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

  • glaçant

    (something that sends shivers down your spine; chilling)
    Etymology: from Latin glaciare, to turn into ice

    Paradise Lost: Benicio Del Toro, glaçant en Pablo Escobar

Who's en colère today?

Go back to school in Paris!

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« Dîner at eight (-thirty) | Main | The king is dead. Vive le roi! »


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That's one of my favorite things about living in France, especially after being in Los Angeles for many years. Here, our circa-1800 house isn't considered to be all that old!

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Today's quotation

  • Most educated people are aware that we are the outcome of nearly 4 billion years of Darwinian selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. It will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.

      --Martin Rees, quoted in essay "J.G. Ballard: The Catastrophist," by Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) in posthumous anthology Arguably

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Argentina is in default. The country was not able to reach agreement with all of its creditors, some of whom refused to agree to the payment plan worked out after long negotiations; this killed the agreement.

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