The sign that nearly led to a Swinglish divorce.

We can all agree that throwing glass into the glass recycling bin can make a lot of noise, right? (As well as, perhaps more importantly, and embarrassingly so, it can let one’s neighbors in on one’s drinking habits, unless one sticks to the kind of alcohol found in cans.)

After making that agreement, most would also agree that this sign is reasonable. No throwing of glass bottles into the container after 10 o’clock at night. A similar sign might also forbid doing so bInterdictionefore 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning. What a good way to keep the peace during the typical person’s sleeping hours.

Then there’s this gem, not uncommon here — well, in fact, rather common here in la Suisse. No throwing away of glass bottles between 8 o’clock at night and 7 o’clock in the morning … nor on Sundays or public holiInterdiction - dimanchesdays. Now this is the part of this post where you, dear reader, may be beholden to tell yours truly to “go back where she came from,” as the Swinglisher’s dear Swiss husband – very, very Swiss husband – almost certainly was thinking the first time the Swinglisher noted and sneered at this type of sign. Like, you can’t take out your recycling on Sunday? On Easter? On the Fourth of July? (Or rather, the Swiss equivalent thereof – the First of August, for those who may be wondering.) “Mais bien sûr que non,” the Swinglisher’s dear Swiss husband – very, very Swiss husband – sneered in return.

Bref: Sunday and public holidays are days of peace and tranquility, not be disturbed by the noise of a citizen – or, more likely, un sale étranger – daring to clear his or her house of unwanted items on these holy days and doing the right thing, environmentally speaking at least, by recycling them.

In the end, Mr. Swinglisher and yours truly decided to agree to disagree, which is a nice way of saying the subject was dropped because neither person could believe he or she had actually married a person who thought this rule was okay/not okay. The topic has not been brought up again. That’s why Mr. and Mrs. Swinglisher are still here, still married, currently in the year post-wedding that can be described as the itchy one. As long as the subject of glass recycling on Sundays and public holidays doesn’t come up again, the Swinglishers will probably survive this year without scratching. If it does come up, however … all bets are off.

The Swiss: out-Black Friday-ing the cross-Atlantic originators of Black Friday.

Black Friday means Black Friday, right? Friday, the day after Thursday; Black Friday, the Friday after the Thursday of Thanksgiving?

Sure, in the US (with recent exceptions made by certain stores to allow Thanksgiving Day late-afternoon shopping – what better way to recover from turkey and stuffing overload, not to mention escape from one’s pesky relatives, than by heading to the mall to try one’s hand at shoving enough people out of one’s way to pick up a (probably unneeded) big-screen TV at a bargain price?).

But not here in la Suisse. Here, Black Friday had already begun at one shop on Tuesday, when the Swinglisher snapped the pic on the left, and was set to begin at another the day after, running for three days – “3 special Black Fridays” – until the afore-mentioned original Black Friday itself. But let’s call those two preceding days neither Wednesday and Thursday nor mercredi et jeudi; rather Black Friday the First and Black Friday the Second, capped off by Black Friday the Third, the erstwhile original.

Black Friday

No matter. This place is well-known as un îlot de cherté, which can be translated as “an island of really fucking expensive things among the European Union sea of cheaper, albeit not good-old-American-cheap, goods.” So here, three days of discount shopping is really three days during which you can look at things you still can’t afford. This leads to the Swinglisher’s final verdict on the situation: while Switzerland wins on days of opportunities to shop, the US wins on the providing the possibility that one can actually afford to purchase something.

Thus concludes this post, although the Swinglisher would be remiss in hitting the “publish button” before sending wishes to all devoted readers for a very merry Thanksgiving – or, translated literally and thus ridiculously by yours truly, un joyeux merci-donner.

The Swinglisher’s Swinglish: fitness.

There has been a dearth of Swinglish spotting lately, except for an advertisement on a truck for a yogurt that promised a “happy ending.” Not to mix metaphors, but the Swinglisher had to really rack her brain to keep it out of the gutter. Is this referring to a fruit on the bottom kind of thing? Or … ? Yet I can’t imagine how, if you know what I mean.

In any case, said truck escaped from a Swinglisher Photo Shoot by speeding by too quickly, and one rule of this site, as well as in the world at large these days, is “picture or it didn’t happen.”

So let’s use this dearth as an opportunity to begin a new little series. The Swiss are not the only ones who speak Swinglish. In fact, the Swinglisher is guilty of it too, primarily in the form of using those English words that are used by the Swiss with a different meaning and which creep into a native English speaker’s vocabulary until one is no longer sure whether one is speaking a proper English or a Swissified form.

This is especially embarrassing for the Swinglisher as, in her free time, she teaches English. There is nothing worse than having to answer a student’s question about whether a certain word or phrase is the right thing to say with, “I can’t remember if that is a real English word or an English word that I’ve heard used differently or just plain incorrectly too many times by Swiss English-as-another-language speakers and that I’ve now assimilated into my own previously native-quality, now possibly faulty vocabulary.” (Or, as I really say, “Hmm. Good question. Let me get back to you on that.”)

One of these Swinglish words used by the Swinglisher: fitness. I used to know this as a synonym for health, or “the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor.” Now I know it as “a building or room designed and equipped for indoor sports, exercise, or physical education.”

You know, the thing I previously called a gym.

Just stay col.

I’m categorizing this under both Misspellings – which is how it appears on first glance, as usually one is admonished to “just stay cool” rather than to “just stay col” – and Misunderstandings, as it was suggested to The Swinglisher that she, not the notebook designer, was not correctly understanding the layout of the cover. Under this proposed theory, the “just stay” part is supposed to represent the missing “O” of what would otherwise be the word “cool.”

Let’s hope so. Otherwise, we have to look at other options for what one is supposed to “just stay.”

One translation of the French word col is “collar.” Another is “mountain pass.”

And another is “cervix.”

just stay col.jpg