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

  • chleu

    (a German; pejorative)
    Etymology: from Arabic تشلحيت, meaning (non-Arabic-speaking) Berbers. In French North Africa in colonial times, it was used by the French military to mean those who did not speak French. During World War One it was used pejoratively for the Germans.

    Il y eut une époque pendant laquelle les Français affublaient les Allemands de toutes sortes d'expressions péjoratives. Boches, Schleuh, Fritz etc.

Who's en colère today?

Go back to school in Paris!

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We still laugh, in our family, about our first trip to France, with our four ranging from 14 to 5. Our then-seven-year old was agoggle at the "naked ladies" at Versaille. Absolutely agoggle! and we weren't/aren't a prudish family, but she obviously picked up on a cultural difference immediately.

My mother walked around the Louvre going, "Hmph! You could certainly see which sex *he* was interested in!"

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Today's quotation

  • The Harvard Club is American soil only through courtesy and inescapable geographical considerations.

    Donald Hough (1895-ca 1965) in "I Drink American," a story in Desert Island Decameron (publ. 1949)

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