I love my kids’ education at the French American school here in San Francisco. Among other things, it’s made them so much more sensitive to language and humor. Today, I asked the kids if there was a French word for a whiteboard. They said that everyone just calls it the “ardoise,” which of course is like continuing to call a whiteboard a “blackboard” in English. By definition, an “ardoise” is black because it’s made of slate.
I suggested “ardoise blanche,” hardly a good compromise. My 8 year old son replied, “How about “blardoise,” which I’d say is the perfect adaptation. The only problem is saying “la blardoise” three times fast. It’s a word that no matter how cute, will never catch on.