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Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009


How to Write in an Abrasive Tongue

Fun activity. Lots of laughing and learning here. First off, read through Jeremy Clarkson’s offering on the French manufacturing industry.

See if you can fill in the blanks with something (in)appropriate.

Easing into a Clarksonesque Register…

‘While the French like a good-looking woman in the Elysée Palace, they plainly have trouble with aesthetics in other departments.

Take the oyster as an example. I have no idea who first cracked one open, peered at the …….. inside and thought: “Mmm. I’m going to put that in my mouth.? But I bet he was French.

Of course, Paris is a fine and handsome city but the man who dreamt up those 12 wide boulevards radiating from the Arc de Triomphe was called Haussmann. And while he was born in France, his parents were from the disputed province of Alsace. Which technically makes their son an Alsatian. Which means he was a ……….

It’s also true, of course, that Parisian women are very elegant but I always think they were put on earth to make ………. clothes look good. And have you ever been in a Frenchman’s house?

Holy cow. It’s an …….. or horror: antimacassars, Dralon, floral wallpaper, Formica and chintz. The minimalist Danish look completely passed them all by, leaving them all stuck in …………., in ……….

France itself is a beautiful part of the world and the French language is spoken ………. - unless it’s being used in a pop song, obviously; in which case it’s as attractive as an inside-out ………..

But just about everything the French make or do is ………., ugly or odd. This is especially true of their cars.

If you asked anyone to name the 10 best-looking cars ever made, not a single person with functioning ……….. would put a French car on their list.

Renault occasionally does something appealing like the Avantime, but mostly it believes we’ll buy its cars specifically because they’ve got big ……......

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