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cmt Jan 23rd, 2005 11:28 AM

"City of Light"
I was almost positive that Paris was known as the "City of Light." But then I started seeing it written so often as "...LightS" that I was starting to have my doubts. So, I looked into it a bit, and also asked on another forum what the origin of the phrase might be. Here's the brief thread on the topic, which has some interesting information that some of you might enjoy about the possible origins of this label for Paris:

P.S. It's definitely City of LIGHT (singular), by the way.

cmt Jan 24th, 2005 05:12 AM

P.S. If you are not registered on that forum, click on "enter as a guest" to read the thread.

francophile03 Jan 24th, 2005 06:54 AM

I have always known it to be 'City of Light' too. And, like you, I've seen it written recently as 'City of Lights'.

Travelnut Jan 24th, 2005 07:12 AM

It is City of Light, as in &quot;en<b>light</b>enment&quot;, not Lights as in neon...

cigalechanta Jan 24th, 2005 07:29 AM

City of light going back to the days of Lumiere.

Tallulah Jan 24th, 2005 07:31 AM

Ummm...does it matter?

kismetchimera Jan 24th, 2005 08:24 AM

Not really..:)

Patrick Jan 24th, 2005 08:31 AM

Well, it probably doesn't matter any more than this post:

Author: Tallulah
Date: 10/27/2004, 05:48 am
Message: Caroline: I too began to use the term 'fit' to mean 'fanciable', 'attractive', 'phwooar' when I was a student in Sheffield! It's now in everyday usage across many age-groups, not just a media thing (sorry Flanner!)

Having a bad day, Tallulah?

Tallulah Jan 24th, 2005 08:39 AM

But I didn't put that up as a new post, that was part of a conversation that came about with Caroline!! Hardly the same thing Patrick!

Anyway, you can't have looked too hard, I'm sure that I've posted far worse drivel than that!

Mind you, I am actually having quite a bad day. According to today's papers, January 24th has been recognized as the most depressing day of the year. Personally I disagree, I find Valentine's Day and my birthday FAR FAR worse!

cigalechanta Jan 24th, 2005 08:43 AM

30 inches of snow here makes it very depressing. No wher to put it!!!

lobo_mau Jan 24th, 2005 08:54 AM

City of Light

cmt Jan 24th, 2005 12:29 PM

&lt;&lt;Author: Tallulah
Date: 01/24/2005, 10:31 am
Message: Ummm...does it matter?&gt;&gt;

Tallulah, to those with not one speck of curiosity about language or history or Paris, it matters not a bit. Nor does it matter to anyone who'd never even consider using the expression in a book, article, trip report, converstion, letter, or post. But to those who enjoy learning or at least speculating about how some common expressions originated, the alternative explanations of the origins of the expression &quot;cit&eacute; lumi&egrave;re&quot; (as presented in that thread from another forum that I cited) are somewhat interesting. It's not surprising that lots of people find such information dull, useless, and too esoteric. But what's really amazing and funny and a little sad is that some people who haven't the energy, curiosity or inclination to click on a link that might lead to a few scraps of cultural/historical trivia nevertheless have the energy and inclination to ridicle an innocuous thread intended for those who do enjoy such topics. And then again, even the behavior of sour cranky souls is interesting to someone. There's just no end to what interests someone somewhere.

cigalechanta Jan 24th, 2005 12:41 PM

My previous post has disappeared. I said to Tullulah, that it matters to the French as here in Boston when someone says Boston Commons or Boston Public Gardens, we know they are tourists.

Christina Jan 24th, 2005 02:28 PM

A lot of people make that mistake, I've seen it written that way for years (lights). There's nothing you can do about it, I've even seen or heard that in more &quot;official&quot; places, like on the radio or TV, but usually travel articles etc. get it right.

Some people like to stick &quot;s&quot; on things for no reason. I think maybe Tokyo or NYC would be the City of Lights.

cmt Jan 24th, 2005 09:14 PM

I don't especially care about the mistake. But I think if people read and hear the French label, &quot;cit&eacute; lumi&egrave;re,&quot; it's more likely to stick in their minds as the singular, and calling it the &quot;city of light&quot; will just come more naturally.

Tallulah Jan 25th, 2005 02:22 AM

cmt: It was not my intention to '..riducule..' your post, simply an observation that that whilst I can agree that it's interesting to know why Paris is known as the City of Light, I'm somewhat less bothered as to why it's light or lights (I am more than familiar with laws of grammar and semantics, so I don't need a lesson). That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

As to being 'sour' and 'cranky', perhaps being English I simply have a healthy cynical outlook on life and have developed a thicker skin over the years? Or maybe I need to overdose on emoticons when I post to clarify my points?!

:-) Here's one for starters!

cmt Jan 25th, 2005 04:40 AM

Nope, emoticons wouldn't clarify anything for me. Your intentions were already clear and prompted my response.

P.S. I didn't notice anyone quibbling about grammar on this thread. The light/lights issue is purely a matter of accuracy and history, not grammar.

Tallulah Jan 25th, 2005 09:27 AM

cmt: You know absolutely nothing about my intentions and I consider it extremely rude of you to make such sweeping assumptions.

AGAIN, as I said, I was referring to whether it was singular or plural, not about the historical or cultural references.

cmt Jan 25th, 2005 12:02 PM

My &quot;assumption&quot; was that you'd of course read the full message before jumping in to make supercilious comments about what you deemed to be petty concerns on my part. But, if not, then I'll borrow your comment: &lt;&lt;and I consider it extremely rude of you to make such sweeping assumptions...&gt;&gt; And merry emoticons to you too: :)

Scarlett Jan 25th, 2005 12:58 PM

Well, AHEM! I know when I go to Paris, my face LIGHTS up :D
I always thought of it as the City of Light because Paris was the destination of composers and intellectuals and those considered to be Enlightened.

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