In 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).