Tuesday, May 31, 2011

French phrases in literature

Occurrence of foreign phrases are often used by authors to convey a specific meaning that perhaps is best expressed in another language. Dictionaries of word and phrase origins can be very helpful in figuring out what the author wants to convey.

Here are some often used French phrases and their meaning:

bete noir - literally means "black beast." It is used figuratively to refer to a person on think which is disliked on feared.

coup de grace - means the "finishing stroke," often the blow that ends a person's life.

faux pas - literally means "false step." It is usually used to mean social blunder.

en plein air - in the open air

espirit de corps - means spirit of the body. It is the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group

gauche - in French means "left, warped or clumsy;" however, in English it used to mean graceless, tactless, or socially awkward.

laissez-faire -a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights

nom de plume - means name of the pen, but in English is it used to mean pseudonym or pen name.

nouveau riche -a person newly rich

roman a clef -a novel in which real persons or actual events figure under disguise

savoir faire - knowing what to do, a capacity for appropriate action; esp: a polished sureness in social behavior


"Internationally Used French Phrases."

Morris, William. Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper and Row, 1988

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Reading Reminder

Summer Reading Program at the
Crawfordsville District Public Library!
Sign-up begins Tuesday, May 31, and runs through Tuesday, July 12

Anything you like as long as it's your reading level!

Drop-In Story Times:
Every Thursday for all ages

Drop-In Crafts:
A new one every week: Bald eagle, Patriotic bug magnet, Patriotic wand, Uncle Sam hat, Patriotic streamer, Patriotic foil frame

Patriotic glider, Beach ball, Chinese yo-yo, Food coupons, Slap bracelet, and many, many more!

Special Programs:
Dr. Insecta's Bug Lab -- June 16 (6:45 pm)
See a Juggler! Be a Juggler! -- July 12 (6:45 pm)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Adult Summer Reading

Coming Soon! Take Your Chances at the Library CDPL's Adult Summer Reading Contest

Begins: June 1st
Ends:July 29th

Read 10 books in 8 weeks and you could win a prize!

The participant with the highest total points will win a prize.

Sign-up starts June 1st

Questions will be answered in your ‘Start-up Packet!’

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Paint In!

You are invited to come to a very informal "paint-in" with Michael Bowman. You can come to just watch artists paint, you can bring your own materials (any genre) and paint, or you can come to just ask questions. Mike will be here to help you get started or help in any other way he can.

For: Ages 10 to 100 (younger or older if interested)
When: May 24th
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Crawfordsville District Public Library

Children’s Program Room

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have gardening questions?

Drop-in Q & A about Gardening!
May 26th from 6 to 8 

What types of flowers attract hummingbirds?
How can I control weeds in my garden?
What type of grass will grow under a fir tree?

If you have any gardening questions like these, now is your chance to get professional answers from Ed Sheldon of the County Extension Agency and four members of the Flower Lovers Garden Club.

Drop in anytime with your questions!
Sponsored by CDPL

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Words from the Old West!

Words enter the English language in some wonderful and unique ways. In the early days of the western frontier trail riders were "pretty tough customers and didn't have much use for book learning. As a result they talked a salty and colorful lingo." Hoosegow, maverick, hoodlum, rustler are all words that the cowboys introduced into the English language.

Here are some others terms from the old west that you may have seen or heard:
  • Ace in the Hole - a hideout or hidden gun
  • A Lick and a Promise - to do a haphazard job
  • Arkansas Toothpick - a long knife ( also known as a California or Missouri Toothpick)
  • Buckaroo - cowboy, usually from the desert country
  • Bug Juice - whiskey, booze
  • Kit and Caboodle - the whole thing
  • Cahoots - partnership
  • Catawampous - crooked, skewed
  • Clodhopper - a rustic, clown
  • Dude - an Easterner, anyone dressed in upscale town clothes
Want to know how to found out such words? We have at your library a reference book as well as a book you can check out. Find it in the catalog here:

Morris, William. Morris dictionary of word and phrase origin. New York: Harper, 1988.

See also:
Legends of America. http://%20www.legendsofamerica.%20com/we-slang.thml

Friday, May 06, 2011

Genealogy Club presentation on May 10

Come hear about "Grids on the Ground -- Urban Orientation -- Part 2" by Jim Swift (professional surveyor) at our next Genealogy Club meeting:

May 10
7:00 pm
Crawfordsville District Public Library
Public invited!

Call 765-362-2242 ext 118 or 119 for more information!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

CDPL adds Encyclopedia of the Bible

The library has received new reference books about the Biblical text and history: The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. This 5-volume set contains topical entries with full-color illustrations, and will be helpful to students and researchers. The books, part of the reference collection, will be available for in-library consultation only. Please see a reference librarian for further information on these materials, or to request help with researching a specific topic.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Alethea Luce and The Young Rajah

On Friday May 6th at 10:45 a.m., Turner Classic  Movies will be showing another film with Crawfordsville ties. The 1922 silent film The Young Rajah is based on the 1895 play Amos Judd by Alethea Luce.

Alethea Luce was born in Crawfordsville in 1869 to David W. and Julia Wade Hartman. Luce's grandfather, Isaac F. Wade, was the city's first editor and edited the Crawfordsville Review.  After her mother's death, Alethea was adopted by her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Luse, and split her time between Crawfordsville and Chicago.  Luce is listed in many cast lists of productions in New York and London.  Although this is the only screenplay attributed to her name, Luce was a well-known female playwright of the stage.

Read more about The Young Rajah online at IMDb and TCM.

You can view photographs from the film at this blog.

If you want to see more Rudolph Valentino films, CDPL has The Sheik and The Son of the Sheik in our DVD collection!

Happy Birthday, Niccolo Machiavelli!

Niccolo Machiavelli: "Is it better to be feared than loved?"

Can the man who's name is synonymous deviousness, cruelty, and corrupt totalitarian government be misunderstood? Is this the case with Machiavelli?
Niccolo Machiavelli was born May 3, 1469 in Florence the son of a jurist. His life spanned the highest point in Florence's cultural achievements until its downfall. He entered Florentine government as a secretary. However, he soon was engaging in important diplomatic missions and meeting with the powerful politicians of his time. Unfortunately, this all came to an end in 1512 when the Medici family returned to power and he lost his office.
He soon turned to writing to gain favor with the ruling Medicis. His most famous work The Prince, modeled after Cesare Borgia of the Papal States, was an attempt to ingratiate himself with the Medicis. For Machiavelli politics was about the "getting and keeping of power." The ruling family disagreed with the book, but the public reaction was that of outrage. They wondered how anyone could think such cruel thoughts as presented in the book. "Does a prince never lack legitimate reasons to break his promise?"

Machiavelli did not realize his ambitious goal to return to government and died June 20, 1527.

For more information on this controversial man check the CDPL for copies of The Prince and Machiavelli on Modern Leadership by Michael Ledeen.