type of lace up sport shoe, presumably something you might wear to play basket ball in. Converse All Stars are a typical example but, the game of basket ball is also often abbreviated to just basket and is very popular in France, hence the demand for 'Basket News'.

I first encountered this linguistic trap some years ago when an attractive French man asked me (in English) what I did for a living and I told him I designed baskets. The ensuing conversation was quite strange because he seemed, unusually, very impressed with my chosen career and I hoped, by implication, me. However, he appeared quite disappointed when he learnt that I wasn't undertaking commissions for Nike, Adidas etc. It finally dawned on me what was going on but I decided not to tell him.

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