Pardoning their French

While looking for the NYT article on the World Cup hosted by my favorite European culture, I found a piece on my favorite European language. (I wonder if Krempasky's crew are on to it.)

We are reminded therein that we have not yet stomped hard enough on the toe-hold this tongue has acquired in our own cherished nation:

SOUTH FREEPORT, Me. — Frederick Levesque was just a child in Old Town, Me., when teachers told him to become Fred Bishop, changing his name to its English translation to conceal that he was French-American.

Cleo Ouellette's school in Frenchville made her write "I will not speak French" over and over if she uttered so much as a "oui" or "non" — and rewarded students with extra recess if they ratted out French-speaking classmates.

Actually, this would make a great Simpsons episode parodying the immigration debate. Turns out the people of Maine even anticipated the Spanish Spangled Banner:

The State Legislature began holding an annual French-American Day four years ago, with legislative business and the Pledge of Allegiance done in French and "The Star-Spangled Banner" sung with French and English verses.

Sorry that there isn't a great picture to sum up this story.

No comments: