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Wildly Exaggerated: Ceci n'est pas le français.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ceci n'est pas le français.

Fun fact: I speak French, and I am a HUGE pain in the ass about it. Seriously. You can ask anybody.

Once upon a time, I could speak and read French, and that was fine. Then I spent 3 years teaching it, and now every time I see or hear a grammar error in French, it makes my face contort into inhuman shapes and I make a weird high-pitched shrieking noise that only dogs can hear. It doesn't bother me that people make mistakes with languages they're just learning - that's normal and perfectly alright. What bothers me is when companies with billions of dollars decide to slap some French on an advertisement or a product and can't be bothered to take 5 seconds to ask someone if it's right. Google it, for God's sake! Ask your kid's French teacher! Call the French embassy! Ask ANYONE who took five seconds of high school French! Most francophones I know would gladly review this stuff for free JUST so they could be spared the endless onslaught of Franglais that greets them around every corner.

So you can imagine my consternation when I was shopping for a new wallet and came across a gaudy travesty of a leather thing emblazoned with pictures of the Eiffel Tower and peppered with font screaming "LA TOUR D'EIFFEL*".


I wish I had a picture for you, but then again no I don't. Because if I had that image on my phone, said phone would then have required an exorcism, and I've already lost 3 phones that way. I glared at the wallet and, finding it unmoved to spontaneously correct itself, threw it violently back into the pile on the shelf.

Two minutes later, as I browsed a nearby aisle, I heard a teenage girl say "Oh mom, I want THIS one! It has French on it!"

...and one more kid gets her IQ lowered by corporate America.

*In case you were wondering: there shouldn't be a "d'". It's just "La Tour Eiffel". YOU'RE WELCOME.

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