beechwood in pastel


Ode to 'the word' Gouache  

Its a word that covers different things,
from a technique to a type of paint.
Found in the tombs of ancient kings,
and for some a word they hate.

We push and squeeze it back and forth,
just like a tube of paint.
We try to shorten it of course,
to make it what it ain't.

We see in 'the word' - ache,
it's a soreness we just know.
So now all we need, is to make
the Gou, before it, grow.
And then we'll have the fake.
Goo-ache. Oh what a mistake.

Let's look at this word
and read it best we can.
It's a word we've heard
some from the teacher man.

It's not a media much discussed,
may be because of 'the word'.
So they call it bodycolour - less fussed,
and no one will be perturbed.

Now panache has spelling very similar,
another French word to be sure.
It seems quite ordinary and familiar,
based on that, we will surely score.
So we'll take the Gou, even if unfamiliar,
and make it Goo-ash - worry no more.

But - we hear others say the word
and it's not like Goo-ash at all.
Trying to remember what you heard
so as not to take a vocal fall.

Out with the Oxford Dictionary,
[ gu:ˈɑːʃ ] is what it has to say,
and with the Collins for ancillary,
[ gʊˈɑːʃ ] - the difference causing dismay.

Two English dictionaries and they do not agree,
on how to pronounce the first part of 'the word'.
What chance for you and me, to say it as it's meant to be,
use the internet, for the phonetics to be heard.
And back to school is where that takes me,
for an Italian and Latin derived French word!

Joy! When speaking to the Frenchman
about the paint and ink he makes,
he tells me "Madame, speak it right you can,
if Gwash is the word you take".

"I'm English and French can be hard to say"
"Worry not Madame, just repeat it after me,
'tis ha'd for Anglais expression of Francais word, je sais"
I repeated 'the word' to his delight and so Gwash it will be.

Now you may wish to say 'the word' in a different way.
And that is your prerogative I'm too polite to say.
Because that can cause an argument which is not my way.
I much prefer to be happy through-out my painting day.
So now I've put these words online, make of them what you may.
It's more enjoyable to paint with Gouache, than how the word you say!

This is the Copyright and Intellectual Property of Jacqui Blackman 2010.

For the phonetics visit:- BBC Learn to speak English

To hear 'Gouache' spoken by a French person

As an aside - the many dictionaries on the internet give even more pronunciations;
there is a discussion about it on wet canvas;
the classic English dictionaries list less than ten words beginning Gou.

Back to Gouache paint

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The information contained herein is the Intellectual Property of Jacqui Blackman and J. & T. Blackman Ltd
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