The other day I mentioned a vague idea for how to outfox the bossy woman at the Magritte Museum, and, lo and behold, kind George from 20011 provided a detailed plan of action. Here it is, the cunning strategy of a genius:
"There must be a French equivalent to the OED or the Grimm brothers' massive dictionary of German. You could arrive with a retinue, for preference all dressed alike, each bearing a volume or two, and trailing you at a respectful distance. Upon finding a word to look up, you would raise an index card with the letters of the appropriate volume. The bearer would scuttle forward, drop to one knee, and open the volume to the place needed. The drawback that I see is expense--admission for your retinue, and the cost of the dictionary. Perhaps you could manage both with a simple two-volume set. Something like the compact edition of the OED would let you get by with two bearers (or one very strong one), and would offer the chance for some dramatic flourishing of a magnifying glass. You could signal the bearers with one or two fingers thrust aloft."
I'm off in search of index cards - and bearers. See you soon.