Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 77: Clarifying Quebecois Lingo

Today's going to be a little different than usual. Rather than a lesson I've learned today, it's more of a lesson in progress. I haven't been able to check the accuracy of the information I was given, so maybe you can help me out, and we can crowdsource this lesson.

You see, going into Information Services and Users today, I was a little late. The guest presenters, reference librarians from Concordia, had already started their presentation and were talking about reference avenues. You may have seen "Chat with a Librarian" services offered by many University libraries, so they were sharing a few other options. Email, text message, video chat, instant messaging, things like that.

One of my classmates asked: "What's the difference between text messaging and instant messaging?"

My reflexive reaction was to be perplexed as to how she didn't know something so obvious, but I had missed part of their explanation so I thought maybe they had said something in their presentation that had really muddled the issue and caused confusion. So I asked a friend, and she bestowed upon me today's potential lesson.

Lesson 73?: In Quebecois french, the same word is used for text messaging (via phone) and instant messaging (via computer).

When I was in France, we referred to text messages as "SMS" or "texto". We didn't do much IMing, but when we did it was just "MSN" because that was the client we were using at the time. So my knowledge of French suggests different words are used. But my knowledge of Quebecois vernacular is decidedly subpar, so I don't know, is the same word used for both?

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