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

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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« At the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris | Main | No place to park: Merci Monsieur Delanoë! »


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And you're not running for President, are you?

But seriously, do voters really read? Will they care? Is it true? I guess we'll find out soon. Let's just hope the Royal Sego ain't too much like her bro.

As I recall, she has so many brothers that statistically one of them would almost have to have been involved.

From Sedulia: Hm. I'm from a big family myself but you don't actually lose track of them.

I was in Auckland when the Rainbow Warrior was bombed. It wasn't just that a ship was sunk - there was also a person aboard it who was murdered by the act of terorrism as well. It was the only act of terrorism or war in New Zealand in the whole twentieth century, so you can see why it is a big deal there.

What Segolene DIDN'T say was interesting: in that Le Parisien interview she expressed pride in her brother as a soldier and she didn't express any sadness for the murdered photographer or regret at the irresponsibility of an act of war against a friendly nation.

That tells an awful lot about her fitness for office - that she lacks human compassion and lacks judgement in handling international affairs.

Having said that, one of her rivals - Laurent Fabius - was the prime minister at the time. He may not have known about the attack in advance but her helped to cover it up afterwards.

Jaques Chirac praised the bombing, so none of them emerge with credit.

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

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