You'd think France would realize that the human tongue is more suited to speaking English than French, especially with the ongoing debut of so many chic English words among the vocabulary of the French bourgeoisie.
Who needs croissants anyway? I prefer corn bread.According to a UPI story from a December 1965 issue of the Los Angeles Times, the French government has been working nearly 25 years "to clean up the French language and save its beauty from the inroads of English."
Well, excuse moi.
In case you missed the announcement earlier this month, France has renewed its efforts to keep the mother tongue pristine and English-free. French Finance Minister Pierre Beregovoy launched the most recent salvo with a decree banning certain new English words that have crept into the language in the guise of anglicized French, or Franglais.
The latest casualties in the losing battle against Franglais are "corporate raiders" and "traveler's checks." Despite the words' popularity among the ignorant masses, raiders have been declared "attaquants," or attackers. And now, in order to have a bon voyage, the French have to give up traveler's checks for "cheques-voyage."
Beregovoy's decree orders forbidden Franglais words stricken from all administrative texts, documents and correspondence, as well as radio and television. The order, however, doesn't mention appropriate sanctions for those guilty of the faux pas of language abuse.
We can only assume the guillotine is one option. What better way to cure an errant tongue?
Given France's proud heritage, we shouldn't be too surprised by the nation's naive efforts to avoid linguistic liaisons. But with such a large reservoir of English words to draw upon, you'd think the French would be a little less blase about building up their repertoire of frenchified English.
Obviously, the French are unconcerned about improving their rapport with us English speakers. Not to worry, though. It's just a matter of time before French becomes passe, even in France.
Some English words are already so firmly French-entrenched that they can't be eradicated. For American tourists, for instance, such words as "snob" - which means just that in French - can be especially useful.
I don't know about you, but I think it's time we connoisseurs of English let the French know that we're piqued off about their treatment of our language. After all, not every tongue can be as pure as ours, and it's time we made some sort of statement to get them out of our collective coiffure.
For starters, I'm going to give up French fries, French toast, French windows, French dressing, French cuffs, French pastries, French kissing, escargot and my chaise lounge.
And the next time I throw a soiree, I'm going to specifically instruct the maitre d' not to give any hors d'oeuvres or quiche to my French guests.
There. I feel better.