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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Huh? That's one weird keyboard. You still have to hit shift for the . on my French keyboard (annoyingly), but it shares a key with the semi-colon, and the g is where the little super-script g is on your example I.e the same place as on a qwerty keyboard. I've never seen a keyboard like your photo before...

Here's a good guide:

As a French expat in the U.S. involved wiht the Silicon economy, I'm really having a hard time sticking to the spaces and French guillemets -- totally weird on the screen.

Gwan, I have to admit that's an old keyboard! It comes from this 2005 post:

Laure, are you writing in English? What is the hardest thing?

Hello, i just found your blog via GOMI of all places!!
I love to read expats from anywhere really in france (or switzerland).
About ponctuation, an old teacher of mine gave us this mnemotechnique way : if the ponctuation you need has 2 parts, you need a space before and after. ( : ; ! ? )
I'll continue reading backwards from the last post.

Dear Helene,
That's a very useful tip I've never heard before. And *I* just discovered GOMI thanks to you! Thank you

(Have been off the internet for a while; in remotest USA) Thank you for the kind words-- means a lot.

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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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