French Letters

I was going to entitle this 'Room 101' but that will clash with other entries....But that's the thrust of the Post-ette.... What 3 French things would you like to see committed to Room 101? .... this, you will know as a recently 'reformatted' TV program hosted now by the inimitable Frank Skinner.

OK Here's my three.

French Letters.

If they haven't got an accent ( who has? ) then they don't mean anything. You can't type the s*dding language... unless you know...not only where the multitude of accents are secreted about your keyboard!!! but which way they're meant to go!!!! é as as in 'hey you!' ... or è as in 'hey you!'.

Where's the little hat one? the one that looks like a roof? ...and the silly Cé a sickle ..hanging under your 'C'... I mean you only need it for 'Garcon!'..what's wrong with Garson? or even Garsonne? You only use it when you are snapping your fingers for service in a Restaurant anyway!

Hardly worth having letters here at all...they throw them together to make some sort of word...which they can't be a*sed to finish off in speech...It's like they start a word...stop half way...have a Gauloise...a call on the blower...and then kinda peter out to nothing. If you are going to have a letter, at least pronounce the damn thang!!!


I'll bung numbers in here at the same time! 'quatre-vingt-dix-neuf-quatre-vingt-dix-neuf' WTF! You gotta get a calculator out to order an ice-cream with a Flake in it!!! what is the point? Soixante-dix? It's like you gotta to take your socks off to count!! What's wrong with Septant?

( which is used in parts, I understand )

Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf-quatre-vingt-dix-neuf is only used in department stores to make 100 euros look a tad cheaper. In THIS situation I always give them a Hundred bucks and say keep the change. I can't be doing with it..I haven't got all day.

Scratch Cards

Should be banned.... or a least relax the Gambling regs so the poor s*ds can go and sh*g away the rent money in a slotty!!!! They're always there..In front of me at the Tabac..when I'm gaggin' for a faggin'

" Oui, deux BIngo, Trois Black Jack" Non...2 Black-Jack..Trois Bingo..."

What exactly is the French for " If you don't hurry up I am going to nut you one Madame!!!"

How many's that? dunno...I've wound me-self up now ...fag break....

Oh Yeah!


Sling 'em... not used, not needed, waste of natural resources!

So, everyone what 3 things in France do you find just a little bit annoying? and if you could would you banish them to Room 101? or would that be quatre-vingt-dix-onze?

hahahah That girl is looking for a frappe!

It would be lovely to hook up with you guys when you are down Andrew....we'll make the sarnies.

sorry särnies! ;))

He he.. Joking aside Andrew, I do appreciate the time you spent in your initial reply and it certainly shows that you do have a grasp of language(s) and the informative paragraph is something that is now set in stone and is a 'guide' to which I shall return... if only to get to the end of it! he he.

I am, I guess, tri-lingual myself so I have a reasonable grasp of some of the accents used and some of the reasons and affects they have on word soundings. But on reflection my fascination is more to do with the graphical and communicative uses such symbols have. There is a certain 'authority' or mystique that they have, your example of Citroën is a good one...I would rather drive one of those than a boring old Citroen...ño what I mean? ( just found this accentertron )

I have had a life-long fascination with symbols and symbolism be it cave markings or hieroglyphics...even todays text speak ^^:)) an avenue I ran with in a recent 'spoof' article on youth culture 'Isobel Brookes'

I also did a piece sometime back ( Logo train ) from memory, which delved into the history of 'communications' since times immemorial. I can only imagine that language grew up in tandem with 'markings' in fact it's quite likely that language ( as such ) followed in the wake of mark making ...say an arrow head for direction, or whatever... right the way through to the Nike 'swoosh' a symbol which has be come 'recognised' pan-globally ( there's a waste of a word! ) and yet whist it says 'Nike' to all.. represents no sound, no tonal variation nor inflection at all.

It is this fusion of the symbolic and the written word that fascinates... hence my former career in Communications... I find it bizarre that having read no books I still passed Eng. Lit. and Lang. with As. It stems from Dyslexia or some kind of word blindness, I don't read, even today but I think I absorb masses of information, as I have ( I think ) developed a sixth sense for knowledge, memory of an elephant and a method of speed reading oft employed by those who have to read to cram information in.

I guess I am more comfortable with the spoken word..I'm described by others as a raconteur and utilise inflection, timing, gesticulation and facial expression all tools which are unavailable in text.

Hmm...I think we should all talk in 'symbols' or for the French symböls and the musical Cymbals, the herbalists Cinbles, or the geeks Simm-balls. Let's face it Prince changed his name to a symbol ... but it was exceedingly difficult to pronounce...anyway he's a right twät!

TTFN ^^;))

Ha ha ha both of you, now now children, no squabling! hope to catch up with you both when I eventually get back down to marseillan ;-)

arrrgh Shell, I know I said get a bit more involved...but you can't says things like that about Andrew!! he's taking me boating in the Summer...well he was.

both of you get a life and move to a different country that just uses basic ABC

I agree Andrew all very interesting... I think mime for example is a two way method of communicating which transcends language... more than Esperanto...even 'Signing' of course, is Language specific.... Semaphore...Morse code, smoke signals??? lol and my fave GRAPHICS.

Laters ;))

some interesting thoughts and ideas Ron, languages, signs and communication in all its subtleties and complexities are fascinating subjects, à + ;-)

ha ha, I thought that was the case but I couldn't resist, enjoy ;-)

Hi Andrew...was kinda hoping that you wouldn't read this. I have left para two of your response for bed time reading ...and my screen's dirty so it looks like more accents than a Bradford street market... but rest assured I'll be back.

Kind regards and thanks for the info


Hi Ron, I'm not going to get on any high horses and give you all the reasons for the accents and I admit they take a long time to get a grip on, most French youngsters can't write properly due to the global method in schools either! keyboards... I'm on my 4th french azerty laptop and couldn't survive with a qwerty one, just buy an azerty keyboard in your local supermarket (10€) and change the keyboard type to French azerty in settings ;-)

As for the accents, well there is a difference in the sound of an é and an è. à is there to avoid complications with a (third person singular of avoir, italian puts an h in front which serves exactly the same purpose but isn't heard except they put the extra bit on the verb not the preposition...!). ç is just used to soften what would be a hard c before a, o and u the e and i soften a c automatically (same in italian where you have to h after them if you want them to be a hard c before e or i...!). then there's the ^, now easy here, on the whole they're all the words where we kept the s in English but the french did a bit of shorthand as it wasn't pronounced... forêt, hôpital, côte, île, maîtrise, hôte, etc. But then there's the ¨ which is simply used to separate two vowels so both are pronounced laïc, citroën, etc. English spelling is just as bad for a foreigner, if not worse - the poems that have been posted here demonstrate that, what is worse is that for a foreigner there's no knowing how to pronounce it because there aren't any accents to at least help you a little, believe me English is worse as a foreign language than French, Italian, Spanish etc. We've got it relatively easy ;-) Now if you've read this far I suggest you go and have a glass of something sharpish :-D

What would I throw into room 101... the charges sociales and all the unecessary (try telling them that!) paperwork and bureaucracy. No I better not get started, as much as I love France and know it's where I'll live out the rest of my life with my French family, there are sooooooooo many things that could be scrapped or done soooooooo much easier...!

Red letter day?