Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • grouillot

    Etymology: from groule, an apprentice who must se grouiller, rush around on errands.

    Mais enfin je ne suis pas tout à fait le grouillot de service.
      --Anne Baldassari, fired as director of the Picasso Museum, on reports that she might be asked to supervise the hanging of the paintings for the (very eventual) reopening of the Museum.

Who's en colère today?

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Ha! I an surprised all of these were not renamed (you know, like "Freedom Fries") back in 2003! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Just discovered your blog. I find it amusing how they place so many French this and French that on things here in the US. At the Atlanta flea market a few weeks ago, there was a painting, with a label saying “sold.” It was a flower, in black, with a background of La Tour Eiffel, and in a nice script was written “Le Fleur.” Going through so much trouble and not checking whether it is la fleur or le fleur? That happens a lot – at my grandson’s preschool was a panel “La Petite Café” I told them to correct it. But then in Paris I saw so many tee-shirts in English. I tried to find a baby outfit with something written in French – very difficult or almost impossible since everything is in English – only Le Petit Bateau had something in French (it took me 3 days to find that.)

I actually did a post a while back on how hard it was to find French-language t-shirts in English. It's still true, unfortunately. Market gap there as most Americans don't want to bring back an English-language Paris souvenir.

'Way back in 1987, my then-teenage daughters were most disappointed not to be able to find French language t-shirts. They scored better in Hong Kong with tees decorated with weird non-English (one said something like "Let all bicycle new!").

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Today's quotation

  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

      --Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • The cheminots or employees of the SNCF (French national trains, toujours eux) go on strike so often that there is now a card game called the "Cheminot Simulator," in which the goal is to cause as much grief to passengers as possible.

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