Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Day in the Lonesome October-fest, October 16

  The continuing account of reading A Night in the Lonesome October with an nine-year-old, out loud and during the day.

October 16

This was our vocabulary chapter.  Lily learned "gauche" and "urbane". She couldn't hazard a guess for gauche, as the context didn't give her a lot to go on,  ("Larry," Jack said suddenly. "I confess that I really don't understand your part in this. That you are knowledgeable is obvious, that you know what you are doing, I am certain, and that you've been helpful, I can't deny. And I am grateful for it. But you haven't apparently been collecting the items necessary to assemble a structure of power to be focused one way or the other. Now, I admit that when you came out that first day and as much as proclaimed yourself a closer, I thought it a bit gauche. But even that, I suspect now, had a method to it. Still, so far as I can tell, you have done nothing that would further that end, let alone assemble defenses against the days ahead. If this be true, you are inviting disaster by announcing affiliation and continuing to reside in the precincts of the Game.") and she guessed "urbane" meant "subtle".

I thought "forte" would be a new word for her, but she already knew it. She pronounces it for-tay, like just about everyone else, and I wavered back and forth about telling her the proper, but never used pronunciation ("fort"), or just letting her go with for-tay. (Interestingly, Roger Zelazny pronounces it properly in the Amber audiobooks, and if anyone was going to say it the right way, he'd be the one. I'm reading ANITLO out loud this year, instead of listening to the audio book, but I assume he pronounces it properly there as well.) Eventually, I decided to tell her that "fort" is technically correct, but rarely used, and that most people say "for-tay", and let her use her own discretion. I'm pretty sure that the proper pronunciation of forte seldom comes up for nine-year-olds.

She was a little concerned when I read "Tomorrow it dies.  No hard feelings, however things go." because she loves all the characters, and doesn't want any of them to die, but I explained that it was just the moon. I tried explaining the phases of the moon, but, as her mom is quite the amateur astronomer, she knows them better than I do.

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