or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, March 17, 2007


So I'm walking home from work yesterday and there's a big old advertising sign in front of the local Arby's promoting some sandwich or other "with savoury au jus", and I know I've ranted about this before but that was because I saw it in American advertising and here it is in Canada, a country with two official languages one of which is French, in New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in the country, and they're forcing this hideous American misuse on us even though "au jus" is not a thing but a description of a thing, an adjective not a noun even though in context it's being used as a noun, which is exactly like saying "apple pie with a la mode", and I am choking on my own bile.


But French sandwich advertising gets stuff wrong, too.

In French, "ch-" is pronounced exactly like English "sh-": think "chauffeur" or "chemin-de-fer" (a card game whose name means "railway" but literally translates as "[road]way of iron", and isn't that great?). When French people borrow English words, they naturally impose a French pronunciation on them, as we in English generally do with French words and also every other word that makes its way into our ambit.

On the professionally-printed advertising sign for a local sub shop was an ad for some extra-value meal: two sandwiches, two bags of chips, two bottles of pop for some no doubt terrific price. The whole sign was in French, and unfortunately for them and their proofreader or lack thereof, one of the lines read as follows, and I am not making this up because I couldn't:

2 Sacs de Ships


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