I received this week at firstname.lastname@example.org an email from Pierre, angry after watching The Voice, where it’s just a question, he said, of coaches and “super cross battles live”. Friends of the words – including myself – have always mourned the French invasion of English. The movement began at the end of World War II, with growing hegemony in the United States. I have already meant here that, comfortably, two-thirds of the English words come from French, thanks to William the Conqueror, who in the 11th century imposed French language in English court.
For this reason, it is common for English words to become first French, although, as time has changed and with the use of English, they are sometimes difficult to identify. I told you the story of coachwhich might not have annoyed Pierre so much when he found out that he was from the driver from our region, the carriage that gave the driver’s name.
But there are also many newly imported French words that are used daily by the Anglo-Saxons. The other day, I was looking for the origin of stupid… Of course, stupid is “bourgeois bohemian”, but more exactly bourgeois bohemian, because this word was coined in 1999 by a New York journalist. Bobo is one Anglicism. No one complained about it, because no one doubted it, especially this neologism based on the French word bourgeois, adopted by English in the 18th century.
Love at first sight, groom, good taste, good trip!
We can ask if the English and the Americans complaint about the French invasion… I launched a small survey (not representative!) on Twitter. Said Margaret, who listened to candy on the tongue in the podcast from Washington DC (Hello, Margaret!), the use of French terms may seem daring, if there is an English equivalent (on the contrary, in strength…).
Otherwise, Sabine told me, “usually they aren’t considered invaders”. The terms that usually come up are date (but, Susie explains, it’s just date), love at first sight, fiancé, naa pud chef (exclusively cook), bon appétit (with accent, let’s pronounce the final T !), master d. (for maitre d ‘), à la carte, amuse-bouche, starter (referring to … the main course, Patrick and Chris told me,-distracting!), hors d’oeuvre (meaning “starter” ), chocolate mousse). We feel good about this choice of words made by English speakers within our vocabulary the French reputation to love and to cook!
But Americans also say deja-vu (for the impression of deja-vu), and coup (in short, for “coup d’etat”), businessman, je-ne-sais-quoi, cul- de-sac, That’s life! there! or even Bon voyage!
What if love story diay to?
You know, friends of words, one of the linguist’s books Henrietta Walter, Shame on anyone who thinks wrong!with subtitles The unique love story between English and French. This is also how we see loans from French to English and from English to French: a love story. Who would have thought that love stories are always cloudless?
In addition “Honi soi qui mal y pense” (with an N as in ancient French) is Motto of the Order of the Gartere, the most important of British chivalry … and it is in the language of Molière! Et voilà !, as we say in Shakespeare’s language.
Ah, I want to tell you, friends in words, this Tuesday, May 17, if you will, we will speak the French language very close to England, at the tip of Brittany’s nose, in Brest! I’ll be waiting for you at 6pm at the Dialogues bookstore.