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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jane Austen, the inveterate punster, outdoes herself

OK, I have a small quiz for those Janeites who enjoy wordplay.

In the following statement by Lady Catherine during her momentous showdown with Lizzy at Longbourn, I have just discovered the literal English translation of a two-word idiom in a foreign language, an idiom which was frequently used by English speakers in JA's time, and which is still frequently used in our own time:

"My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, and in a cause of such moment as this I shall certainly not depart from it."

Please note that the two words in English which together constitute a translation of the foreign idiom are NOT next to each other in Lady Catherine's statement.

And, to further add to JA's clever hiding of this common idiom in plain sight, Lady Catherine's statement also contains a punning hint as to which foreign language the idiom is from!

I believe someone is going to quickly guess the correct answer in each of the online venues where I am posting this little quiz, but if no one does by Friday at 5 pm EST, I will post the answer everywhere.

Happy hunting! ;)

Cheers, ARNIE

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