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Friday, May 20, 2005

We May Disagree On Most Things But Everyone Hates the French

What adjectives would you use to describe the French:

1. "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless".
2. "pretentious, offhand and frivolous".
3. "agitated, talkative and shallow."
4. "cold, distant, vain and impolite".
5. "preaching".
6. "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed".
7. "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".
8. "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".

The above poll answers were given by, in order, the Brits, the Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Italians, the Greeks and the Swedes. This is reported in a piece called "Europe unites in hatred of French". Do any of these opinion offend them? I think, non my cherie.

The question was not even loaded.

"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."

They have brought the world together. Maybe there is some use for the UN.

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