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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
A mystery has been solved!
In my nerdsome youth, I collected a number of penpals from around the world. One penpal that I had for purely aesthetic reasons was a beauty from South Africa who, originally from Zaïre (now the Congo), wrote in a mixture of French and English. Her theory was that the French would improve my Canadian school system French*.
Thus my penpal always signed off her letters with bisous and A+.
A few trips to France later and I got my bisous down. Little kisses. According to BellaOnline's French Culture Editor, Melissa Demiguel, "it is quite versatile as it can be used to finish conversations, sign letters and demand kisses." There's also plein de bisous and plein de petits bisous.
A+ is weirder and has remained a mystery despite my penpal's explanation.
Now Le Meg of Le Blagueur à Paris has solved my mystery.
In her conversation with Le Mec - ha! I remembered that one! The colloquial for guy! - the revelation that A+ = à plus, or à plus tard, struck me with the force of finally getting it after fifteen + years of wondering. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
It was a good joke.
*For the bilingualism naysayers, I contribute my poor French not to the inadequacies of the Canadian school system but to bilingualism naysayers themselves and to my own debilitating shyness.
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