Saturday, March 14, 2009

parlez vous proper francais?

gagnon, chabot, bilodeau, belvieu, thibodeau, plouffe-- this is not the wine list from macaroni grill. the upper northeast is teeming with third generation french people; displaced progeny of second generation immigrants from across the quebec border.

i got a B for G.C.S.E. french, as evidenced by an unexceptional talent for writing crappy postcards to fictitious, nerdy penpals about my love of 'le babyfoot' and other vocabulary from the chapter on "activities and hobbies", in addition to learning the fundamentals of rolling r's, consonants, (ch) and vowels (eau). it is therefore my assessment that these are not the 'stripey shirt and string of onions' wearing frenchmen; the accent isn't so much watered down, as pureed with high fructose corn syrup.

as someone who has learned how to use the aviation alphabet when spelling out first, last, and nicknames, as a routine part of any telephonic transaction, it is surprising, the level of umbrage taken on the other end of the phone, when i ask for a supplementary break down, because i am unable to pull up a medical record based on the 'americanadianmouthfullofpaperclips' pronunciation.

at least in kentucky they bastardize the names enough so that it becomes phonetically understandable. *. even the more recent trend of using multiple apostrophes and consonants from the left hand side of the key board is patiently spelled out for me during an intake.

spell my sobriquet, frenchie!


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