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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Saint Thingummy

L'église de Saint-Sauveur

rue Principale

Every year I like attending a dance festival in a small resort town in the Laurentians north of Montreal. Like almost all small towns in Quebec, this one has a name starting with "Saint": Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts. Nearby are St-Hippolyte, Ste-Adele, Ste-Agathe, and St-Jovite. Typically, if the founder of a town wanted to honour his wife Agathe, he would name the town after her patron saint. There are so many of these in Quebec that gazetteers of provincial maps have to subdivide the "S" section into "St-A", "Ste-A", "St-B", and so on. 

But did you know that there is a word specifically meaning "Place name derived from a saint's name"? Here it is, to impress your friends with the next time you visit Quebec: hagiotoponym, from the Greek hagios (holy), topos (place), and onoma (name).

As you can see in the pictures above, Saint-Sauveur looks like everyone's idea of a picturesque Québécois village, and it makes for a great summer break where you can see world-class dancers. 

In fact, why not join me on a trip there this summer. Here's the preliminary info: 
Please let me know ASAP (toursenlair@gmail.com) if you would be interested. This is not a commitment, just an expression of interest.

Wednesday August 10 - Saturday August 13, 2 performances (plus one optional)

Guillaume Côté and dancers of the National Ballet of Canada:

The Story of us (Marcelo Gomes, World Premiere, with Heather Ogden)
Venom (Côté)
The Sleeping Beauty prince's solo
Dance me to the end of love (Côté)

Solos and pas de deux from the classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoires:

    • Guillaume Côté – National Ballet of  Canada
    • Heather Ogden – National Ballet of  Canada
    • Misty Copeland – American Ballet Theatre
    • Blaine Hoven - American Ballet Theatre
    • Nehemiah Kish – The Royal Ballet
    • Yuhui Choe – The Royal Ballet
    • Anne Plamondon - Independent artist
    • more dancers TBA

Optional performance:

Louise Lecavalier and Frédéric Tavernini in So Blue.
I am looking at the following package:

Coach transport from Toronto (or Montreal airport or Dorval train station) to Saint-Sauveur including shuttle between hotel and performance venue

Lunch on the way to Saint-Sauveur and back

1 dinner in Saint-Sauveur

3 nights hotel

Ballet tickets

Day trip into Montreal from Saint-Sauveur

COMING THIS FALL! My ever-popular Rollicking Story of the English Language course. More info here: http://katherinebarber.blogspot.ca/p/history-of-english-language-courses.html

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1 comment:

  1. re "gazetteers of provincial maps have to subdivide the "S" section into "St A", "St B" and so on."

    And followed by another series: Ste A, Ste B, and so on.


About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.