Flash Talk: Swearing in Québec

Every year, all the employees at Automattic get together for the Grand Meetup, a week long meetup filled with projects and fun activities. Since almost everyone works from home (we don’t share an office together), this is the only opportunity that we get to see each other all at the same time. One part of the Grand Meetup that I found to be a lot of fun, and which gave everyone an opportunity to learn a bit about each other (since at least a third of the company wasn’t part of the company yet at last year’s Grand Meetup!) was that everyone, and I mean everyone (including Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, and Toni Schneider, the CEO) has to give a 4 minute flash talk, on anything they want. This year’s talks were a heck of a lot of fun, but there were over 200 of them! Every morning and every evening, a bunch of Automatticians would give their talks in front of everyone else. Some people were really nervous; others, less so, but everyone did a fantastic job. The topics covered anything under the sun: from Topographic Maps, to reading a story someone had written, to someone giving their home-made sriracha sauce recipe. I decided that I wanted to share a little bit about Québec’s culture, so I talked about how we swear in Québec. (warning: obviously, the language is NSFW)

And here are my slides, so folks can see the ones I had to skip over:

Now, I can’t claim credit for the originality of the content; I got most of it from the following Wikipedia pages:

This video was particularly inspiring for my talk:

And this is pretty funny too:

And, if you want to hear some more Québecois joual, have a look at this TV show from a few years back, Les Bougons:


This weekend, the family and I went to visit Brickfête Montréal, an exhibition of LEGO creations of all kinds by local LEGO fans. My boys love their LEGOS (and bicker constantly over them, as children do), and were really excited to go. Unfortunately, the exhibition space was quite small (in the lobby of the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau) so it was sometimes tough for the little ones to see everything, but they enjoyed themselves nonetheless. They loved the trains and spaceships best, and I had a blast from the past with the exhbition of old Space LEGOs from the ’70s and ’80s, like the ones I had. Some of the models were huge and really complex, so all in all, it was quite impressive.