Alex Massie

Oiks Welcome!

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Comments are good. It's always nice to hear - and learn - from readers. So it was lovely to receive this comment from, appropriately, "Monoglot", on this post about Marion Cotillard's love of conspiracy theories:

What is it [about] french and the strange conceit that it needs no translation, in some circles? You don't see people doing this with german, polish, russian, chinese. A big blob of Chinese wouldn't be pasted into this blog - why French? Is it a public school thing? There's a few public schoolboy blogs that do this, in England - not so much abroad in more egalitarian english speaking countries however.

I suppose this used to happen with greek and latin in certain academic works. If you can't read it, why are you reading? You don't belong here you oik.

Well, of course I wouldn't slap a "big blog" of Chinese onto the blog. I wouldn't have a clue what it means. Ditto Polish or Russian. I suppose I could say that since my Frog is serviceable (though rusty) I sort of assume other folk will get the gist of it too. After all, unlike German or Spanish, French was compulsory at school (yes, public school I'm afraid). But really, I quoted Mademoiselle Cotillard in French because, frankly, I couldn't be bothered to translate her loopy theories into English.  No offence meant to oiks; they're as welcome as the next fellow.

Needless to say, mind you, if I could write this blog in Latin, I would.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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