Exemple: “Excepté livraison locale”
You’ve seen this phrase many times on traffic signs but have you ever
wondered why “excepté” in this instance does not agree with “livraison” which is
a feminine noun, while “locale” does, hence the “e” added at the end of
“locale” but not “excepté”.
The grammatical rule here is that there is no agreement when as a preposition “excepté” appears before a noun like in the above illustration. Therefore, it remains unchanged in that phrase.
Generally speaking the term “traffic light” does not allude to anything having to do with fire. Yet the French term “feu
de circulation” (meaning “traffic lights”) contains the word “feu” which translates as “fire” in English. In fact, it was around the year 1188 that “feu” came to mean origin of light in French. (http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/feu)
And so the association ensued between “light” and “feu”.
Interestingly enough, “I’m getting off at the next light” translates as “Je débarquerai au prochain feu” and not “lumière,” (http://22.214.171.124/bdl/gabarit_bdl.asp?t1=1&id=2529), which also means “light” but refers to the kind that brightens a room for instance.
Autumn Newsletter (October & November) 2011 of
of Retired School