Hawaiian shirts turn out not to be the way to go in the Parisian workplace

2015-06-22 19.50.43In France, it’s important not to look like everyone else.  It’s also important to be in style.  This, obviously, creates a conflict. I was feeling whimsical when I packed, and decided to structure my summer wardrobe around my collection of Hawaiian shirts.  (I can only bring so many pieces of clothes for a six-week stay, so packing well is really an issue.)  Today I happily put on one of those shirts–a bright blue one that matches my eyes.  It didn’t go over well at the lab. My office mate Brigitte: “So, what’s up with your shirt?” Me: “I…um…likes Hawaii.” Brigitte: “That’s not a work shirt, that’s a vacation shirt!  So, you’re here on vacation?” Me: “I…um…works?” Brigitte: “You need to change your stock of shirts.” Brigitte is a scream.  Of course, Zipf’s Law struck in this conversation, as in any other:

  • renouveler: to renew, change, or (in the case of a contract) extend.  This is the verb that Brigitte used.
  • le stock: believe it or not, this is a French word, and it’s spelt stock, which is about as un-French of a spelling as you can imagine.  There are actually some related words:
    • le stockage: storage, store.
    • stocker: to store or hoard; to stock up on; to stock something (with an intent of selling it).

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