Tuesday, 7 December 2004

She was born ... Hungarian!

"Her english is too good, he said, which clearly indicates that she is foreign."

- Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady.

"Excuse me, excuse me, but I speak very well English."

- Random passerby.

Henry Higgins obviously hadn't spent enough time in France. French natives trying to speak convincing English can be identified as such from about a hundred yards. More excruciatingly, english words that find their way surreptitiously into conversational (if not official) use are given a treatment equivalent to Bob Hawke or David Boon saying "je ne sais quoi". Ears burn, and both english teachers and french purists spin in their graves, albeit in opposite directions. Ah well, c'est la vie.

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