The Death of French, One Word at a Time
Another One Bites the Poussière
Despite the fact that it has given me prodigious quantities of material for C’est Ironique (see last week’s article), I lament the ever-increasingly popular use of English words in French. When an adopted term fills a gap in the borrowing … Read More
Weird English Brand Names
Is This Going to Be a Whole Genre?
It is an established historical fact that French people like English trade names. By which I mean established by me in the history of C’est Ironique (I’ve written so many articles based on inadvertently funny or ill-advised English shop signs … Read More
Life (and Possibly Death!) in France
That’s What I Call Complying with Regulations
Like many countries these days, France requires all food products to be marked with a sell-by date. And like all sell-by dates, in the mind of the consumer they imply (but don’t actually mean) that the food will instantly turn … Read More
A Slice of Parisian Life
You Can’t Fault the Logic...
Who says Parisians are inconsiderate? Just look at the decorative potted tree pictured above, seen in Passage des Panoramas. Now look at a closeup of the little sign on it: Perhaps inspired by René Magritte’s famous painting “La Trahison des … Read More
Paris Is Still Paris: The Proof in Pictures (of Weird English Shop Signs)
No, I Assure You, Paris Is Not...
As a follow-up to my previous article, in which a fake-news-but-still-somehow-illegally-leaked (go figure) e-mail from Donald Trump indicates that he is “walking back,” as they say in Washington, his statement that “Paris is no longer Paris,” I address this open … Read More
Trump in France: “Paris Is No Longer Paris” Is No Longer “Paris Is No Longer Paris”
Dimming the Wattage in the City of Light
Following a meeting with a Russian lawyer (at least the dating site pop-up ad that I clicked on said she was a lawyer), I have come into possession of a transcript of some high-level White House e-mails. Among them was … Read More
Sports in France: The Plebian Pleasure of Pétanque
I Don’t Know if I Can Stand the Excitement!
When I was a little kid, like lots of boys in the United States, I had dreams of acquiring top-level skills in the sport that I most often saw people playing: baseball. Presumably, if I had been born in France, … Read More
French Philosophy Part VI: I Take the 2017 “Bac Philo” Exam
Tough Rules, Tougher Questions
They are designed by the top experts in the field. After production, they are kept in an undisclosed storage facility, guarded as closely as the national gold reserves. When the big day approaches, they are shipped in double-sealed containers … Read More
Weird English Shop Signs Part 22 – Beyond the Périphérique and the Pyrenees
Special Guest City: Seville
After three days in Seville, I was starting to feel disappointed. Not because of the city itself, which is wonderful, or the weather, which was perfect, or the place where I was staying, which was ideal, or the food, which … Read More
Weird English Shop Signs Part 21 – Oh, and the French Election
Is There a Transatlantic Connection?
Before I go on, I should mention that France just had a presidential election. So I did. Now then, about those shop signs… Oh wait – before I go on again, I’d like to thank the French voters (or … Read More