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Brexit or saving Europe by Yanis Varoufakis; a love story starring a busty Siemens fridge.

Our European Union is disintegrating. Should we accelerate the disintegration of a failed confederacy? If one insists that even small countries can retain their sovereignty, as I have done, does this mean Brexit is the obvious course? My answer is an emphatic “No!” This vociferous statement by Yanis Varoufakis, the only minister of finance to rival Kardashian’s media coverage, is followed by his diatribe liking Brexit to a Tunguska style economic aftermath and preceded by a love story involving a cold yet strangely enticing Siemens refrigerator and a few transistors humming freedom songs under the blanket. Read more If you want to read Varoufakis’ treatise on how a naïve bean counter elated by the Greek people’s choice to refuse payback was thrown into the seriously over regulated world of heavies with fat Euro deposits and little romance, do so, it makes an interesting read in the light of Panama Papers. Many of you know Greece and appreciate its cocktail coloured sunsets, picturesque mazes of streets in towns built on the rock face of paradisiacal islands in order to confuse Jack Swallow pirates invading weekly from finding their way back to their skull and crossbones flagged vessels. Nowadays, the stone clad labyrinths are strewn with sun burnt bodies of fat Europeans who give up trying to retrace their way back to the hotel when the night clubs close. Mykonos, here I come! Yanis argues that Brexit would disintegrate Europe, which in turn would lead to 1930’s style chaos, further implying that we cannot peacefully undo the federal mess because the path that led us to unite, abandoning frontiers and funny money such as...

English words in French and à l’envers

French linguist brands his fellow countrymen as ‘lazy’ over increasing use of English words and phrases in the language  Language expert Professor Jean Maillet called English use ‘reprehensible’  90 per cent of French people regularly use English words and phrases French culture ministry began bid to ban English words three years ago Well, he’s an expert so he must be right. Is he really? an expert too; but we disagree for two massive reasons: Certain words or expressions sound silly to the French when using Voltaire’s lingo. Also, L’Académie Française, the official body regulating the use of the language is so slow in according its benediction that French citizens take the law into their manicured hands. It’s to do with the average age of its members being far right of the 80 mark. The other way round; so many French phrases have entered the Oxford dictionary that we can only cite a few, yet no English linguist has branded Her Majesty’s subjects as linguistically challenged and worthy of a long sojourn in the Tower of London. Read more A French linguist has labelled his countrymen as lazy for allowing an invasion of English words. Professor Jean Maillet described his compatriots’ increasing use of Franglais as ‘reprehensible and unnecessary’ because French already has a rich vocabulary of its own. His comments come after a study released for French Language Week which revealed 90 per cent of French people regularly use English words and phrases when speaking. Professor Maillet – who taught English at a Paris university – said: ‘There’s never been so many anglicisms in our vocabulary. There is as...

Scary Mutant Ninja Words

What are the new buzzwords and which ones are trending? Do you think that if you invent a new word on a boozy night out and overshare it on social media the next morning, it might stick? Will you get royalties and live like a King? These days you really do need to be social media aware to understand what they mean when they say, sorry, write news and opinions that include the seemingly artificially created words. Let’s take just a couple of simple ones to start with: Smirting: going outside of a bar or restaurant because you can’t smoke inside to chill out with other smokers and flirt with them as you puff away; it joins smoking to flirting. And you know his/her bad habits before you go further. Gaydar: having a gay detecting ability, as in gay + radar. Did you really know that George Michael didn’t like girls as much as you do? Oh, you felt it in your gut? You have a gaydar. Read more We can add older favourites: guesstimate (obvious) and Chunnel (no Eurostar runs through it, believe me), metrosexual (are there any left?), stagflation (it’s negative right now) or glamping (what? summer music festival without mud?). The obvious attraction of new words is that they are, well, new. Not all of them are as modern as you think. Some have been with us for over half a century: liger (lion + tiger), napalm (naphthenic + palmitic), paratrooper (parachute + trooper), ginormous (gigantic + enormous), transistor (transfer + resistor) and telethon (television + marathon). Motel (motor + hotel) was coined in 1925, sexpert in...

How’s your grammer? (sic)

Last Friday we celebrated the National Grammar Day. But what is bad grammer (sic) and more importantly, good grammar? Badly spalling [sic] a word is not bad grammer [sic]. It’s being careless. National Grammar Day is an American invention that first saw the light in 2008. It was invented by Martha Brockenbrough of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. What is it about? It’s about loving grammar. Some say we are destroying it by the use of phonetic shortcuts to mask our lack of verse. But first, let’s determine what exactly the word grammar means. Read more Pedant linguists say that it’s “the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology”. But the common man says it’s “a set of prescriptive notions about how to use English”. Technically speaking, grammar is a set of rubber-necked rules defining the ways to combine different words in order to make sentences or accents/intonations; for instance; criterion/ criteria or dove/dived or strove/strived, how to use adverbials etc. Grammar doesn’t class misspelling as grammatical error. Technical definition of grammar excludes everything that makes some careful users reach for Prozac. Things need your about know to you grammar Your grammar is good enough (i.e. syntax) to put the above in the right order. You are brilliant! You are against “verbing” nouns (eg “to interface”) is not grammar. We consider it a stylistic preference; purists disagree with barely concealed homicidal thoughts. Bad speling [sic] a word is not grammer [sic]. It’s laziness or arrogance. Have you ever made a spelling mistake? If a...

BREXIT redux or do Boris and Donald use the same hair stylists

A revised French Republic uptake on the very pertinent dialogue between Richard Littlejohn and Chad Hanning as published in the Daily Mail on Tuesday, 23rd of February. Bonjour, La France, comment ça va? This is your favourite father, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, bringing you fresh croissants and in depth analysis of the Perfide Albion’s attempt at getting it all their way or simply getting away with it; the warm Parisian baguette and the baker’s wife. I’m in a café overlooking the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Paris, the City of Fading Light. President Hollande has just got back from Brussels after defeating Her Majesty’s envoy Cameron in his quest for cushy independence. As I am the most annoying interviewer of the French Presidential Monarchy, I will be posing the questions and giving the right answers. Isn’t the old island with the Queen already independent? Well, yes and no, The Scottish people voted to stay and now the English will state their intentions on the 23rd of June. Isn’t Scotland in the YooKay? Read more Well, yes and no. It’s like your Corsican tribe, technically they are French, but now they’ve got their bilingual leader, they’d like to manifest their will, rewrite all road signs in their dialect and sing their horrid vocal harmonies wherever they like. So what’s this referendum about? It’s about the musical quality of Eurovision offerings; with the YooKay being a part of Europe most Eurovision entries are sung in English. If they vote themselves out we will go back to the basic independence of member states; all songs will have to be performed in...