"la plume de ma tante...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

....est sur la table de mon oncle"

French for - "my aunt's pen is on my uncle's table"

 The expression comes from the really odd sentences used in some old vintage textbooks to demonstrate grammar.  It is often quoted as a notorious example of one such misleading statement that probably confused the student more than teaching them anything functional about the language. "La plume de ma tante est sur la table de mon oncle" is not really the sort of phrase you are likely to need in daily conversation and "plume" can also mean feather.

The phrase has since been quoted in many books and movies including a very famous scene in The Exorcist.  It was also the title of a Broadway musical.  Here is the program from the Royale Theatre in 1960.


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