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General Forum

  1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    USA
    Joined
    14 Jul '07
    Moves
    43012
    22 May '13 08:141 edit
    "To have the wit of the staircase"

    Since noon yesterday, I've been trying to remember a phrase learned from an older chess friend decades ago. As so often happens, our magnificent subconscious minds dredge up specific names and words we've forgotten during intervals of deep sleep. Here's the latest example with a thought I later wished had been posted after it was too late to 'edit': 'Avoir l'esprit de l'escalier': "To be unable to think of witty comebacks in time. Literal translation: to have the wit of the staircase."

    Notes: "The French expression avoir l'esprit de l'escalier refers to an inability to think of witty comebacks (or any sort of intelligent response) until it's too late to be of any use. Esprit means wit, and the escalier, or staircase, indicates that you're on your way out of / away from the gathering where the response was needed. But you could also use this expression while still at a party; for example, if you come up with a response only after the topic has changed and it's too late for you to make your oh-so-brilliant comment without looking foolish. (Note that when used in the present tense, the expression avoir l'esprit de l'escalier refers to an ongoing affliction, indicating that the person regularly suffers from "staircase wit." To talk about a specific instance, use it in the passé composé.)"

    Examples: "Je n'aime pas les dîners de Matthieu, j'ai l'esprit de l'escalier. I don't like Matthieu's dinner parties, I can never think of anything intelligent to say (until it's too late). Céleste m'a insultée, et j'en suis restée sans voix. Le lendemain, j'ai eu l'esprit de l'escalier. Céleste insulted me, and I was speechless. The next day, I thought of the perfect comeback."

    French expressions analyzed and explained By Laura K. Lawless, About.com Guide Expression

    http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/avoir-l-esprit-de-l-escalier.htm

    > Have you experienced similar lapses of memory and later recall? (gb)
  2. Joined
    10 May '07
    Moves
    10128
    22 May '13 08:36
    Frequent lapse of memory but no recall of later recalls 🙂
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    USA
    Joined
    14 Jul '07
    Moves
    43012
    22 May '13 18:54
    "Top 10 Strange Phenomena of The Mind"

    "The mind is a wonderful thing – there is so much about it which remains a mystery to this day. Science is able to describe strange phenomena, but can not account for their origins. While most of us are familiar with one or two on this list, many others are mostly unknown outside of the psychological realm.

    This is a list of the top ten strange mental phenomena. We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time – of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances – of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it!"

    http://listverse.com/2008/02/28/top-10-strange-phenomena-of-the-mind/

    Note: Number Four (4) of these Ten Fascinating Explanations (with graphics) further clarifies "the wit of the staircase".
  4. Subscribercoquette
    Already mated
    Omaha, Nebraska, USA
    Joined
    04 Jul '06
    Moves
    956566
    28 May '13 03:05
    i just thought of something great to say here in response!
  5. Standard memberChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    American West
    Joined
    19 Apr '10
    Moves
    55013
    28 May '13 03:28
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "To have the wit of the staircase"
    You can try to purdy it up with them fancy schmancy French (ree deep) wurds and where I come from a stair case ain't too bright.
    *Spits into spittoon*


    Ding
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