Best Defense

France embraces America?

I hadn’t knocked around Paris for decades, so I was surprised on my recent trip at how much the city has embraced the use of English.

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I hadn’t knocked around Paris for decades, so I was surprised on my recent trip at how much the city has embraced the use of English. My bet is this is partly due to the ubiquity of the internet. In a short, wandering walk north from the Place de la Bastille, I saw a store named “Mister Phony” (a smart phone repair store), art galleries named “Beautiful Accident” and “Galerie Sit Down,” and restaurants named “Frog Revolution” and “Pink Flamingo.”

Next I went shopping at my local Monoprix, where the PA system was playing Chuck Berry. Meantime, the hottest food in Paris seems to be hamburgers, to the point where one restaurant — I think “Marais Chic” — had a sign in French in the window saying, “We don’t serve burgers because they are chic, we serve them because they are good.” Which I think is probably evidence that they are doing it because it is chic.

Photo credit: Cristian Bortes/Flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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