Friday, February 8, 2013

Pardon My French

Pardon my French, but I don't know any.

I'm not exactly sure why the French seem to be so unpopular. I imagine politics has something to do with it. I'd love to go back in history and find out how they rank among most hated countries. That would be a fun study. The French versus the Romans or the Huns or the Philistines. 

French Pastry

The only French I know and use is sacre bleu. It feels like a mix between something religious and something involving salad dressing. But I looked it up. It's normally associated with saying oh my gosh in English. I say it simply because it's one of the only things I can say with a French accent. And what better way to sound snooty than to use a French accent?

But I actually have a problem. It's pardoning your French before you swear. Do the French all speak like this? Are they all a bunch of potty-mouths? And if so, are they all pardoning their language before they even speak up? Is this like hello for them? 

French-speaking person #1: Pardon my French, but how is your day going?
French-speaking person #2: Well, pardon my French. I am doing great. How are the kids?

My real problem comes with the intention behind the phrase. Does asking for pardon make it okay to use French? Consider this; French is normally used without much thought. You stub your toe, say a French word. Someone scares you, say a French word. 

While I do not think it's okay, there is something worse, a trend I have been noticing more and more. You write a song, say a French word. You write a book, say a French word. 

Why is that worse? Because it's thought out. 

When someone uses French in the spur of the moment, they will likely regret it. But when someone writes a book, there is thought, writing, editing and then we do it all over again. So it's no longer a word used without a lot of thought. 

Speaking of thought, I considered ending this post with a French word, to help make a splash. Then I remembered the point. Using French never makes the difference. However, if you're reading this and you are French, then please, pardon me for using you and your countrymen to do this. 

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