Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Side note

You hear a lot about Irish people saying "how's the craic" as the starting point to a conversation about the latest news or gossip or whatnot. This phrase not being one that naturally rolls off the tongue, we gave our NI hosts a laugh by saying "what's the craic" or various other permutations as we tried to perfect our nonchalance. We never actually heard the phrase uttered, though, and were beginning to think that it was some kind of legend, until we were walking down the streets of Donegal, and a teenage girl uttered the phrase as a form of greeting instead of "hi" when she encountered some friends on the sidewalk. I was, frankly, astonished that people would adopt something so much more complicated when a simple one-syllable sound would suffice.

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