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

  • spoiler

    (to spoil the ending)
    Etymology: back-formation from English spoiler, or telling the end of a movie or book to someone who hasn't seen or read it yet.

    --bon , alors je te spoil ou pas? j'en suis au tome 3...nan, t'es sympas je dirai rien.
    --si tu spoiles, je ne t'emmène pas au musée de la vie romantique !
      --Conversation I saw on Facebook

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    Martine Aubry, Parti socialiste mayor of Lille, snubs Prime Minister Valls who is technically in the same party (haha! For now)

    Lawyers in Corsica

    Employees of the fancy hotel Royal Monceau in Paris

    Truck drivers, furious over a new tax for using the Paris Périphérique or ring road, threatening to block the city. Take this one seriously folks-- in France this always works.

    Public sector

    SNCF (French national trains, toujours eux) workers on RER B, announcing (yet another) strike Thursday 9 October; also workers on the TER in the Alpes-Maritimes, on strike Tuesday 7 October; also workers on the TER on the Côte d'Azur Monday 6 October

    Hope you don't have to take the (government-subsidized) SNCM ferry to Corsica any time soon. Management has announced they're firing up to 1000 workers; a strike is sure to result.

    Firemen in Normandy, on "unlimited" strike

    Garbage workers in Rouen. This one could last up to two weeks, sources say

    Public school cafeteria workers in Brittany

    Public bus drivers in Bordeaux

    Hospital workers on the west coast of France

Go back to school in Paris!

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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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