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cmt Jan 23rd, 2005 10:28 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 04:12 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 05:54 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 06:12 AM

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

cigalechanta Jan 24th, 2005 06:29 AM

City of light going back to the days of Lumiere.

Tallulah Jan 24th, 2005 06:31 AM

Ummm...does it matter?

kismetchimera Jan 24th, 2005 07:24 AM

Not really..:)

Patrick Jan 24th, 2005 07:31 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 07:39 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 07:43 AM

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

lobo_mau Jan 24th, 2005 07:54 AM

City of Light

cmt Jan 24th, 2005 11:29 AM

&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 11:41 AM

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 01:28 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 08:14 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 01:22 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 03:40 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 08:27 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 11:02 AM

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 11:58 AM

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.

lexie Jan 25th, 2005 02:15 PM

cmt and Tallulah, please kiss and makeup-- my stomach hurts just reading this!

Huitres Jan 25th, 2005 02:19 PM

I agree, this is not fun to read all this back and forth bickering - we're off topic here! Now, back to Paris and its light/s. :)

LoveItaly Jan 25th, 2005 03:10 PM

Well I enjoyed learning something new today (and AM depressed thanks to have a stomach virus for about 4 days and 2 weeks of tule fog). I always thought City of Light meant lights (as in neon), did not know it stood for enlightenment. Interesting! ((*))

cigalechanta Jan 25th, 2005 03:20 PM

AWWWW! loveitaly, sorry to hear that. Wishing you a speedy recovery
but what is tule fog?

Robespierre Jan 25th, 2005 03:30 PM

My mother (who is definitely <u>not</u> an enthusiastic traveler) calls Paris &quot;La Ville L&eacute;g&egrave;re&quot; because she thinks it's all frou-frou.

Scarlett Jan 25th, 2005 03:52 PM

Ooh, poor LoveItaly! Sorry you have been ill. Who is the culprit that shared their virus with you? :)

LoveItaly Jan 25th, 2005 03:53 PM

Hi Mimi, tule fog is a fog that comes from the delta which is east of where I live. It covers the central valley and Sacramento Valley of California.

It is a very different type of fog then say San Francisco gets. The SF fog comes in from the west, the Pacific Ocean. I actually enjoy the SF fog.

But the tule fog is miserable. It is so dark one must have lights on all day in the house. And it is biting cold and very wet and damp. And for commuters it can be very dangerous as it will be right on the roadway, consequently drivers have no visability. Tule fog makes freeway driving extremely dangerious. So anyone that has loved ones driving in it tends to worry. It just makes everything a drab ugly grey wet mess.
We haven't seen blue sky or a speck of sunshine for close to three weeks now.

But of course we feel we can not complain much after what our dear USA has gone through weatherwise these past months. But we do quietly grumble to each other, LOL.

Take goog careMimi, and continue to get yourself healthy and strong.

And soon spring should be here for all of us! ((*))

LoveItaly Jan 25th, 2005 04:05 PM

Scarlett dear, if I knew who it was I would personally give them a good chewing out, LOL. ;;)

Seriously I don't know. My grandson and daughter have it too. And the UPS man that came to the house Monday told me that tons of people have it. So who knows who the villan is. The UPS man was real really encouraging. He said &quot;oh geez, good luck, I know people that have had it three weeks!&quot;

Now that really made my whole day!!!
One can't really eat, you feel like you have been hit by a ten ton truck and have been put on the Spanish torture rack. Hard to sleep because you feel so terrible. And to miserable to really get much done.

Well dear, besides the virus and the tule fog I truly believe that thread that January 24th is the most depressing day of the year. The 25th too! LOL. ((*))

lexie Jan 26th, 2005 06:30 PM

Hi LoveItaly--had the same virus last year.SHEER MISERY!! Get well soon luv.

cigalechanta Jan 26th, 2005 06:34 PM

Hope you are better loveitaly, I'm well not not much energy yet, tasking care of my dog after surgery but did gop out to a movie, not made in the city of Light but in France Profonde.

LVSue Jan 26th, 2005 07:35 PM

And I think Las Vegas must be the City of Lights (certainly NOT enlightenment!).

My DH used to tell me stories of driving between Taft and Bakersfield in the Tule fog not looking out of the windshield, but with the driver's door open, looking at the stripe in the road. Ugh! But then we did that one night in a snowstorm in Arizona. Glad he had the experience to do that.

LoveItaly Jan 26th, 2005 08:00 PM

Lexi, Mimi and LVSue, I am now truly believing in good thoughts being sent do indeed cause a miracle.

I could not sleep last night so stayed on Fodors until about 4:00am and then crawled into bed. Woke at 9:00 as the phone was ringing. Dental appointment was at 11:00am but they wanted to know if I could come in at 10:00am (cleaning only thank goodness). I felt rather well and made it. Came home and goofed off (on Fodors of course) and then went to the Supermarket (way overdue thanks to the virus). And here I am! Back a bit achy but all other complaints gone.
Am going to go to bed early due to not getting enough last night but feel like I will sleep well. Want to make sure I don't get a relapse.

And LVSue, yes your DH description of driving in the Tule fog is right on. Hard to understand if one has not driven in it. I refuse to anymore. But have where I could not even see the complete hood of the car. You are thinking &quot;who is ahead of you&quot; and also &quot;who is behind you&quot; and maybe an inexperience driver going to fast. It is a nightmare for sure. Your DH was in the Central Valley. Often 60 or so vehicles piled up in one accident during Tule fog weather. Really scary.

My hugs to all of you. And oh BTW, we had a rain storm last night (good news!) and this afternoon had blue sky with beautiful puffy white clouds and some actual rays of sunshine.

And dear Mimi, why you take care of that dear doggy of yours please take good care of yourself also.

Thank you dear ones for all your good thoughts Honestly, I truly believe they helped. I send all of you a big hug. Good health to all!

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