Literally, an “aha experience,” this great German term means revelation or eureka moment. I had one last night.

I was lying in bed, thinking about German grammar — a great way to fall asleep. And while contemplating which verbs take “to be” vs. “to have” in the past tense, I recalled something my sixth-grade French teacher, Madame Dupuy, taught me. To differentiate between verbs that took “être” and ones that took “avoir,” she drew a house, with various verbs of motion around it: “to climb” climbing up the stairs and “to descend” coming back down, “to fall” toppling down from the balcony, etc. (I think this is a widespread thing, not a Dupuy-specific one.) And she called it the maison d’être.

Only last night, at 12-something a.m., in a half-slumber, 14 years later, did I finally get the wordplay.

That’s an Aha-Erlebnis if there ever was one.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s