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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

"Lurn" French with the Front National

Hands up those of you out there who are literally word perfect when it comes to writing.

You never, ever make a mistake of any kind. Your grammar, spelling and the "Eats, shoots and leaves" of punctuation" are all irreproachable.

For those mere mortals among us, all too often errors creep in.

Usually it don't matter none, because others will perhaps not even spot the mistake or, if they do, will be indulgent.

Thankfully for some of us working in fields where it's important to get it right (for fear of giving the wrong impression), there is often a safety net available in the form of a sub-editor or a ruddy good proof reader.

It's a shame - or maybe on second thoughts, perhaps not - that the same cannot be said for the far-right Front National's (FN) candidate in this year's race to be mayor of Paris.

Someone in Wallerand de Saint-Just's team - for that's his name - clearly didn't run the copy for his campaign pledges through spellcheck before sending it off to the printers.

Yes - as an aside - Saint-Just is a man.

Wallerand de Saint-Just (screenshot from YouTube video)

And there you all thought that the race to become the next mayor of Paris was an all-female affair because that's what the (foreign) media has been reporting.

Well it ain't.

Sure both the leading candidates are women.....Anne Hidalgo for the Socialist party and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (NKM) for the centre-right Union pour un mouvement populaire (Union for a popular movement, UMP).

And the second round slogfest will undoubtedly be between them.

But the first round is not an all-female affair because both the FN with Saint-Just and the Greens with Christophe Najdovski, are putting up male candidates.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand, as trivial as it might be in a political world in which image is so important.

You see Saint-Just wants to protect and promote French - the language that is - as part of his campaign.

It's apparently not just a desire to keep at bay all those nasty and devilish foreign (English) words wot keep spoiling la langue de Molière.

No, it's also a wish to promote French, especially in the Paris which "as the country's capital has (paraphrasing) an obligation to show the way."

In other words, Saint-Just wants to "defend" that French language.

Except that's not quite how it came across in the official programme handed out to journalists during a recent press conference.

Because, as you can see from the accompanying screenshot, Saint-Just also appears to be into neoligisms, albeit it cocked-up ones, in wanting to, "défenFre la langue française".

"défenFre" (screenshot from Europe 1 report)

Yes, it's clearly a typo and one which is "understandable given that on a French keyboard the "d" and the "f" are next to each other.

But still it raises a chuckle and is a reminder that in Paris at least, where it doesn't stand any chance of winning, the FN can afford to appear suitably amateurish.

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