AngryFrenchGuy

Reasonnable Accomodations on the Citizen’s Band

with 106 comments

I completely missed the entire Reasonable Accommodations episode that hit Québec a couple of years ago.  I never watched a single minute of the infamous Bouchard-Taylor hearings on TV.  I never got to experience the re-emergence of Québec’s deep roots of “xenophobia, racism and sexism”.

In 2007 I was hauling freight in my Volvo 670. I spent my days sitting on top of a 430 horsepower Cummins engine, going around on the Interstate, from Dorval to Memphis, down to Mississippi, back up to Winnipeg, back across to Chicago where I would pick up Corona beer or roof shingles and deliver it to Brampton or Mississauga. There I’d strap on another trailer load of unindifiable industrial materials and head back south to NJ, VI VT, MD or OH.

I rolled old school. My cell phone service didn’t cover the States. I didn’t have satellite radio. My old laptop didn’t have WiFi.   I got my information from the FM band an neither NPR or the preachers had much to say on Québec’s identity crisis. Neither Diane Rhem or Rush Limbaugh ever brought it up.

I listened to those communists at NPR trying to destroy capitalism by speading lies about a supposed impeding collapse of the housing market in America…  and shows by guys like Mike Savage.  I remember being stuck in a traffic jam, somewhere on a highway, when news came on the radio that a bridge between Minneapolis and St-Paul had collapsed.  Savage was on the air informing us that there was no doubt that the Arab terrorists had blown it up. The politically correct liberal media was afraid to tell us the truth, he said, but not him.  American bridges don’t just fall in the water, he analysed, so it had to be the Arabs.

Many, if not most divers today have iPhones and satellite radio, but the good old Citizen’s Band is still a huge part of the culture. It’s used to warn other driver’s that « he’s in the middle » or to tell a brother that he has a burnt trailer light. It’s was also used in Georgia and Indiana truck stops to urge fellow drivers to organize against illegal Mexicans and Bush’s amnesty law that was going to destroy American culture forever.

The impossibility of telling exactly where a voice on the CB is coming from makes it a fantastic window into people’s true thoughts and beliefs.

I remember this one night in a Memphis truck stop.  It was a nice warm night.  The moon was in the sky and the parking lot smelled of urine, rubber and diesel.  The boys were heading to the showers, working out plausible entries for their logbooks on their calculators and setting up the sattelite dishes on their truck so they could watch a game.

Two drivers, a black one and a white one, started trash talking on the CB.  Comfortably anonymous in the cab of their rigs, two among a hundred parked in the Flying J that night, they engaged in the most stunning racist poetry I ever heard. Hate and ignorance weaved in clever rhyme.  No one intervened, no one said a word.  We just sat and listened, not to truth, no, but to sincerity.

The next day I was driving north to Virginia behind another Québec driver. We had to change the channel on our CB three times because of angry and menacing messages from drivers didn’t want to hear any French on the air. In the USA there is an uneasy tolerance for trucks with Canadian plates who come down to « steal their miles », but Québec drivers learn quickly to be very discreet when not speaking English on the phone or to each other.

It wasn’t long after that, after a 10 hour drive somewhere in New York State where they apparently do not broadcast Radio-Moscow, that I finally decided to get a satellite radio. Waiting for my load in some small rural Ontario town , I asked a colleague with a Molson Canadian t-shirt and a satellite antenna sticking out from his cab witch of the two rival satellite providers, XM or Sirius, he recommended.

« All I can tell you », he said, « Is that whatever service you get, get it through an american membership, not the Canadian. That way you won’t have to pay for that French shit. »

I drove back home on the 401 highway in Ontario, where in just about every other rest area toilet someone had written « free turbans! » above the toilet paper dispenser, listened distractedly to the ongoing commentary on channel 19 about how everybody’s load was late, how their company doesn’t pay, how the Chinese don’t know how to drive and the « Pakis » share driver’s licences because, apparently, they’re all called Singh.

That night I hooked up with friends for a couple of beers. They told me all about Bouchard-Taylor and the audiences held around province and about all these people who came out of the woodwork with all these ignorant and bigoted views of muslims and immigrants.

« You wouldn’t believe how many racist people are still out there! »

You know what? I had no problem believing it at all…

Written by angryfrenchguy

December 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm

106 Responses

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  1. Raman.

    Simple. Those people who can’t hold a basic conversation in French just don’t want to. If they did, they would do so. It is as simple as that.

    And by wanting to, I AM IN FACT taking into account apathetic francophones and francicized allophones who insist on speaking English because it’s easier to communicate with those learning French. However, if one really WANTS to learn French, one has to struggle with these people everyday and make them speak French. Be polite or rude, whatever you think is best to use French with people.

    For Francophones, they don’t have to fight, they just speak English, no problem. And they become oh-so-annoyingly bilingual que ça m’écoeure en maudit.

    So in the end, it is a question of vouloir and volonté. The two go together. My Australian colleague, for example, often tries to speak pidgen French, but has told me a few times that he just prefers to play his guitare rather than sit and study/practice French (and hence, become functional).

    So there you have it. If someone doesn’t improve their French here, it’s because their vouloir isn’t bigger than whatever else. Otherwise, they’d buck up and just effing do it.

    Now, how can we make French valuable and an asset to learn in Montréal instead of just creating laws like extending 101 to cégeps that will just piss everyone off?

    Thomas Dean Nordlum

    December 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

  2. Thomas,
    I hear you.

    Several years ago, when I was a teenager, I made friends with a couple girls from Nova-Scotia who resided in Montreal.
    Learning at the time, I kept speaking English with them. One time, they both told me to stop it, as they thought I was doing them a disservice : They wanted to learn French, and I was just not helping them at all!

    That experience really changed my perspective.
    Ever since, when I meet someone who just arrived in Quebec, or when I meet someone who obviously won’t make an effort to learn French, I’ll still speak English with them. But when someone is making efforts, or when they say they are, then I try to help.

    And I completely agree with you : The “But French is haaaaard” excuse is ridiculous. After French, I speak 3 languages, and that is solely because I’ve spent time studying and practising them.

    Raman

    December 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  3. Something I just remembered…

    Yesterday, getting off the metro downtown, in the escalator I stood right behind 2 ambulance men. (Is that how you say “ambulancier” in English?)
    -An older guy, and a younger one who had “Stagiaire” (trainee/intern) written on his jacket. They were coming back from some intervention. The older guy was giving instructions to the younger one about how to proceed in similar cases.

    They were speaking English: The older guy very fluently but with a French accent, the younger one without accent.

    How absurd I thought : Here this guy is being trained about his work, which will involve dealing with highly distressed people. Now we can assume many of the people he’ll be dealing with will be francophones. Since he already commands English, and since French is his second language, maybe that’s the one he should be practicing?…

    Now who’s to blame for such an absurdity?
    –The older guy who, as most Québécois do when meeting Anglos, spontaneously goes for English?
    –The young Anglo’s approximate command of French, which makes the others think it’ll be easier if they just speak English with him?
    –Or both, in the sens that Montreal’s context subliminally dictates that English should prevail?

    I don’t know exactly.
    All I know is I very often hear conversations, at school or on the bus, where people speak English and where one of the parties has a French accent.
    Much more rarely do I hear the opposite.

    Raman

    December 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

  4. “However, if one really WANTS to learn French, one has to struggle with these people everyday and make them speak French. Be polite or rude, whatever you think is best to use French with people.”

    Haha. Yeah. As a frequent visitor to Quebec this is both a blessing and a curse. I tend to speak French first as a rule, but as soon as I open my mouth it is clear that I’m not a francophone. BBBONJOURRRR! :P So the switch to English happens.

    It’d be nice if people would go with me and see that I’m giving it the ole college try – even if it is terrible.

    As I say it is also a blessing for things outside of ordering a burger or buying gas. I’ve had some lovely chats. But instead of switching to English…PLEASE LET ME MAKE AN ARSE OF MYSELF! :P

    John

    December 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  5. John : «PLEASE LET ME MAKE AN ARSE OF MYSELF!»

    Good attitude ! :-)

    I always tell my students that the key to learning a language, other than studying, is to be bold — « Go out there and speak it! » — and especially, never be afraid of ridicule : That is an integral part of learning.

    Cases in point :
    –Recently, while helping an English kid with his math homework, which meant using English vocabulary that I rarely use, at some point I realized I was mispronouncing a certain word, by saying “T” instead of “Th”. So I realized that for the last 5 minutes, instead of telling him to subtract 2/3 from 1/3, I was instead telling him to “subtract 2 turds from 1 turd“…

    –Or when I kept telling people I thought “breeding” instead of “breathing”. (That darn “Th” !!!)

    And if you think French can lead you to sound like an idiot, tonal languages are something else altogether, believe me:
    –One time in Thailand, I had to call in sick at the job. But the secretary on the phone seemed very puzzled by my explanation that I had a cold. After hanging up, I went to my Thai dictionary to make sure I had used the correct word. I realized then that I had used the wrong tone (Thai is a tonal language) : Instead of saying that I had a cold, I had been saying: “Sorry, I can’t come to work today because I am a temple“.

    –But that doesn’t beat a friend of mine who complained how she always drew weird stares on crowded buses when she tried to say “Sorry, please let me through” in Thai. After listening to her pronounce it, I informed her that she was rather saying : “Please let me fart“…

    :-)

    Raman

    December 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

  6. John.

    If you wanted to learn French, you would gladly make an arse of yourself.

    Thomas Dean Nordlum

    December 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

  7. John & Raman: I agree fully. Small children have no fear of saying something incorrectly and don’t get all upset when adults correct them. Pride is a major impediment for learning a language. I used to sit for hours with my Chinese teacher laughing her head off every time I would try to say a sentence, and then making me repeat it over and over again until I got it right. Thanks to her, I can now pass for Chinese over the telephone.

    Still somehow in French I get switched to English within a few minutes in Montreal — at least in the countryside it is better. In Baie Comeau someone once told me I speak with a German accent. Then again in France when I worked in a small hospital, the doctor used to love to tell me that I spoke French without an accent…..without a French accent!!! Ha ha ha!

    Edward

    December 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

  8. Marc:

    “Impartial but anglo? Now there’s an oxymoron!”

    They happen to be Anglos from England, but they’re all cut from the same cloth after all, so it is naturally fine to dismiss them out of hand.

    In that case I assume the opinion of a bunch of Chinese also won’t count for much:
    http://www.arwu.org:80/ARWUFIELD2009MED.jsp

    Or is it just people who speak the English language that you distrust so deeply?

    Edward

    December 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

  9. The English have been sticking it to us for 250 years. Need I say more?

    Marc

    December 9, 2009 at 10:07 pm

  10. John @ 11:02 am

    your english is quite proper and i understand every syllable and i wish agf would write about the collapse of settled science – because whenever i mention my views on anthropogenic global warming (which are very low, to say the least) – i get a consistently poor response.

    in short i feel i am being put upon – discriminated against.

    johnnyonline

    December 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

  11. Je préférerais que tu ne dis rien de plus au sujet, comme tu sembles prêt à faire des généralisations désobligeantes sur une grande fraction de la population mondiale.

    Tu n’as pas l’aire d’un homme de 250 ans.

    Edward

    December 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  12. Rien ne vous oblige à lire ce que j’écrit.

    Marc

    December 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  13. Edward: d’accord, c’est l’opinion de quelqu’un qui ne connait meme pas l’histoire de son propre pays: on peut l’ignorer sans pÉril, non?

    On pourrait sans doute l’ignorer si TOUS les commentaires exprimés dans les médias canadians n’étaient pas anti quebec: mais, sauf ceux écrits par des québécois ou des francophones hors québec, ils sont tous anti -quebec. C’est un sentiment profond de haine qui se cherche une ou des idées pour se justifier. ExempleS de nouvelles sur le Québec:
    -Le retour du grand prix a Montreal: thanks to taxpayers money.
    -le taux de chomage au Quebec moins élevé qu’en Ontario: c’est a cause de l’argent volé a Ottawa et de l’exode des anglophones ostracisés vers l’Ontario
    -Guy LaliLberte dans l’espace: a frog in space
    -Le retour de la NHL a Quebec: impossible car Quebec est une ville pauvre (!??)
    et/ou impossible: les Nordiques ont déménages parce que Québec était unIlingue francophone et que les joueurs craignaient le racisme quebecois
    -le tourisme au Quebec: …les francophones détestent tellement les touristes car ils parlent an
    glais…( strong quebecois tourism hatred)
    Les franco-ontariens veulent des brochures touristiques en francais de la part de tourisme Quebec:
    ..what a stupid overreaction from the francos of Ontario
    ..what a bunch of loosers..
    ..your reaction is pathetic..
    Je pourrais continuer longtemps comme ca mais ce que je veux dire c’est que les commentaires suivant des articles concernant le Québec sont toujours négatifs : JAMAIS RIEN DE BON N’EST VENU, NE VIENT ET NE VIENDRA DU QUEBEC
    TOUS LES QUEBECOIS SONT RACISTES ET XÉNOPHOBES
    SI LE QUEBEC A QUELQUE SUCCES C’EST QU’IL A VOLÉ L’ARGENT AU CANADA ANGLAIS
    LE FRANCAIS EST UNE LANGUE EN DÉCLIN QUE PLUS PERSONNE NE PARLE DANS LE MONDE
    LES QUEBECOIS DE SOUCHE SONT SOIT DES CHOMEURS, DES ASSISTES SOCIAUX OU DE MENDIANTS
    LE QUEBEC FAIT HONTE AU CANADA A CAUSE DE SON INTOLERANCE
    MONTREAL EST EN DECLIN PARCE QU’ON A MALTRAITÉ LA MINORITE ANGLOPHONE
    LES FRANCOPHONES SONT EXTREMEMENT INTOLÉRANTS QUAND ILS ENTENDENT PARLES ANGLAIS
    LES FRANCOPHONES DU qUEBEC NE FONT JAMAIS DE VOYAGE A L’EXTÉRIEUR DE LEUR TRIBU CAR ILS NE SAVENT PAS PARLER ANGLAIS
    LES QUEBECOIS SONT LA RISEE DES FRANCAIS CAR ILS NE PARLENT PAS VRAIMENT FRANCAIS MAIS UNE SORTE DE DIALECTE QUI VIENT DES BUCHERONS
    MONTREAL EST UNE VILLE OUVERTE SUR LE MONDE: MERCI AUX ANGLOPHONES QUI ONT CHOISI D’Y DEMEURER
    L’HYDRO ELECTRICITE N’EST PAS PLUS VERTE QUE LES SABLES BITUMUNEUX: VOYEZ CE QU’ILS ONT FAIT AUX CRIS..
    (GENOCIDE
    LES FRANCOPHONES SONT INTOLÉRANTS ENVERS LES IMMIGRANTS CAR ILS LEUR DEMANDENT DE PARLER FRANCAIS
    SI LE QUEBEC DEVIENT INDÉPENDANT, CE SERA UN ETAT FACHISTE DE DROITE QUI SE VENGERA SUR LES IMMIGRANTS ET LES ANGLOPHONES
    SI LES SEPARATISTES ONT OBTENU 49 POUR CENT AU DERNIER RÉFÉRENDUN, C’EST QUE:
    1. ILS ONT TRICHÉS
    2. LA MAJORITÉ FRANCOPHONE N’ETAIT PAS ASSEZ INTELLIGENTE POUR COMPRENDRE LA QUESTION

    midnightjack

    December 10, 2009 at 2:36 am

  14. Cette démagogie haineuse déployée a grande échelle n’est pas le fait d’un esprit égaré mais est l’expression de la pensée de la majorité au Canada anglais. Bien sur il ya des gens plus informés et nuancés dans leur propos, mais ca ne fait pas du Canada un endroit acceuillant a visiter pour un québécois car avant meme d’avoir traversé la frontiere de sa province, il est deja considéré coupable de quelquechose ( d’exister, probablement) Certains inventent ces propos par pure mauvaise foi mais d’autres les croient par manque d’information, ou a force d’entendre répéter les memes choses, et c’est ca qui est le plus inquiétant. Que des personnes normales en viennent a tenir des propos haineux parce qu’ils se sont fait dire des faussetées:
    comme ce pauvre couple anglophone d’Ottawa qui apres le référendum, était passé par les Etats-Unis pour se rendre dans les maritimes, par crainte de se faire agresser dans la campagne québécoise. Ce n’est qu’une fois rendu au Nouveau-Brunswick qu’ils ont réalisé le ridicule de la situation, apres avoir bien fait rire les locaux avec leur itinéraire: comme si il y avait une guerre.Apres etre revenu par le Quebec, ils ont écris une lettre aux journaux pour dire comment ils avaient trouvés les québécois acceuillants, ouverts et sympatiques.Comment un québécois peut-il voyager au Canada et se sentir a l’aise, alors qu’il représente tout ce que les canadiens n’aiment pas, voire détestent. Pour une personne ouverte et pacifique, il n’est pas tentant d’etre vu comme un nazi, un criminel ou une loque humaine dans l’oeil du canadien qui sait tout..

    midnightjack

    December 10, 2009 at 5:57 am

  15. Je ne sais pas si le peuple canadien anglais est l’un des plus racistes sur terre mais je dois dire que grace a lui, le peuple quebecois est l’un des plus injustement dépeint, traité et calomnié. Je remercie les anglos qui amenent un peu de nuance dans un débat qui n’en est presque plus un, tant la calomnie prends toute la place. Vos compatriotes ont besoin de vous pour remettre en question certains dogmes, pour dénoncer certaines faussetés, pour leur faire comprendre que les québécois sont des etres humains, ouverts et pacifiques. C’est une chose d’avoir une pensée politique différente, c’en est une autre de garder le silence devant le mensonge,les injustices et les faussetés. ..

    midnightjack

    December 10, 2009 at 6:13 am

  16. ““Not an insurmountable obstacle to overcome if you are referring to geographical isolation.”

    Alaska, Greenland, Kaliningrad, East Pakistan (oops), St. Pierre et Miquélon…

    I interpret the relationship between Canada and Quebec a bit like a stale romance. As in,
    Canada: Bonjour-Hello, How’s my Maine man?
    USA: Hey, dude, how’s your Florida hanging? Oop!
    Canada: Hello, Sam, You just jealous cause Cuba likes me better than you.
    USA: F*ck that, bitch! Hey, speaking of having in Florida, you still with that Quebec chick? She is hot, dude! Bet she’s got some grade A beaver.
    Canada: Oh, do you have to be so crass all the time? Yea things are OK. I kinda feel like we’re not really right for each other. She’s so high-maintenance and it’s like we hardly speak the same language. It used to be so fun back when we could dream about expanding Westward together. Maybe having a colony or two. Speaking of which, how’s Iraq?
    USA: Don’t ask! Hey, she may be emotionally needy, but she’s damn good looking and boy can she cook! I would totally deport Mexico, my housekeeper, if I had a chef like Quebec in the house.
    Canada: Yea, I guess she does make good food. But this month of the year she can be so frigid. I think she may be seeing another nation. You know I’ve been spending time with Afghanistan lately.
    USA: Man, you and half the world. I don’t trust Afghanistan one bit. I think she’d stab you in the back, soon as be your girlfriend. Remember Russia?
    Canada: Sure, but he was a total manwhore. “Any warm water port in a storm”, he used to say. I heard he was pretty devastated by the break up.
    USA: Dude. If you’re thinking of breaking up with Quebec, I got first dibs, OK?
    Canada: What do you mean? Has she said anything to you about leaving me? What is this? Why am I always the last to know? She can’t do this to me!!!
    USA: Huh? Wasn’t you just saying it was over.
    Canada: I can’t live without her. She’s just a part of me, man!
    USA: I get it you’re jealous…no worries, I’m through with American chicks anyway. I still remember the good old days when I occupied Japan. So submissive and beautiful. That was da bomb!
    Canada: Well good fences make good neighbours. You just keep on your side OK?
    USA: Sure, Right. LOL.”

    Bravo Edward. Brilliant!

    Acajack

    December 10, 2009 at 6:39 am

  17. je m’excuse, Marc. I am actually interested in understanding your opinion. I didn’t mean that you shouldn’t say more, but specifics rather than generalizations help make things clearer. Midnightjack is certainly ready to step up to the plate there.

    It is true, for sure, that Franco-Quebeckers suffer a large share of unfair, discriminatory and racist comments. Perhaps not so much more than the rest of the world, despite how it may feel when those comments are directed at you. The lazy convenience of lumping together one distinct ethnic group with a certain political movement in one place makes you an easy target of those who don’t care to make the effort to consider individuals as individuals but prefer to stereotype.

    I suppose this is human nature, which does not justify it, but does mean that there is little, short of vigilantly embarrassing the offending parties by pointing out their obvious racism to them, that will change it.

    Much of the discussion on this site is more raw and exposed than what one encounters in daily life, so the perspective it provides is useful, though depressing. Personally, I am struck by how much anger and distrust lies beneath the surface, yet heartened by the fact that at least in my daily life, I see only friendly and respectful interactions between these two cultures in what seems to be a much less distinctly separated world than evidently existed in the past. Still it is clear from the rancour that the lines are still too boldly drawn. Everyone seems to agree that integration is the solution, but the form that should take is the sticking point.

    Edward

    December 10, 2009 at 8:26 am

  18. “John.

    If you wanted to learn French, you would gladly make an arse of yourself.”

    Indeed. I wasn’t trying to blame switching for my lack of French skills. The fact I’m not even moderately bilingual today is 100% of my own doing. I certainly don;t think that public school French (especially in Angloville) is designed to create bilingual students, but my French from grades 1-12 and required French in university provided a good base for additional learning. I just never took advantage of the opportunities that came about in the past couple decades.

    (read: I’m Stunned) :P


    “That darn “Th” !!!”

    HA! I haven’t noticed. What do you mean? :P

    Seriously, I tend to be a “H” and “Th” dropper myself. Not because I can’t pronounce the sounds, but when it comes out it just ain’t there. :) Makes sense a bit I suppose. I’ve lived almost all my life in NB and PEI and you do hear that here quite a bit, but my roots are in Cape Breton and Newfoundland.

    That’s partly what I was saying earlier about folks in the rest of Canada wondering why I ‘Choose’ to speak like I do. I choose nothing…I is what I is. ;)

    John

    December 10, 2009 at 9:15 am

  19. =)

    John

    December 10, 2009 at 9:28 am

  20. Les accents sont les couleurs de la langue, qui varient selon les régions et les cultures. Seule la langue écrite demeure imperméable a ceux qui la parlent. Pour d’excellentes raisons, entre autres sa perpétuation, et l’étendue de sa diffusion ( voir la différence entre l’arabe écrit et parlé (qui varie selon les pays) Je suis tres intrigé par l’anglais parlé a Terre Neuve, par exemple. Est-ce ce que les gens des iles le comprendraient plus facilement, bien qu’étant francophones? Il m’arrive des fois de me demander, tout en marchant sur la rue, quelle est la langue des gens a coté de moi: ca pourrait etre l’anglais, ca peut etre le francais,ou une autre langue, mais on dirait que l’accent est le meme.Au moins une chose qu’on partage..Pour un américain en visite a Blanc Sablon, probablement que l’accent francais et anglais se ressembleraient. Geographiquement, Terre-Neuve était sur le point de rejoindre le Quebec mais un détroit en a decidé autrement. On ne regarde pas assez souvent la carte pour voir jusqu’a quel point la distance entre les deux provinces est mince. Mais a mon avis les accents voyagent plus facilement que les langues..

    midnightjack

    December 10, 2009 at 10:08 am

  21. ‘Il m’arrive des fois de me demander, tout en marchant sur la rue, quelle est la langue des gens a coté de moi: ca pourrait etre l’anglais, ca peut etre le francais,ou une autre langue, mais on dirait que l’accent est le meme.”

    Je n’y ai jamais pensé, mais en réfléchissant, c’est vrai.
    Pour moi, l’accent anglais dans les maritimes ressemble beaucoup à l’accent anglais écossais, mais c’est peut-être une influence francocanadienne. Très intéressant. Je n’aurais pas pensé que deux langues différentes puissent s’influencer les accents comme ça. En fait, je crois que c’est probablement vrai aussi pour l’accent anglais de Brooklyn et la dialecte sicilienne d’italien…. même pour l’accent anglais montréalais des classes ouvrières et le français (et l’italien?).

    Un conséquence du bilinguisme, et évidence que nous “partageons nos différences en commun.”

    Edward

    December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm

  22. i’d like to think that as long as there are competent translators – sweating the other stuff is minor.

    on the street (tete a tete) is another story –
    still, i cannot imagine a young man in montreal so advanced in training that he would not be able to say in a clear voice:

    “on est ici pour vous aider – reste calme – tout va bien aller.”

    johnnyonline

    December 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm

  23. Raman: “All I know is I very often hear conversations, at school or on the bus, where people speak English and where one of the parties has a French accent.
    Much more rarely do I hear the opposite.”

    Another thing we have both observed Raman!

    I find that in downtown Montreal, the dominant sound of human communication could be called “second language English”, either heard with Quebec/French accent, or Italian, Middle Easter, Russian, Asian, etc. accents.

    Tells you a lot about what the true lingua franca is when its not even anglos (for the most part) who are using it to communicate.

    Acajack

    December 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

  24. “Acajack,
    Me thinks thou protesteth too much.”

    I think not. Unless you have a quarter-century of life experience being born, raised and educated in the ROC, and daily family, professional and other contacts with people there… well, perhaps then we can talk.

    Acajack

    December 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

  25. The list posted by midnightjack on December 10, 2009 at 2:36 am would be almost comical if it weren’t so true.

    I have literally been told personally to my face, overheard or read every single thing he has listed.

    Sad.

    Acajack

    December 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm

  26. i’ll take the comical version please.

    the idea that canadians are in general odious has no basis in reality for me.

    i have heard many ignorant things in my life and (as your lawyer) advise you not to consider these things seriously.

    johnnyonline

    December 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm

  27. But recalling AFGs morality play, things are bad all over.

    Familiarity breeds contempt to a certain extent.

    Japanese despise Koreans, French despise Belgians, Swedes despise Norwegians, Arabs hate Jews, Turks hate Armenians, etc.

    Norwegians are relatively silent on the subject of Armenians, as are Arabs on Japanese.

    Canadians and Quebeckers need to forget about petty bickering and focus on what really matters in life…hating Americans. ;-p

    Edward

    December 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm

  28. I hope it is a joke, Edward. All i hate is contempt, lies, racism, imperialism and discrimination. I know this is not an exclusive quebec-canada problem, and the post from AFG speaks by itself. I just wanted to write something about it because it seems to be worse than last year, last month or last day. Individuals deserve respect, same thing for the nations.

    midnightjack

    December 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

  29. i once heard a young man from mauritius say that the young women in france were warm and charming. he also said that the only thing in life that was important was to share a summer with a young blond sea nymph with a surfbord (australia or california).

    he said it wasn’t important which language they spoke.

    johnnyonline

    December 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm

  30. midnightjack

    December 11, 2009 at 12:09 am


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