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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Not Libé's most glamorous moment, that's for sure. If Bernard Arnault does become Belgian, I certainly would not blame him... It's funny how Libé can't help mentioning Sarkozy when he has been gone for several months already... I hope they move on, for everyone's sake.

It's offensive, but it's also a word play in context of Sarko's notorious "Casse-toi pauv' con" line. I've been amused by the Anglo-American press completely missing this and simply assuming that it's a full-blown lefty, knee-jerk attack. I think only the Daily Telegraph picked this up.

Moreover, I should add that even though the Telegraph got the reference, they interpreted "pauv' con" as if Sarko literally meant "you are an idiot from a low socio-economic background" as opposed to "you are goddamn idiot" which is the common meaning. Takes one to know one!

I apologize for having to hold the comments for review before publication. Getting a lot of spam comments at the moment. If you're not spam, you will be published as soon as I can get to it! Sorry!

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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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