I realize I no longer have to introduce John Ratliff, a/k/a JW, but I must admit, in introducing this short essay I am a little concerned with his use of the word “precocious!” It can mean forward or smart which are perfectly good synonyms, but in describing John’s daughter I would rather look to other synonyms such as gifted, intelligent, talented and quick witted! Beyond these words, Amélie is just a delightful person and a star Memory Matters’ volunteer…….just like her Dad!
So John, how do you pronounce Berlioz?
Clair de Lune
“Who is your favorite French composer?” my precocious fourteen-year-old inquired of me.
“Oh, that’s an easy one kiddo; Dah-Boo-Say!” I declared.
“Dad, it’s pronounced, ‘Deb-you-see.’”
“Really? I stand corrected! But as the bard said, ‘a rose by any other…’”
“By any other what, Dad?”
“You really should spend time reading Shakespeare. It’s from his famous play Romeo and Juliet; ‘A rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet.’”
“But in this case it’s the same name, you just pronounced it incorrectly, so even if I had gotten the reference it wouldn’t have directly applied, correct?”
“Touché Amélie, you’re exactly right! Let me try again; ‘you say toe-may-tow and I say tah-mah-taow’”
“But dad, we’re not in England!”
“Correct again. But back to my original point; Clair de lune would still sound just as beautiful, even if we were listening to it in a London tube station and the name of the composer was Oglethorpe!”
“Well, Dad, I don’t know about all that but the full moon sure does look beautiful tonight.”
“Absolutely, kiddo. Absolutely.”
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