Empailleurs (2)

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39 réponses à “Empailleurs (2)

  1. A. J. P. Crown

    These are great pictures, Sig.

    And I love way these roofs are made; it’s so clear and beautiful.

  2. When you walk over these bare battens — some of them half split — several metres above the ground, you don’t think so much about the beauty of the structure. But these guys (the thatchers, if that’s what they are called in English) almost run when they are there.

  3. Even though GT wants to call them the taxidermists, though in English we thatch roofs, we don’t stuff them.

  4. I suppose Google Translate is not so much aware of the technical words used by Martian specialists. (But one must acknowledge that normally an empailleur is either somebody who stuffs dead animals with hay/straw — i.e. a taxidermist — or somebody who repairs chairs — i.e. a chair bottomer.) I really don’t know how the French call a thatcher (“someone skilled in making a roof from plant stalks or foliage”). The Harrap’s French-English dictionary says “couvreur en chaume”, but to me it doesn’t sound entirely convincing. It could however suggest that Margaret Thatcher might have had a soft spot for “les chaumeurs”.

  5. Ah! ah! how right I was without knowing it. (Ça va pleurer dans les chaumières.) I’ve had a look at le Dicobat, a specialised dictionary for the construction industry, and there it was:

    Chaumeur n.m. Entrepreneur ou compagnon spécialisé dans la mise en œuvre des toitures en chaume (on dit aussi chaumeux, en Auvergne, et chaumier).

  6. marie-lucie

    Pour moi, un empailleur empaille les animaux défunts, mais celui qui rempaille les chaises paillées détériorées est un rempailleur.

    Je crois que couvreur en chaume doit être un remplacement moderne de chaumeur, étant donné l’homophonie de ce dernier mot avec « chômeur », un mot nettement plus répandu dans la société moderne, malheureusement. « Chaumeux » est une forme dialectale de chaumeur (comme les noms en « -eux » en général, et « chaumier » une autre forme régionale. On ne fait plus guère de toitures en chaume en France, c’est beaucoup plus la mode en Angleterre (où l’on manque justement de chaumeurs, malgré la pléthore de chômeurs). Ces toitures ont l’avantage d’être beaucoup plus isolantes que celles en tuiles ou en ardoises, mais elles ne durent pas aussi longtemps. De plus, elles exigent que le chaume soit long, mais les moissonneuses modernes coupent la paille trop près du sol. Il est donc difficile de se procurer le chaume, ainsi que de trouver des chaumeurs.

  7. Marie-Lucie : De plus, elles exigent que le chaume soit long, mais les moissonneuses modernes coupent la paille trop près du sol.

    Quel est le chaume le plus utilisé en Europe ? Les tiges de blé sont un peu courtes non* ? (Maybe AJP knows what thatch is used most in Britain and elsewhere in Europe?)

    Ici ce sont les feuilles de cannes qui sont, de très loin, les plus utilisées. Autrefois, quand on le cultivait, les fines tiges de vétiver fournissait un excellent chaume, lequel avait la réputation de durer le double de la paille de canne, soit vingt ans. Mais on ne fait plus guère pousser de vétiver à Maurice, et peut-être que dans 10 ans on ne cultivera les cannes qu’en petite quantité pour avoir leur paille. (Et, sans doute, pour faire du rhum aussi.)

    mais celui qui rempaille les chaises paillées détériorées est un rempailleur

    Le TLFi donne rempailleur comme synonyme d’empailleur (voir le lien plus haut). Vous parlez de chaises déteriorées, qu’il faut donc rempailler, mais ces chaises-là, on les a bien empaillées une première fois quand elles ont été fabriquées, non ?
     
     
     
    * Je me souviendrai toujours de la première fois que j’ai vu du blé. Dans mon imagination on disparaissait presque complètement en se tenant debout dans un champ de blé. Ce n’était peut-être pas aussi haut qu’un champ de cannes (trois à trois mètres cinquante à maturité), mais ce n’était quand même pas de l’herbe. Quel choc d’avoir dû se baisser si bas pour contempler l’épi !

  8. WP gives several other factors for the decline of thatching (which was, indeed, done mostly with wheat straw) in Europe:

    Thatch roofs were prohibited in cities due to the danger of fire (as early as 1212 in London), causing thatch to be seen as rural and unfashionable.

    Low-cost slate from Welsh quarries became available around 1820, allowing the construction of more permanent roofs.

    The Napoleonic Wars drove up the cost of straw (and wheat) beyond what the rural poor could afford.

    Wetlands were lost due to more intensive farming, making rushes (Juncaceae) less readily available.

  9. And consider the fact that you need to change the thatch every so often, which causes a huge mess in the house.

    Another problem that you mentioned is fire. Thatched roofs are particularly matter for concern at the end of each month of December due to the amount of fireworks that are being used.

    But, John, how tall is the wheat straw? Given that you need overlapping between straws (or leaves as the case may be), a roof made with short stalks is likely to leak, and to rot rapidly.

  10. A. J. P. Crown

    In England, The three main thatching materials are Combed Wheat Reed, Long Straw and Norfolk Reed.

    My uncle in Leicestershire has a Norfolk Reed thatch on his house (I can’t remember why). He had to bring the local men all the way from Norfolk to do the work, but these days it was lucky that we knew of some.

  11. As m-l points out, modern wheat varieties are short, and the combine leaves them even shorter, so they are hard to use. Such was not the case before about 1800.

  12. John: As m-l points out, modern wheat varieties are short

    It seems to me that what she pointed out was that the machines (harvesters) that are used nowadays cut the straws too close to the ground (les moissonneuses modernes coupent la paille trop près du sol). She didn’t particularly mention the length of modern wheat straws.

    But I fail to understand why is it that cutting the straws close to the ground changes something. In the past, when scythes were used, only the ears were cut? What was then left sticking out of the ground was cut once again to get the remaining straws?
     
     
    Arthur: In England, the three main thatching materials are Combed Wheat Reed, Long Straw and Norfolk Reed.

    “Combed wheat reed”: I’ll definitely have to show the picture of a Martian comb, made with nails. The site you linked to seems to be a good one. I think I’ll go back to it every now and then. An interesting figure found on the main page: « Thatching costs around £100/£120 m2 square ». That’s between 4800 and 5700 rupees per m². Current prices in Mauritius flutter around 1500 Rs/toise. It is not the real toise in this case, though, but the false one, which is 6 English feet by 6 English feet, i.e. 3.34 m². This makes your square metre cost around 450 rupees, i.e. 9.50 pounds.

  13. A. J. P. Crown

    That price was the first thing that caught my eye, too. In that case, my uncle should have flown in his empailleurs from Mauritius.

  14. Indeed, I did not know that some modern wheat varieties are shorter than before, yielding less straw.

    My understanding of chaume (thatch) is that is includes the roots, but maybe I am wrong there.

    I have never seen wheat or other cereal cut with a scythe, but I have seen hay cut that way (in the mountains), and a really good scythe handler can cut hay within an inch or so of the ground (a beginner would stick the pointed end into the ground every time). Such a person would be able to adapt their strokes to any height desired.

  15. Il me semblait avoir déjà répondu à la question suivante, mais peut-être que j’ai oublié de presser « Envoyer »:

    Vous parlez de chaises détériorées, qu’il faut donc rempailler, mais ces chaises-là, on les a bien empaillées une première fois quand elles ont été fabriquées, non ?

    Non, on ne les a pas empaillées, on les a simplement paillées. Le rempailleur remet de la paille aux chaises paillées usagées (il refait le paillage), tandis que l’empailleur empaille les animaux dont on veut préserver l’apparence.

  16. > Marie-Lucie

    Empailler : […] 2. Garnir, couvrir de paille (un siège). Empailler des chaises. => pailler, rempailler. [Le Petit Robert]

    Empailleur
    : A.− Artisan qui empaille les sièges. Empailleuse de chaises (Ac. 1835-1932). Synon. rempailleur. [Trésor de la langue française]

  17. Naturellement, celui ou celle qui est capable de pailler les chaises et aussi capable de les rempailler. Il semble y avoir un certain flottement dans le mot à employer. Mais « empailler » des chaises, ça me paraît vraiment bizarre.

    Où sont passés les autres habitués francophones?

  18. Peut-être sont-ils enfouis sous la neige, ou isolés dans quelque coin retiré de l’île par des inondations. A moins qu’ils ne soient partis en pèlerinage.

  19. Si j’en crois les divers premiers sens historiques relevés ici ou là, « pailler » s’est d’abord dit pour « garnir de paille tressée (un siège)» tandis qu’« empailler » se disait pour « remplir ou bourrer de paille ». Dans le premier cas, la paille (tressée) reste visible de l’extérieur, dans le second elle n’est plus visible (ni forcément tressée) puisque mise dans l’objet. Avec le temps, les deux verbes ont fini par être synonymes.

  20. Leveto, je me souviens d’un commentateur qui, sur le blog des correcteurs du Monde.fr, parlait des habitués qui “s’empaillaient pour des queues de cerises”. Je n’avais jusqu’alors jamais entendu le verbe empailler employé dans ce sens, à la forme pronominale en l’occurrence, et je ne pense pas l’avoir jamais entendu par la suite. S’agit-il d’un emploi courant à votre connaissance ?

  21. «S’empailler» (à la forme pronominale) est d’un emploi familier de plus en plus fréquent, me semble-t-il. En tout cas, le sens en est bien compris de tout le monde : il s’agit de débattre de manière vive, en échangeant quelques noms d’oiseaux, …

  22. « il s’agit de débattre de manière vive, en échangeant quelques noms d’oiseaux » (s’empailler)

    Un des gros problèmes des toitures dont il est question ici est que les oiseaux viennent y nicher en faisant des trous dans la paille. (En s’y enfouissant on aurait pu dire qu’ils s’empaillent.) C’est pour cela que l’ensemble du toit doit être recouvert d’un filet… que l’on verra bientôt, dans des billets à venir.

  23. I am the one who is about to be buried under snow (45 cm expected over a 24-hour period, with winds up to 20 km/hr) ….

    I had conflated the two points about modern straw: it is indeed cut off closer to the ground by machines, but additionally modern varieties are shorter-stemmed than traditional ones.

    GT is translating pailler as ‘mulch’, which means to place straw or other organic residues (nowadays also rubber and plastic) around plants growing in the ground to keep the soil warm (in cold climates) and to reduce the growth of weeds. Quite entertaining, really, to hear about people who are « capable of mulching chairs ».

  24. JC, you know that GT is not to be taken at face value. There can be two meanings of the same word.

  25. John, send us some snow, please. Even though the heat has somewhat abated now, it is still much too hot (and humid) over here. But you aren’t one of the francophones Marie-Lucie asked for, are you? In any case you seem to be in the process of becoming one.

    _____

    PS — One tip about speed: the normalised, scientific way of writing “kilometres per hour” is km/h (and not “kph” as you can see on some Martian lorries).

  26. marie-lucie: Of course. I merely post these things for the amusement of the bilinguals here.

    Siganus: Yes, km/h would be better than km/hr, although hr does have the advantage of being an abbreviation for both hour and heure. Metric time units, unlike meters and liters, are essentially native words repurposed.

  27. A. J. P. Crown

    Sig, did you read–it must have been at Language Hat or my blog–what Empty (a mathematician) wrote about learning physics at school in the USA? They are taught that the units of weight are pounds and the units of mass (i.e. the weight irrespective of the gravity) are kg. It’s hard to see how they got to the moon and back.

  28. Well, we famously screwed up an unmanned expedition to (the extraterrestrial) Mars due to confusion between two systems of units.

  29. But the Americans missed Mars once, though. And you probably know why: a confusion between Imperial and metric units…

    Siganus K. Sutor, unimpressed Martian

  30. Ha! ha! the same comment at the same minute, par hasard. Dans le mille cette fois-ci, { } !

    But afterwards the American did make up for this blunder with fantastic other Martian missions. See this post for instance : https://mauricianismes.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/noctis-labyrinthus/ (And that’s just one example.)

    By the by, how are the two little robots doing these days? Are they still crawling around or did they finally had a rest on the red sand?

  31. Not Imperial units, please. U.S. units agree with Imperial on length and small masses, but disagree on large masses and on volumes. Of course we use the same names: hundredweight, ton, pint, quart, gallon, which just makes life even more amusing.

    In engineering-speak, pounds are units of force, but in ordinary life they are units of mass. Specific impulse, the measure of efficiency of rocket fuels, is measured in a unit called « seconds », but this is illegitimate: it’s really a pound (of force) second per pound (of weight), and the two pounds have been allowed to cancel out. Very bad.

    Spirit will go no more a-roving, as it is irretrievably stuck in soft soil, but Opportunity is still briskly moving about, having traveled more than 19 km so far, as opposed to Spirit’s total of almost 8 km. Each has exceeded its planned lifetime of 90 sols (Martian days of 24h39m35.244s) by more than a factor of twenty. Both still have power, and the hope is that they will survive the next Martian winter, when power goes low and they hibernate, intact. (The reason for the prolonged life is that high winds have unexpectedly and repeatedly scoured the solar panels free of dust.)

  32. Yes, the gram is a unit of mass, while the pound is not. They are all tied up somehow with moles and Avogadro’s number. I learned this in chemistry class. Yet you can convert lbs. directly to kg. by using the number 2.2. I learned this in Spanish class from my Chilean exchange student. I think the Spanish department and the chemistry department don’t socialize much, or if they do, they don’t talk shop.

  33. You can have all of our snow that you can carry away. I ache all over from last night’s shoveling. And I’m sorry I don’t speak French yet. I have the instant immersion CD, but it’s very slow going, especially when other things take priority. Sometimes I read the comments with google translate, but that’s also very slow.

    Your photos are always outstanding though, and I always spend some time looking at them. The black and white one of the thatchers against the sky is especially startling.

  34. That’s the one I like most.

  35. Of course we use the same names: hundredweight, ton, pint, quart, gallon, which just makes life even more amusing.

    For a real groan, read about all the past and current ways of defining hundredweight, quintal, centner/zentner, and such.

  36. A. J. P. Crown

    So a hundredweight is 50 kilos; well, that’s useful. A cwt is, of course, 112lbs; any fule kno that from school.

    I like that picture best, but they are all great.

  37. Yes, the timber structure makes a nice pattern, on which the top thatcher seems to be floating. But there you don’t properly see the work they are doing.

    On this picture, again, the purlins, the rafters and the battens make a neat pattern, to which the bundles of “coco string” add a touch, but it doesn’t really show the work of an empailleur.

  38. Yes, the Brits upped the hundredweight (cwt) to 112 lb to make it an even number of stone (14 lb, irregular plural), but America had split off already and kept the old value of 100 lb, as we don’t use stone as a weight measure. 20 cwt = 1 ton in both systems, so by chance 1000 kg is almost one British ton, 2240 lb =~ 1016 kg.

  39. A stroke of brilliance, having eight stone come out so close to 50kg.

    But nothing like the brilliance of the inventors of the metric system, who defined the meter in such a way that the speed of light in meters per second would later be found to be 300,000,000 accurate to 1 part in a thousand.

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