Tuesday, July 16

I ask myself "does Bobo = Hipster?" and notice that phonetics is really hard.

My puzzle for the morning: Does bobo = hipster? Google answers. Very informative comments. For example,

It’s largely an age and income thing. A Bobo is either a boomer 
or early-wave Xer, and likely to be an upper middle-class 
professional. Hipsters shop at thrift stores; Bobos shop at 
Anthropologie. Le Tigre at Galapagos in Brooklyn is Hipster; 
drinks at the Blue Note is Bobo. Zines are hipster; Utne Reader 
is Bobo. Chunky nerd-frames are Hipster; expensive thin wire-frames 
are Bobo. You can probably fill in the blanks from there.

A Bobo is a yuppie with hippie leanings, as evidenced by the 
‘wheat free-organic flakes’ and such. Think of what you’d 
imagine a techie living in Seattle to be like, and that’s probably 
pretty close to Bobo.

A hipster is that kid who liked obscure brit-pop music in High 
school, and was probably in drama as well. Think geek-chic or 
something to that effect.. They’re the people who dress in clothes 
that look like they’re from thrift stores, but also sort of look 
like they were more expensive than any of your clothes that you 
didn’t buy at a thrift store.

Notice while Bobos are are relatively cohesive subgrouping, hipsters 
come in different shapes and colors. There are mods, krust, electrocrash,
goths, ravers, skaters and such. Funny thing is, at most high schools 
all types of them hang out together like a Superfriends-style team of 
“freaks.” Then they go to art school and segregate.

You could make the case a bobo is a yuppie that has decided use 
their (bourgeois) wealth to adopt bohemian lifestyle traits. Witness 
the emphasis on food, brooks notes that the kitchen, with its wildly 
excessive stainless steel, industrial quality appliances is always 
the center of the bobo home. In short, a bobo is a yuppie who realized 
that an REI fleece beats a Members Only jacket on both the style and 
comfort fronts.

And so on from there. I'm starting to get the idea.

I think maybe I'm a bit of a bobo-wannabe, but can't really afford it. Witness my Armani man-purse, expensive wire-frame glasses, Mephisto walking shoes, and insane crush on Martha Stewart. And I'd love one of those stainless steel kitchens but am unlikely to ever have one. On the other hand, I much prefer the company of hipsters. E.g., I love the left bank and feel out-of-place on the right bank. It's all so very confusing.

I should take a poll. Are you ...
1. A bobo.
2. A hipster.
3. A hipster, but I'll be a bobo when I have the money (or I would be a bobo if I had the money, either one).
4. F**k you, I don't give a damn.
5. Too old and tired to answer.
6. A boobster – One who ponders excessively about whether someone is a bobo or a hipster because they are neither, but want to be.

Cute T-shirt in shop:

Fort Beau Intelligent

(Strong Handsome Intelligent)

Cute restaurant name on rue Mouffetard:

Le Mouf'tôt Le Mouf'tard

(The Mouf early, The Mouf late)

Eating Poulet Roti (roast chicken). No point in picture, same as at home.

I've been asked how people dress here. Depends on the neighborhood. Where I live it's very much everyday dress. Maybe the jeans are on average a bit nicer and a bit more tailored, and if the t-shirt has a slogan or ad, it's not too loud or outrageous. On the right bank and over in the 6th and 7th you see nicer clothes on average. But there's lots of variations. Cute little summer dresses in this weather are popular on the young women. In my class everyone dresses pretty much the same way that slightly cleaner students dress back home. Office workers are better dressed on work days like this of course. But even here you often see stunning outfits on women.

Summary: Yes, jeans and clean t-shirt fine. No, most people are not dressed up - they look normal. But huge variation from bank to bank and quartier to quartier.

Phonetics is so hard. One example from yesterday.

Je ne peux pas venir tout de suite



We get 20 of these examples every day, diagramed as in the picture above.

I like how "tout de suite" is pronounced "tout_suit", but the second t actually comes from the "d" of "de". When the liaison is formed between "tou" and "d" the "d" becomes a /t/ sound. The final letters of all three words, "t", "e", and "e" are silent to start with.