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

    (minion)
    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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Horrible. When I was a teenager our family moved to France and my mother and I encountered a similar xenophobic episode. People in our building had heard that an American family was moving in. And a woman, assuming that we didn't speak french told my mother to go back where she came from. Well unlike this poor woman in your story my mother didn't hesitate to give this ignorant woman an earful. It was awesome

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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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