The word is …
I’ve been brushing up on my school French for a few weeks now. As I haven’t “upgraded” it in almost 30 years, it’s a little rusty.
This fall, we’re going to fulfill a long-held vacation dream and head to picturesque Brittany. Perfect time to brush up on my rusty vocabulaire, n’est-ce pas?
Today, I was charmed by a particular French word. Most people will know it, but its spelling is surprising. “Ha, French people! Those old romantics!” I thought and had a good laugh.
La Lune, that’s the word!
La Lune, the moon. In French, it’s feminine AND: Capitalized!!! This capitalization was new to me.
As a native German speaker, I am familiar with capitalized nouns; the German language knows nothing else. But the French are more selective with the use of capital letters; only a few nouns are singled out and capitalized. That the dreamy moon, of all things, is one of them made me smile.
A few Internet clicks later, I got disenchanted: In French, all planet names are capitalized! La Terre, la Lune, Jupiter, Vénus, and so on. They are proper names, hence the capitalization.
Very well, I trusted the French to be poetic moon worshippers. Why not? The reality, in this case, may be less romantique than assumed. But thanks to my presumption, I’ll forever be able to remember that the lovely Lune is capitalized. (As it should be!)
Did you learn anything surprising today? I look forward to hearing your fun insights in the comments.