04 May 2009

Grand, isn’t it?

Words are strange phenomena... The same word can mean so many things to different people. Especially when a “cultural” slant is brought into the situation.

For example, in English-English, the adjective “grand” means: “splendid, magnificent, imposing, dignified… of chief importance… of the highest rank… excellent… great” – Hum hum, went back to my Oxford dictionary for this one!

But in Irish-English, the meanings are so much more intricate. For example:

“How are you today? - Ah sure, I’m grand all together!” = not too bad, can't complain.

Or: “Isn’t it a grand morning?” = usually talking about the Irish weather, quite nice, especially if no rain!

Or: “Do you want me to keep doing what I am doing? – No, leave it, it’s grand like this” = It will do as it is…

I know that, when talking to people outside of Ireland, I have to be careful with the words I use, as some don’t have quite the same meaning. “Grand” is one usually at the top of my list!

Over the last while I have been tagged by a few people, but life assumed a level of intensity that did not leave much room for a response - Cheri and Hammie, I am sure you’ll understand. But there is one, a quick and easy one, that I kept at the back of my mind, for when things would quiet down again, and it would be time to reflect and then move on.

Jazzy, a little late, these are my 5 takes on why and when Life Is Grand:

- Because Cathal has gone through the surgery, and his little heart is pumping away much better than it has never before, and life is returning to some nice routine.

- When I hold him in my arms, when he snuggles his face against my neck, and feels so comfortable and trusting of me that he allows me to rock him to sleep.

- When on Saturday mornings I sleep late, then enjoy a slow lazy breakfast in bed with the good book – probably my favourite time of the week.

- When on weekday mornings I pull back the curtains and find these beautiful dawns greeting me:

Aren't they a sight? I took these photos on separate mornings over the last two weeks. Such beauty is enough to make up for the ungodly hour my alarm comes on!

- Because not only I have a job – not every one has these days - but one I really enjoy doing. I do not remember finding it so easy to go in every day with any other job I have had over the years.

So yes, Jazzy, generally speaking, Life is Grand…

I am not going to impose on people to contribute their five reasons for thinking that life is grand. However, if Mel, Cheri and Elbog, from their side of the globe, want to join in this little exercise in “Irishness”, be my guest!


Anonymous said...

your right, life is grand, and you are a Grand Grandmother.

Mel said...

I accept your tag Nan P. Watch my space!

jazzygal said...

Hey Nan.......great post!!

I used to get such a slagging abroad for my Irish use of the word "grand"!

I am so glad you now have time to find life Grand again. And these tags are ONLY to be done if you feel like it. You have to find them fun to do....well, that's how I look at it anyway!

Fab photos...nothin like lovely scenery to make you feel good. xx J

Jeffrey Goble said...

You will have to have seen the movie "Raising Arizona" to understand when I say that my life "ain't exactly Ozzie and Harriet" (even more aware of old US TV shows to 'get' that). However, I was raised to always be grateful and count my blessings, so here goes:
1) I have a Grand. Piano. A gift from my Grand-mother.
2) I have indoor plumbing. Chuckle until you realize a day or two without it.
3) I have indoors to plumb. 'Nuff said.
4) I am fully employed when the majority of my near friends are not. I make less than they usually did, but still.
5) I have Love. That makes life Grand regardless of 1-4.

Cheri said...

Thanks for the tag Nan! :) ... so glad things are grand indeed...and so glad Cathal is doing well!

I love the way the Irish use the word Grand...in fact I love the way the Irish and French/Irish like yourself say ANYTHING :)...when a friend and I went to Ireland about 11 years ago we bought a CD which had commentary from an Irish man telling bar stories..it was hilarious, and we loved having his Irish accent right there with us in the car as we drove the countryside...it made the whole experience even more...well, "Grand". :)

Enjoy those beautiful sunrise mornings!

Lisamaree said...

Grand so.

Nan P. said...

“Ah well now!”

The most common use of “grand” and I left it out. Dam it!
And an “Ozzie” pointed it out… Dam it! Dam it!

Hammie, all I can say to you is: “touché!”

Elbog – I did chuckle, but it makes sense!

Nanny T said...

I, too, have been blessed by the birth of a beautiful grandson, Flynn. He also needed open heart surgery which he had on 13.12.07 - did we really hold our breath until the call came through to say he had survived the surgery? Since then the love and dedication shown to him not only by his parents but so many people who have seen the joy he has brought with him has seen him go from strength to strength. He and all his family are now signing which has given him an incredible freedom and confidence. Living quite a distance away has made the journey for this nanny a lot more difficult but the joy gained from hearing him giggle on the telephone when he knows it is his nanny on the other end knows no bounds. Life is indeed grand!

Nanny T said...

I forgot to say Flynn was diagnosed with Down Syndrome some weeks after birth but that paled into insignificance when I realised he may not live long enough to have his heart surgery or survive it. He is so happy with his life and has taught his parents that they had an inner strength they could never have imagined.

Anonymous said...

Next time, explain to the world the difference between "un grand homme" and "un homme grand", pointing out that even in French, the same word may have diffrent meanings ;-) (Your french cousin Eric)