Musings of an anonymous geek

August 31, 2005

I promise to never write in French

Filed under: Me stuff — m0j0 @ 10:34 pm

I read a copy of The New Yorker while I was on a cruise recently, and I’m finally fed up with columnists who write for English-speaking audiences, in an English-language publication, published in and for an English-speaking country, IN FRENCH. I see this trend all over the place, and it’s not new. I don’t know when or where it started, but it’s really starting to grate my nerves.

These are people who presumably had to major in something like, I dunno, *ENGLISH* in order to get where they are. Why the French? Of course, they don’t write entire articles in French, but in one 3-page-or-so article there were probably 2 or 3 French phrases. A couple of them I understood, and they were completely unnecessary, and the other one I wasn’t quite sure about, but after studying the word structure, I’m pretty sure the writer was just saying “pencil”.

So maybe it’s a more colorful way to say “pencil”, but if you have to leave your native language to do that, then you’re no damned writer. Reaching across the ocean to find the exact phrase to match your sentiment is a great skill to have, I suppose, but not if your audience doesn’t get it, or has to change mental gears to match your schizophrenia.

Quit writing in french! Nobody is impressed! What if I started littering my posts with Cajun French? “I went to a barbecue the other day, man, it was the finest couchendele I have ever attended!” Great, I had a good time, but you have no clue what the hell that barbecue was about.

To add arrogance to pretense, they usually italicize the French words, too. As if to say “Looky here! French!” Just stop it. It’s not cool. If you want to look cool around your sweater-around-the-neck crowd, order some expensive vodka that comes in a cool bottle. Don’t shove another language down my throat. I don’t like French, and it has no place in English/American writing. That’s why they call the language “French” and the writing “English/American”.

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