La plume de ma tante (linguistics)
La plume de ma tante (French: "my aunt's pen") is a phrase in popular culture, attributed to elementary French language instruction (possibly as early as the 19th century) and used as an example of a grammatically correct phrase taught despite limited practical use. LIFE Magazine in 1958 described it as: As every student knows, the most idiotically useless phrase in a beginner's French textbook is la plume de ma tante (the pen of my aunt). The phrase can also be used metaphorically to refer to something irrelevant. The term lent its name to the musical play La Plume de Ma Tante, which won a Tony Award in 1959.
It is also used as a Parisian accent pronunciation guide for beginners due to French words containing many variants of vowel sounds; La plume de ma tante contains two variants of a. Other limited use phrases used as pronunciation guides include: Le petit bébé est un peu malade (French: "the little baby (boy) is slightly ill"), which contains six variants of e, and Un bon vin blanc (French: "a good white wine"), which contains two variants of o.
- Richard V. Teschner; Eston Earl Evans (15 May 2007). Analyzing the Grammar of English. Georgetown University Press. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-58901-166-3. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Time Inc (8 December 1958). LIFE. Time Inc. pp. 67–. ISSN 00243019. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Allison Beeby-Lonsdale (1 January 1996). Teaching Translation from Spanish to English: Worlds Beyond Words. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-7766-0399-5. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
|This linguistics article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|