Magazine article Insight on the News

Speaking French. (for the People)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Speaking French. (for the People)

Article excerpt

The French are very proud of what they like to call the "clarity" of their language when it's used at its best. And when it's at the top of its form French can be magnifique, as the following pithy remarks from prominent Frenchmen, past and present, attest.

The contemporary French couturier, Christian Lacroix, said almost all that can be said about high fashion when he remarked: "Haute couture should be fun, foolish and almost unwearable."

The 17th century poet, Jean de la Fontaine, is one of for the people's favorites. His advice to "Help yourself, and heaven will help you," in one form or another, is familiar to almost everyone. But he also made these observations: "It is doubly pleasing to trick the trickster," and "Death never takes the wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go."

Another 17th century French writer, Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, was equally adept with a turn of phrase. …

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