Friday, February 6, 2015

Less or More

Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges

When checking into our hotel, we were helped by a sweet and friendly receptionist who gave us a warm welcome, asked where we were from, and gave us helpful tourist tips. In turn, we asked if she was from Bruges but found ourselves uncertain of her answer.

I heard "Lismore" and imagined a town in Ireland or Scotland, but this seemed unlikely, as she was clearly not a native speaker of English (though she was extremely proficient). Gerry heard "Les Amours" and thought that perhaps she was expressing affection for her home town. We tried to smile and agree, but she perceived our fleeting puzzlement and asked, "Is this not how you say it? Less or more?"

Ah ha! More or Less! She was more or less from Bruges. Maybe she lived nearby, or perhaps had lived here most of her life. While we still weren't precisely sure of her meaning, at least we had the correct phrase. Idiomatic expressions can be so tricky! She went on to share with us similar mix - ups that she had experienced in the past, providing one of the most charming examples ever: should she say Coffee Pot or Coffee Pat?!

Surely these little gems of diction are one of the best souvenirs of any trip!

Looking down to the lobby from the 5th floor


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