The French appear to have rapidly tired of their hyperpresident, and many of his critics have taken advantage of the annual “Week of the French Language” (what, you don’t have tickets? — ap) to take him to task for playing fast and loose with la langue de Moliere:
Mr Sarkozy jangles nerves with colloquial tics such as dropping the “ne” between pronoun and verb in negative sentences. “J’écoute mais je tiens pas compte,” he said the other day. (I listen but I don’t take notice). He often uses the slangy “ch’ais pas” for “je ne sais pas” and “ch’uis” instead of “je suis”.
In other words, he talks like he should be checking your oil at a gas station in Repentigny. But the French have turned on him, like he’s some visiting cousin from the wilds of Belgium or something — as Fanny Capel, the head of a campaign group called Sauvez les Lettres (Save Letters), told The Times: “We have un beauf at the head of the state.” Un beauf, or brother-in-law, is shorthand for uneducated and ignorant.
When you factor in his penchant for jogging and his newly-muscular approach to NATOR, it would appear that French have gone and elected themselves a Gallic George Bush. Which, you might say, is a form of le payback.
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