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Posts Tagged ‘Jean-François Mercier’

Le mégot n'est pas un engraisThis little sign in a flowerbed outside the Complexe Desjardins in Montréal reminds people in a unique way to avoid leaving their cigarette butts among the plants:

Le mégot n’est pas un engrais!
SVP utilisez les cendriers

1. Mégot

Un mégot is a cigarette butt, the part of the cigarette that’s left over after it’s been smoked. This sign tells us that cigarette butts are not fertilisers, le mégot n’est pas un engrais!

2. Cendrier

The sign also tells smokers where to put their cigarette butts: in the ashtrays, les cendriers. The word un cendrier can refer to both an ashtray in someone’s home and the tall vertical ones in public places.

3. Botch

In Québec, you may hear another word for mégot during informal conversations: un botch (de cigarette).

Le cendrier était plein de botchs de cigarette.
The ashtray was full of cigarette butts.

Jette pas tes botchs par terre!
Don’t throw your butts on the ground!

4. Botcher

You may also hear the verb botcher, which refers to putting out the cigarette. In fact, you’ve already heard this verb before in a video from a past entry: Jean-François Mercier comically remarks on the fact that his anti-nicotine attack dog Roxie can’t put out cigarettes herself.

Roxie, je le sais que tu comprends pas pourquoi qu’y’a des gens qui fument. J’ai jamais fumé, pis t’as jamais fumé non plus. Pis ça tombe bien parce que t’aurais pas été capable de botcher, à cause que t’es[-t-]un chien…

Roxie, I know you don’t understand why there are people who smoke. I’ve never smoked, and you’ve never smoked either. Which is a good thing because you’d have never been able to put your cigarette out, ‘cos you’re a dog…

Here’s the entire French transcript and translation into English.

5. Puff

Another informal word used in Québec is une puff, which is a puff or drag of smoke. We could also spell it as une poffe. In a scene from the television show Les Parent, Natalie asks for a puff of cigarette from another character:

Me passerais-tu une puff? Juste une p’tite…
Can I have a puff? Just a little one…

[Les Parent, season 4, episode 9, Radio-Canada,
Montréal, 7 November 2011]

Similarly:

Veux-tu une poffe?
Donne-moi une poffe.

Do you want a puff?
Give me a puff.

And a play on words…

Here’s another image related to smoking, this time from Place Ville Marie. The sign reads:

Aire sans fumée
Smoke-free zone

Une aire is a zone.

There’s a play on words happening here. You’ll notice that the letter e in aire is in a different colour to the rest of the text. If we drop that letter, we’re left with:

Air sans fumée
Smoke-free air

Both aire and air are pronounced the same way.

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In entry #595, I posted a video where comedian Jean-François Mercier pokes fun at smokers by professing his love for his anti-nicotine attack dog Roxie.

Let’s look at two parts of that video, where Mercier uses language you might find difficult. I’ve reposted the video below for convenience, but you can return to the original entry for the transcription and translation into English.

1. Mercier says:
[…] tu comprends pas pourquoi qu’y’a des gens qui fument.

This means: tu ne comprends pas pourquoi il y a des gens qui fument.

Instead of il y a, Mercier pronounces this informally as y’a. This occurs very frequently in spoken French.

He also stuck in que after pourquoi. You don’t need to adopt this yourself, just recognise that sometimes you’ll hear it.

He also left out ne in his sentence, using only pas to negate. This happens very frequently in spoken French.

2. Mercier says:
[…] à cause que t’es-t-un chien.

This means: parce que tu es un chien.

À cause que means the same thing as parce que. The use of à cause que has fallen out of use elsewhere in the francophonie but you can still hear it in spoken French in Québec. It’s not used in formal language. On the other hand, parce que can be heard at all levels of language, and Mercier does in fact also say parce que in the video.

Rather than tu es, Mercier says t’es. This occurs very frequently in spoken French. You’ll also hear him say t’aurais instead of tu aurais, t’étais instead of tu étais, and t’as instead of tu as.

Mercier also slipped in a -t- liaison between es and un (t’es-t-un chien). You don’t need to adopt this feature, just recognise it.

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Roxie, je le sais que tu comprends pas pourquoi qu’y’a (qu’il y a) des gens qui fument. J’ai jamais fumé, pis t’as jamais fumé non plus. Pis ça tombe bien parce que t’aurais pas été capable de botcher, à cause que t’es[-t-]un chien.

Tu le sais, ma belle petite Roxie, la cigarette, c’est dangereux même pour toi. C’est pour ça que je t’ai dressée à attaquer les fumeurs. Je me rappelle le premier fumeur que t’as attaqué.

C’était tellement drôle. Je me souviens, toi t’étais partie à courir vite, vite, vite. Pis lui, ben, il pouvait pas courir à cause que c’est un fumeur. Pis pendant que t’étais en train de planter tes crocs dans sa main toute jaunie, moi, j’étais fier de toi.

Je veux que tu mordes dans la vie, même si pour ça, Roxie, il faut que tu mordes dans des gens qui sentent la vieille chambre d’hôtel. Je t’aime, Roxie.

Un gars le soir est fier de ne pas s’associer au message culpabilisant pour un avenir sans fumée.

Un gars le soir, tous les jours de la semaine, 22 h.

In English:

Roxie, I know you don’t understand why there are people who smoke. I’ve never smoked, and you’ve never smoked either. Which is a good thing because you’d have never been able to put your cigarette out, ‘cos you’re a dog.

You know, my sweet little Roxie, smoking is dangerous, even for you. That’s why I trained you to attack smokers. I remember the first smoker you attacked.

It was so funny. I remember you took off running fast, fast, fast. And he, well, he couldn’t run ‘cos he’s a smoker. And while you were busy digging your fangs into his yellow-stained hand, me, I was proud of you.

I want you to take a bite out of life, Roxie, even if it means that you have to bite people who smell like old hotel rooms. I love you, Roxie.

Un gars le soir is proud to not be associated with this guilt-inducing message for a smoke-free future.

Un gars le soir, every weekday, 22 h.

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