Interesting interview on 98,5 FM the other day: Benoît Dutrizac spoke with a guest about the lack of male teachers in our schools in Quebec and the effect this has on boys’ performance.
At one point, Dutrizac mentioned that so many patentes à gosse had been implemented in reforming our education system that it’s time to passer à l’action and make real change.
The interview revolved around the idea of la discrimination positive in favour of encouraging more males to become teachers.
OK, but what’s une patente à gosse?
First, une patente:
Informally, you may hear une patente used in the sense of… “thing.” It’s like another way of saying un truc. Patente can often convey the idea that the “thing” in question is a little weird; other times, it might be used because the name of the “thing” isn’t known.
Mais c’est quoi cette patente-là?!
What’s that (weird) thing (thingamajig)?!
Comment ça marche, cette patente-là?
How does that thing work (anyway)?
And une patente à gosse?
Dutrizac used patentes à gosse in the sense of “useless things” that had been implemented to reform the education system.
When used, une patente à gosse often refers to some sort of contraption that doesn’t work well or serves no real purpose. Other times, you may hear it used in the same way as une patente above.
You can see an example in use here where the author talks about une patente à gosse from Sony. He also refers to the gadget as un bidule and un trucmuche.
[This entry was inspired by Benoît Dutrizac, Dutrizac l’après-midi, 98,5 FM, Montreal, 29 March 2011.]