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

  • social

    (Warning: the French word social is a faux ami, or false friend. It does not mean "social" in English. It is used mainly to refer to union activity, public protests, or government programs. A plan social means mass layoffs.)

    Air France veut un accord avant janvier pour éviter le plan social.

Who's en colère today?

Go back to school in Paris!

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I agree with him. In some eyes, they will never be seen as French, either to the French or foreigners.

As a Vietnamese American, it was irritating to get cat-called in Paris because it was always with a "ni hao." And in my travels, most people don't want to hear "USA" when they ask where I'm from.

That must have been so annoying! I wish I could think of some snappy retort.

I have been told by more than one Parisian that my ancestors are not really French because they were from Metz and Strasbourg. It doesn't matter how many generations they lived there, or if they had served in France's wars, they are not counted as true Frenchmen.

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Today's quotation

  • Soon you will have forgotten the world, and soon the world will have forgotten you.

      --Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180) in his Meditations (Book Seven)

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Six employees of Air France have been arrested after violence last week against two human resources managers who had the unpleasant task of announcing that 2500+ jobs would be lost. Politicians Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Party of the Left), Cécile Duflot (ex-Ecology Minister), and Pierre Laurent (French Communist Party) immediately denounced the arrests. "What a day of mourning! Four employees arrested for 'an act of struggle'," said Mélenchon. His party said that it was "ashamed of this administration, which continues to criminalize union activity."

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