Some fallout from the pasta scandal

I don’t want this blog to become “about” language issues, but what can I do, they’re in the news.

Notably, language charter duenna Diane de Courcy is pleading for calm and moderation with the curious observation that thirteen other countries have run stories about the Buonanotte being spanked for including “pasta” on a menu. CTV quotes de Courcy as saying “I think we’re very disappointed with how public the incident became” – well, if you don’t like how your officials are behaving in public, lady, draw some lines.

Pierre Curzi chimes in to the QMI article wondering if some sneaky plot is afoot: “est-ce qu’il y a du sabotage ou de la provocation?” Curzi also says “Les langues c’est toujours une bataille et si on ne se bat pas, on se fait battre” which is an article of faith here. Somebody’s got to have the upper hand, and speaking a second language is seen as a capitulation, a defeat. I think about my visit to the Netherlands last year, where I talked for hours with half a dozen Dutch folks who all spoke English comfortably with me, without any sense that they were humiliated or losing their culture by doing so.

And here, little Léo Bureau-Blouin says “Il ne faut pas utiliser des exemples isolés pour décrédibiliser l’ensemble de la Charte de la langue française.” Well, if acting on the terms of the Charte to their ultimate logical end leaves even Diane de Courcy feeling a bit squeamish when she knows the world is looking, Léo, maybe in fact we have to do just that.