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French knickers in a twist

Talking of silly foreigners, they don't come much sillier than the French. Here (h/t Esmerelda) is their latest pathetic attempt to shelter their absurdly fragile and namby pamby language from its robust cousin across the channel (flood it now). From the Daily Mirror:

Email and podcasts are giving French officials nightmares - because citizens are calling them by their English names.

Now the culture ministry in Paris has issued a list of "banned" foreign words which they have noticed are increasingly used by French people.

The 65-page list, on a government website launched this week, singles out more that 500 English words and gives the recommended native Gallic alternative.

It says the nation should try to live without "fast food, takeaway food, low-cost airline, blog, Wi-Fi" and many more.

Sports commentators are asked to avoid "coach" and "corner" and instead say "entraineur" and "coup de pied de coin".

A spokesman said: "French is a living language rich enough to speak for itself without the need for hundreds of English expressions."

Officials are appalled by the English "invasion" watering down their culture.

And new technology has further stoked fears they are under siege.

They urge their countrymen to stop saying "email" and "podcast" and to start calling them "courriel" and "diffusion pour baladeur".

The spokesman said: "The word derived from the brand iPod. Its usage in French is causing confusion." It is the latest move by the nation's panicky heritage guardians, who have also tried to cut down the broadcasting of English rock songs and Hollywood films.

The list comes from the culture ministry's language enforcers, the General Commission for Terminology, guided by the Academie Francaise.

The stuffy Academie decides what the rules of the language are. It has no English equivalent.

The website also reveals French people have adopted English-sounding phrases that are not even in use. It says they should stop referring to a snack bar as a "scramble" and say "kiosque".

And women who want a make-over must no longer say "re-looked" but use "remodeller".

The Terminology Commission insisted: "France can adapt to the modern world."


After defeating Napoleon in 1815, the Duke of Wellington said: "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

I'll drink to that. At least I would if this wretched Labour Government hadn't put up the price of booze in the latest budget. "Drinkers Hammered!" puns the Evening Standard:

Alistair Darling slapped 4p on a pint of beer, 3p on cider and 14p on a bottle of wine - and 55p on a bottle of Scotch, ending a 10-year freeze on spirit duties.

He's no darling of mine. Why can't he get money by cutting payments to the bloodsuckers at the EU? Our money only goes to keep French farmers in vin ordinaire.

And do you hear me complain?

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