Saturday, 7 May 2011

!What the folk?

The fact that the French are very keen on plays on words is something that does not stop to amuse me. Sometimes they come up with something more or less clever, like “Aux Berges de la Grosne” (On the borders of the river Grosne) which is pronounced identically to “Auberge de la Grosne” (Inn on the Grosne), for a restaurant that closed its doors last year, close to that little stream. It is getting worse the moment the French get the urge to abuse the English language (not the way I do, as a non-native speaker, but to be witty). Last year a supermarket was opened in Tournus bearing the name of “Simply”. What better slogan could they come up with but the meaningless and grammatically incorrect “Be simply, be happy”? Some other organisation organises an open air festival centred around mainly children’s games, which is called “On the road a game”. This jewel was clearly based on the hit by Canned Heat (1968) “On the road again”. The best one in this genre is undoubtedly "!What the folk?", the name of a band around here that specialises in folk music; also note the use of punctuation marks! I do not think this one needs any further explanation.
If there would be a contest for the maximum “jokes” one can embed in an advertisement, I might know who could well be the winner. “Le Papillon”, a beer bar and tea room in Bissey-sur-Fley, is moving from there and will re-open soon in the former “Aux Berges de la Grosne”. Not only did they change the spelling into “Le Pap Y llon”, where the Y could be used to impersonate a frothy glass of beer, but they did more, as the sign shows.
Where the word “Bièrexquise” comes from, I do not know (maybe from “Exquisite beer”?), but “convivialithé” is undoubtedly linked to the conviviality that is inherent in drinking tea. This one is almost better than the "Spéciali-thés" on the old sign! I am waiting for the owner to come up with something like “Our beer is bièrey, bièrey good!”. By the way: after having written this blog I found out that the owners of “Le Papyllon” were not French at all, but German!

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