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For years we've had French language experts saying that "geaux" for "go" (or "eaux" for other "o" sounds) is incorrect.

I've mentioned this, but nobody paid attention, so I eventually gave up. Here's one more shot:

Self-described "language nerd" Michael Franz, says, "You may already know, but …

"As any French major from UNO can tell you, the letter 'e' after 'g' softens the hard 'g' to a 'zh' sound. That's why 'bourgeois' sounds like 'bour-zhwa' rather than 'bourg-wa.'

"So all these 'geaux' endings should be pronounced 'zho,' not like 'go.'

"ZHO TIGERS! Or, just drop the 'e.'"

Finally news

When I was a journalism student at LSU, we learned about editorial writers who practiced "Afghanistanism."

It meant "the practice of concentrating on problems in distant parts of the world while ignoring controversial local issues."

Editorial writers could avoid divisive topics by penning discussions of problems in faraway lands, places local folks had little interest in — for instance, Afghanistan.

That troubled land is on front pages now — unfortunately. 

Howard's gift

Martin St. Amant, of Raceland, tells of this childhood encounter:

"In 1942, at the age of 7, I accompanied my mother and father to a VFW meeting in Baton Rouge.

"At the hotel check-in counter, I noticed a few items for sale, including a small replica of a Civil War cannon. I asked my parents for it, but it was too expensive ($1 or less).

"A tall, well-dressed gentleman next to us overheard us, told the clerk to give me the toy, and paid for it.

"I thanked him, and he told me to enjoy the cannon.

"The hotel clerk said he was a wealthy man from California named Howard Hughes.

"After 80 years I still have the cannon on my dresser."

Plumber's prayer

"I recently called a plumber to fix a leaking pipe in a flower bed," says Michael J. DeFelice, of Zachary:

"As we talked, he told me he had been working on a hotel project in Las Vegas, shut down due to COVID.

"He had moved here to be near his 'church family.' His minister is a contractor in Clinton who, with his family, tries to live off the land, growing or raising their food and making their own clothes.

"He noted all our animals on the farm, and I told him we used to raise horses but gave it up after my wife suffered a serious head injury.

"He asked if he could say a prayer for her, and took my hands. There I stood in the front yard holding hands with a stranger, saying a beautiful prayer of health for my wonderful spouse and companion."

Special People Dept.

— T. Ellis Peak Jr., of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 97th birthday Thursday, August 19. He is active in the Baton Rouge Bridge Club. A veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict, he served in the Navy as captain of a mine sweeper.

— Muriel Theard Forshag, a lifelong New Orleans resident, celebrates her 96th birthday Friday, August 20. She was a teacher at Academy of the Sacred Heart. 

— Jackulyn Aucoin, of Slidell, celebrates her 90th birthday Saturday, August 21. She retired as a medical assistant at age 85.

— Leda and Darrell Bowden, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 73 years of marriage Friday, August 20.

— Darryl and Alene Bourgeois, of Prairieville, celebrate their 56th anniversary Saturday, August 21.

— Paul and Cynthia McMillan, from Baton Rouge, now living in Birmingham, Alabama, celebrate their 55th anniversary Friday, August 20.

— Karen and Jack Ashton Jr., of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, August 21. They are formerly of Jeanerette.

Sincere apology

Algie Petrere shares a note a lady received:

"Dearest Lauren: I'm so sorry for the things I said. I've been unable to sleep since I broke off our relationship last month. I think about you day and night. Your absence is breaking my heart and recently I've begun to realize that nobody can take your place. Sweetheart, I miss you so much. Please call me.

"All my love, Robert

"P.S. Congratulations on winning last week's Powerball."

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.