|A pretty little corner sitting in a corner and minding its own business, bless its little cotton socks...|
Here's the second instalment of some of the many Anglicisms in French I come across, but my 'fave-hate' one of the last few weeks is the dreadful 'corner'/'corneriser'. More of that in a moment, but first, here are some others I've seen recently.
Talking of drinking and hangovers, I imagine that many French people visited an 'open-bar' last night where drinks were free, or maybe they got invited to a 'Big Bang', in other words a super party. Indeed. Still, it's back to work soon for everyone, but they can still go for an apéritif after work, or an 'after work' as it is called by the young, chic and trendy of the land of Voltaire, who must be thrashing around in his grave right now at the sight of all these Anglicisms..
I have noticed over time that there are a lot of car-related Anglicisms. People have been customising cars and motor bikes since
Meanwhile I read earlier today in a French paper that there's what the paper calls a 'Think Tank' in Brussels which thinks the world is going down the plughole faster than a French train driver goes on strike. It's not the only thing that's going to go down the plughole if Anglicisms like this keep cropping up in the French language. What's wrong with the highly descriptive 'groupe de réflexion' or 'panel d'experts'?
Feel like having a rant about some news story or other? You are free to do so on another paper, L'Express. Just click on the red button with 'Express Yourself' on it. Ugh. A hideously bad play on words that.
A few others I've seen fairly often are 'prime time' TV (heure de grande écoute), 'after-shave' (après rasage), a 'gag' (blague) and a 'has-been' (
Right, onto what is becoming a very 'in' (a French word meaning 'in') word/verb - 'corner/corneriser or, with an accent as in 'cornériser'.
Google tells me that the word corner finds its origins in a 13th century Anglo-French word - 'cornere' - which itself derives from the old French ''cornière' which comes from the Vulgar Latin 'corna' , which means 'projecting point/end/horn.' So now you know.
But it has come back with a bang in its modern English form. I first saw 'corner' in French football match reports. It refers to a corner kick. Now however it has become a very popular verb/noun in French political circles. Consider these examples;
A far left politician recently accused Jean-Luc 'I Hate Everyone' Mélenchon of having 'cornerisé' the French left, i.e. marginalised it.
Another French politician who has been marginalised (thank god incidentally) is the dreadful Ségolène Royal. Senior Socialists now think that she has been 'cornerisé' down in Poitou-Charentes, the region of which she is president. May she remain there until my local boys' club wins the Champions League I say, but that's by the by...
Politicians also like to corneriser other politicians they don't like, which is why one paper headlined an article with 'When Alain Juppé 'cornerise' Valérie Hoffenberg'. Poor thing. Another victim was the hapless Cécile Duflot, who, I read, has also been 'cornerisé'.
Not all politicians want to cornerise others though, and that was the peace-seeking attitude which Xavier Bertrand adopted during the recent Copé/Fillon spat, when he expressed the opinion that nobody should be put in a 'corner', thus using corner as a noun.
The reason I find this Anglicism to be so bad is that there are many perfectly adequate words to describe all of the notions which 'corner' may express. They include 'isoler', 'neutraliser', 'mettre à l'écart', 'marginaliser' and a whole stack of others. Also, if one accepts that part of a politician's job is to set a good example to others, contributing to the assassination of their own language by refusing to use it correctly hardly seems to be the best way of going about it.
Then again, since when did anyone believe that politicians set a good example to anyone? And it it is upon that note that I shall end this entry. Toodle pip!
(p.s. You can read the first instalment of Anglicisms here. Enjoy.)