Life doesn’t always go as we expect it will. We can be deceived; we can be disappointed.

No one likes these things when they arise, but at least we learn from them or can learn from them. And there is frequently — but not always — joy in learning.

A good example of that kind of joyous disappointment actually gave rise to the “Deceptions” part of the title of this, my blog site.

I love languages, and get a lot of pleasure discovering the similarities and differences between, say, English and French.

English is my mother tongue, but in learning French I discovered a rule for guessing French words that works most of the time: almost all of the English words that end in “-ion” or “-tion” work perfectly well in both languages. So  “nation”, “civilisation”, “navigation”, “exclusion”, “interruption”: they all work exactly as you’d expect in French.

Of course there are a few of what the French call “faux amis”, “false friends”, lurking in the two languages, to trip you up.

“Location” is a good example, which of course in English means “position” or “placement”, but in French actually means “leasing”. “Isolation”, a synonym for “solitude” in English, means “Insulation” in France.

For me the most ironic example of a faux amis is the word “deception” itself, which actually means “disappointment” in French. There seems a nice irony in the fact that the two words both convey a sense of sadness or frustration, but, despite being spelt the same, retain a more than subtle difference.

“Deception” is a disappointment…

This dual, French-English sense inherent in the word “deception” seemed like an excellent counterpoint to the “wonders” I wanted otherwise to write about. I didn’t want to go all Panglossian on you: it is good to keep in mind that although there are many wonderful things in life, this is perhaps still not the best of all possible worlds. So it is best to concede:

Interesting though they may be, there are still the odd small disappointments in life.

It is a deception.