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A Different View

Single letter can make one ‘L’ of a difference

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Galway milliners Emily-Jean O’ Byrne, Majella Dalton and Caithriona King (right) with Catwalk model Katie Geoghegan at the launch of the First Furlong at The Ardilaun Hotel, which takes place on Tuesday, July 28,to kickstart the Galway Races. This charity lunch, races and entertainment extravaganza is in aid of Breast Cancer Research.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The press release announced the launch of ‘a new men’s collection with its signature scent’ – which is fine if you know the difference between the definition of expensive scent and stored fodder.

Because those who know their fragrances will know that sillage is the word that describes the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in the air when worn – as in, “neither scent has a very strong sillage”.

Take out one letter ‘l’ on the other hand and you’re dealing with a very different smell entirely – that of fermented fodder spread across the land, a substance we know as silage.

And while it’s a smell that I strangely enjoy for some reason, I wouldn’t bet on Brown Thomas positioning a sales counter inside the front door to promote Dignified, the new signature scent by House of Silage.

Yet House of Sillage is a self-proclaimed leading name in the world of Haute Parfumerie, based at Newport Beach in California where one presumes there’s very little smell of silage.

Dignified may well do what the promotional material suggests – provoke envy and admiration, a new class of man who cares deeply to distinguish his life and the story behind it.

The scent of silage, on the other hand, is more likely to clear a substantial space around you when you drop into the pub for a pint after a hard day spreading it all over your land.

The additional ‘l’ that separates sillage from silage – not to mention the variation in aroma – should ensure nobody gets one mixed up with the other.

But sometimes you need to be very careful when choosing your brand name – and sometimes you cannot anticipate how time may give your product a very different meaning.

Take the Belgian chocolate company, famous for its pralines since 1923, which decided to change the brand name in 2013.

A year later came the implosion in Iraq – which somehow gave a whole new meaning to newly relaunched Isis Chocolates.

Chocolates for terrorists may be a niche market in some part of the world, but it wouldn’t do anything for your branding in the west – hence another name change to Libeert, the surname of the company owners.

Sometimes it’s just language that lets you down; Poo Poo smoothies may be all the rage in China, but won’t work here – unless they link up with House of Silage perhaps.

Ditto, Pee Cola in Ghana, which actually means very good cola in their language but is unlikely to appeal to the discerning tourist.

‘Barf’ means ‘snow’ in Iran – so Barf detergent didn’t seem like a bad idea; ‘fart’ means ‘lucky’ in Polish, which makes Fart Bar easier to digest. And ‘fart’ means ‘speed’ in Swedish, which is why they didn’t think it a strange name for a car magazine until they saw the tourists laughing at them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

One person’s useless tat is another’s stuff of dreams

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The world is divided into two kinds of people; those who like to live in a world of clean, white lines and minimal clutter – and those of us who just love accumulating stuff.

Stuff covers a multitude, which – depending on your perspective – might be alternatively defined as either the souvenirs or detritus of your life.

Books, match programmes, concert ticket stubs, seashells, Dinky cars, beer mats…it’s all stuff that one person wants to treasure and the other, invariably, wants to throw straight out in the bin.

And it’s at the core of a fair percentage of domestic differences too – ‘it’s my stuff’; ‘don’t move my stuff’; ‘your stuff is taking over the house’ – because, for every hoarder, there’s an aspiring Marie Kondo who wants to take minimalism to new heights.

Attics are invariably full of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day in years; old cardboard boxes of childhood toys, suitcases packed with dusty photo albums, boxes of video cassettes for which there is no longer a VCR; clothes that you didn’t want but also didn’t want to throw out – and it’s only a matter of time before they’re back in fashion and you’ll have shed the three stone it would take to close the zipper.

Overall, it’s the kind of stuff that you hoped you’d get back to and wallow in nostalgia, years after you consigned it to the darkest recesses of the eaves.

Those who abhor clutter have a different approach, working on the basis that – if you have stuff stored in a box and you don’t open that box for three years – you don’t need that stuff anymore.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Sense of belonging that brings it all back home

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was a chat with a ‘Galwegian in exile’ that brought it all home to me; although now domiciled in the capital for more years than he’d lived in the west, he was delighted to bring his Dublin-born daughter to the All-Ireland Football Final wearing her maroon jersey.

To be honest, she’d probably have gone to Croke Park dressed as Elsa from Frozen because it was just a day out – but Daddy couldn’t have been prouder if his eleven-year-old came on for Damien Comer with five minutes to go.

The sense of place is understandable when it comes to ourselves as born-and-bred Galwegians, because while you can change where you live as often as you like, even if you wanted to, you can never change where you’re from.

But trying to impose your own geographical heritage on the next generation is alternatively seen as understandable and a little selfish at the same time.

It’s a topic for discussion in our own house on occasion because while the two lads grew up in Galway, they were in fact born in Dublin – and if they want to pull my chain, all they have to do is remind of that fact.

My reply is a tired and stock one, to the effect that although Jesus was born in a stable, nobody ever suggested that made him a horse.

The more serious point is that you are shaped by your formative years rather than the maternity hospital of your arrival – and those years were spent in Galway.

Galway is their point of reference for sport and music and school friends and nights out and pubs and college – and almost everything else that really matters.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Gaeltacht days – and a rite of passage to remember forever

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

A scholarship to Irish College wasn’t so much a backhanded compliment as an inverted acknowledgement of your grasp of the language – in other words you got one because you were bordering on useless, or to put it more diplomatically you’d benefit more than the rest from a couple of weeks of immersion in your native tongue.

Only it then transpired that the experience of three weeks in the Gaeltacht taught you that going there had a small bit to do with learning Irish for sure – but a whole lot to do with growing up, or at least beginning that blossoming process.

And you would do all this in an atmosphere as alien to your small teenage self as free elections are to the people of Russia; céilís, cispheil, comhra agus craic – as well as an Irish language version of the Streets of London written and taught to us by Art Ó Dufaigh that still lives in the memory bank, even longer than Ralph McTell’s original.

The truth, when you get there, is the realisation that three weeks in the Gaeltacht is a little like a week at the Galway Races or the Rose of Tralee; just as the horses or the Roses are ostensibly the reason for going, they’re really just the hook to get you there.

And so it is that you go to the Gaeltacht to learn the language but you come home having learned so much more.

My Gaeltacht summer was at the tail end of the seventies with three weeks in Beal a’ Dangan and céilís in Nestor’s Hall, brought there in a bus by a young man called Máirtín Tom Sheáinín who would go on to enjoy a stellar career as a broadcaster – particularly presenting Comhrá – but was back then a knacky driver with a dream, traversing windy roads in pitch darkness.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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