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

  • pieds-nickelés

    (mediocre criminals)
    Etymology: from an early French comic strip, Les pieds nickelés. The explanation is varied: feet made of nickel could be too delicate or precious to work, or too shiny and clean.

    Révélations sur les pieds nickelés du KGB. Les espions russes opérant en Grande-Bretagne à la fin des années 40 étaient "alcooliques" et "incompétents", révèlent des documents transmis aux autorités britanniques par un ancien archiviste du KGB.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    Pro-Palestine demonstrators in Paris. New big demonstration planned for Saturday 26 July.

    CGT union members of the Intermittents du spectacle, or show biz people (who benefit from a more favorable unemployment scheme than all other unemployed people), on strike against the festival Chalon dans la rue.

    Intermittents du spectacle, maintaining their strike warning for all of August, but meanwhile, going on a long vacation ("pause estivale")

    Corsican CGT union workers at the Schindler elevator factory, on strike since April 22. They want to be paid the same subsidy as their colleagues in Paris. The company says Paris is much more expensive than Corsica and that's why it pays the subsidy there. The workers say that living on an island should warrant a subsidy too.

    Public sector

    post office workers in Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, who have been on strike for more than two months. Guess which union!

    CGT union workers of Air France, calling for a ground strike on Saturday 2 August, not coincidentally one of the biggest travel days of the year in France. Passengers must be made miserable!

Go back to school in Paris!

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