English Vocabulary


Il will try to remember that the word "candid" in English does not have exactly the same meaning as "candide" in French. Another debatable word in my Tower of Babel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel) book of dos and don'ts!

Meaning in English of the word "candid": frank; not hiding one's thoughts. (Oxford Canadian Dictionary)

Meaning in French of the word "candide": franc; ingénu, innocent, naïf, pur, simple. (Le Petit Robert)

The dictionary's definitions are alike, but, for a French Canadian, a person who is "candide" is a person who does not hide his thoughts because he or she is naïve. It does not seem to be the same thing in English where the word "candid" is synonym of "outspoken". Am I right?

Meaning in English of "outspoken": given to or involving plain speaking; frank in stating one's opinion. (Oxford Canadian Dictionary)

To be outspoken: avoir son franc parler, ne pas mâcher ses mots. (Le Robert & Collins)


  • As Eve handed over to Adam the red apple she had already bitten, her face was so much shining* that no one could ever have any doubt about her candor. Adam found Eve so candid that he bit the apple. Eve thought to herself that "Adam était un peu candide".(She thought in French at that time, thinking with good reason that Adam was a bit ingenuous. Duplicity had already proved to be the best criterium to make out women from men.)
    On the spot both of them, candid or not, became candidates to be gods.
    Being god, Adam was to be naturally outspoken all his long life long. His offspring always trusted him to be truly candid.
    As a goddess Eve has never been candid, she just used to show of innocence for she always dealt with her age with ambiguity, even after she was over a hundred.

    *in Latin, to shine is said 'candēre' from which 'candle' and 'candid' and 'candor'. If you shine of innocence the French suits you best as being 'candide'. If you shine of transparency you might just be outspoken, if not blunt, and candid might all but suit you.

    [CCW -> Corrections & Contradictions are Welcome]
  • Your explanation enlighted me, Gee, except for this remark: "Duplicity had already proved to be the best criterium to make out women from men". You are wrong, everybody knows that it is the beard!
  • When I read that you wrote, dear candid Hortence, I pulled hair from my head and mustache and sat down appalled. "Thank gods, I don't wear a beard!" did I think to myself.
    Do you think a law should be enforced to compel every man to shave their beard? I am afraid that it would vex more than one Ayatollah. Or is duplicity a basic gist of any religious belief?

    Come to think of it, some women wear hair on their legs. Doesn't that leg hair operate as beard regarding duplicity? Is it because every woman wants to be candid that they are used to shaving their legs?
  • Hum... I have another explanation: Eve had bite in the apple with the expectation of fulfillment -- women are mystics(not “candide” at all); Adam had bite in the apple with no expectation at all, only for the pleasure of it -- men are epicureans (and willing, most of the time). Today, men and women are in search of pleasure with the expectation of fulfillment -- men and women are lost like a snake eating his tail. (I am adding an image with a snake because you seem to have forgotten that a snake was involved in this story. A snake not candid at all but rather a crafty one if I may say. What the snake really wanted was Adam to fall, not Eve. Knowing the man, he uses Eve. What a clever move indeed!) The duplicity was the part of the snake, the candor was the part of the man, and the part of Eve was only instrumental in this play.
  • I followed your riveting argumentation with interest, Hortence.
    First and foremost I want to thank you for exonerating the Man from duplicity, as you dropped your previous case of the beard. Eventually that was that evil snake the culprit of any duplicity. I like that so much because it brings the issue up to the symbolic level. And on that level I am partly on the same mind of you. I have to account for that partial agreement.

    In that story invented some thousands of years ago by a Semitic tribe and now peddled all over the western world and more, neither Eve nor Adam had been without having a bite lately. As you said, Eve bit into the apple in expectation of fulfillment. A fulfillment that implies an achievement in the flesh. All that the couple had bitten up until then were the tasteless fruit of a dull spiritual paradise. If a paradise had to be conceived, it needed to be implicitly based on its contrary: a snake, a devil, a hell that would come up later. Here they join the Tao and also the philosophy of J-P Sartre who explained in "l'Etre et le Néant" that negativity undelies any concept. To this point I'd like to point out that Jews who think to be (and maybe are) a people of one kind well better than any other for having been elected by Yahwe, share that basic negativity in any cultural item.

    The material - "instrumental" as you put it - role the woman has been cast in by the Genesis is nothing but the cultural token of the believes and values of a tribe. The symbolic value of the woman comes in all shapes and forms in the Jewish culture. Just to mention the triangle which has a angle pointed downwards in the Jewish Star. The woman brings the earthly fate of the Jewish people as long as for being acknowledged as a Jew you must be born from a Jewish woman. As you put it, Eve has bitten into the apple for achieving a material fulfillment, in the flesh.

    Where I can't stick to your say, it's where you look Adam as naive ("candide" French say). Adam couldn't be epicurian because his fate was to connect his tribe with Yahwe. He shows in the Jewish Star as the triangle pointing upwards, a triangle looking like a mountain he will climb up to meet his god at the top.
    Adam couldn't take pleasure at biting into an apple, he could only take pleasure in spiritual things. Like him his male offspring were destined to make time - say to spend their whole life - at exegesis. Have you ever heard of a female Rabbi?

    If you could put up with my writings up until here, Hortence, I'd add that I'd be interested in reading you further about your calling out statement, saying that "Today, men and women are in search of pleasure with the expectation of fulfillment."

    Your topic "candid" is quite riveting, isn't it? At least to me!
  • In this play (I like to see the Genesis like a play, without any religious biais), Eve was a mystic on a quest for enlightment. She wanted to be sastified by wisdom gain through a greater understanding of the world around her. Adam was experiencing happiness in his Kingdom but he accepted the challenge with no ulterior motive (candor, I gess). With this move toward understanding - the unknown word -, they allowed their former world to collapsed. Thank God! (to be happy like a fish in a bowl is not very attractive...)

    And here we are, after multiple interbreedings and contortions of mind, we have lost the gist of the quest. Its about time we realised that fulfillment lies in the quest, fulfillment is always on it's way. Pleasure is transient, fulfillment is transcendent. The two concepts are interconnected, necessary, but not equally valuable.

    Isn't a "candide" way of seeing things?
  • Considering, you have the right to take the bible as a romance, Hortence. After all it's your own way to make exegesis. And I share your opinion about any religion being a bias.

    It's quite inspiring to read your first paragraph that shows your revolutionary spirit. So you consider Eve as a forerunner of the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment. What makes me wonder it's that you put it down to a supposed mystic turn of mind. Such position is clashing with the global "genesis play" trends. But I must admit your position is to be supported, so much the tradition has strenghtened the male power so far, not only in our Judaeo-Christian world but all over the earth. Are there females in charge of political or business power in Asia?

    About your quest, and the gist of the quest, I think you are right not speaking of mysticism any more. I will just take the two concepts you are opposing to each other, with a different meaning from yours. You are a woman, maybe that's why you put pleasure in the flesh, thus transient, and fulfillment in the knowledge, the aim of the quest. I for one, being a man, would like to take pleasure in the quest itself, yet knowing that any step in the quest is a provisional knowledge, even the possible coming up discoveries of the LHC* about the universe.

    If your way of seeing things is "candide", so much the better. I am delighted with it.

    *LHC, Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva, which is destined to explore the birth of the universe.
  • Indeed, I'm falling in step with you.
  • How marvelous! I am deeply grateful to you, Hortence, who taught me that lovely expression: to fall in step with somebody! It's almost as lovely as the French “emboîter le pas”.
    Don't mistake me. I don't thank you for falling in step with me. If we were all marching in step with the same heading, what about the quest? It could fall asleep.

    There are a lot of reasons for falling in step with someone: from feeling like the rhythmical sound of the steps echoing in our common spirit to trying and getting rid of a bloody who can't help bothering you. If there are so many reasons for falling in step, are they as many for falling in love?
    That's a tough question which made me rack my brain about for long, as a matter of fact since I came across a saying by Albert Einstein, reading: You can't blame gravity for falling in love.

    Albert Einstein's first steps in physics took place in Switzerland. In his early times in mathematics and physics, as he was eating from hand to mouth, he married his co-student Mileva and they used to make time to debate and discuss problems of physics. But some years later, as Albert had built up some original theories, his Jewish male brain prompted himself to be more concerned about his own upcoming fame than his wife's. He no longer took care of her, letting her alone look after their three children. Some years later, precisely in 1919, as one of his cousins going by the name of Elsa fell in step with him, he fell in love with her. At that very time, he was quoted saying: You can't blame gravity for falling in love.

    The first step in our search for an interpretation of such Jewish statement could be a choice in this alternative: Either you can't blame gravity for falling in love, because gravity has nothing to do with love; or you can't blame gravity because gravity made you fall in love.
    Obviously the first side of the alternative isn't worth a clever mind as Einstein's. We should choose the second side.

    As a second step we face another alternative: Either the author made a pun, a sort of play on words, linking gravity with fall, as any fall on earth is due to gravity; or he was seriously hinting that falling in love was due to a kind of gravity. I'd have been inclined to think Einstein was kidding but a friend of mine who is a physicist told me Einstein wasn't so much kidding.

    Therefore we are due to explore the possible realities of gravity.
    The terms gravity and gravitation come from the fact that human beings live of a planet the mass of which is enormous compared to a human being's. So we see the apple falling from the tree branch, not the mutual attraction of earth and apple. But the physical phenomenon of gravitation is the mutual attraction of masses. Simplified the Newton's law of universal gravitation is reading: (m x m)/d2,, where m is mass and d the distance between the masses. As the gravity force is acting, it prompts a movement of the masses the acceleration of w

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