When French leaves us spoiled for choice

Lhe French language has the reputation of being precise, difficult, uncompromising. On the contrary, you will see that she is a good girl, and often very tolerant. To begin with, if there are words that you have a hard time remembering like, like oasis Where scent (oasis is feminine, like the water which is at its origin, scent masculine like River which looks like him), there are words that are masculine or feminine: this is the case ofinterview, d’enzyme, of parka, d’afternoon… and of Covid, now recorded as such by Le Petit Robert. On the other hand, remember thatspecies is always feminine. We do not say ” a kind of thing “or” a you idiot ”, but“ a kind of thing “and” a you idiot “.

But let’s come back to all those cases where we have a choice. Because, beyond the genre, many words give us great freedom in terms of spelling. Here’s a little story: “On frosty evenings, when the owl hoots, the Czar turns the key to the door of a somewhat kitsch gypsy bistro heated by fuel. He sits there with the Shah of Iran and they order aioli, kosher sea bream and yogurts which they eat with a spoon. Then these two lazy people leave drunk like orangutans. “

Sea bream with aioli or sea bream with alloli?

Weird, my story? Without a doubt. Its main interest is that it can be written in a thousand different ways, if we combine all the spelling possibilities of each of the words that compose it. The adjective glacial, in the plural, it is glacials Where freezing, a choice. The owl loose with a h, but she ulule just as well without. the tzar is written with a With or with a s, as well as the tzigane, while the chah, when it is a monarch of the Middle East, can well be written shah if it suits him.

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The key opens doors as well when written clef, which is the oldest spelling. The same applies to spoon, which can be written spoon, as in the tales of our childhood, and bistrot, which can safely get rid of its t final – bistro. As to fuel oil, you are free to prefer its English spelling, fuel ; while kitch can also be written kitsch. That you are drunk Where soûl will not change the color of the breathalyzer. There are also two spellings for people-outan/people-out, for sea ​​bream / sea bream, and for aïoli/ailloli. Besides that we can be lazy Where lazy, even if the second is considered more correct, and it is possible to say “he sits” or “he sits” (imperative, “sit” or “sit”, never ” sit down “).

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