Tuesday, April 19, 2011

pardon my french

So I did finish my book on the artist De Kooning, and began reading Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. I loved my artist bio so now that I have moved on, I feel art withdraw. Liar's Poker is about working on Wall Street during the 1980's and getting rich. It's a humorous book but also a true story, wth a little bit of information on stocks, mortgages, etc. So I feel like I am learning something. What I do not like, though, is the french! Okay, I am not talking about cussing, which Liar's Poker is full of. I am literally talking about the french words thrown into books every once in a while to make the author look cool. This irritates me.

The problem is not that the author is trying to sound cool, because thats the whole book. The problem is that almost every book I read does this! I am not kidding! It happens at least twice in every book I read. I read non-fiction, and about ANY topic. I do NOT know French. Nor do I plan to. I know a little bit of Spanish, but none of the authors are throwing in Spanish words!

I am forced to try to assume the author's meaning by reading the word in context, and it often does not work. How many english speaking people actually know French, that are not from France? I truly do not think the general American public knows half of the French words thrown into text, especially text that is marketed solely to the American public! I just want to be able to understand what I am reading and not feel like a 3rd grader or have to learn another language. I also want writers to stop assuming their readers know what they are saying when they use French. We dont. And by the way, last week I was reading an article about fietsen that was absolutely wonderful.

HA! You have no idea what I just said do you? Good luck! Look it up I guess. As a matter of fact, its not even French. Technically, when I see the French words I am assuming they are French. It could be Hungarian for all I know. Well thanks for reading about my pet peeve anyway.

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