On Monday I was called on to substitute for a French teacher. I’ve never studied French, but I’ve visited the country five times, so I’ve picked up some spoken tourist French. It’s not much — I joke with my European friends that I’ve learned enough French to ask a question, but not enough to understand the answer so what’s the point? — but it impresses middle school kids.
One exercise I can do is to compare whatever language I’m called upon to teach with English. For instance, French is big on accents; in the quiz I gave, the instructions said to take a half point off for each incorrect accent. English doesn’t worry about that.
Or do we? We are supposed to put little dots over our Is and Js. Other than giving girls a chance to draw hearts, so what?
You may be surprised to know there is a technical term for those little dots. They’re tittles.
Once again, this proves there is a technical term for everything.