Euro-Lish: EU-affected English

Paul Flynn MP writes on the kind of English encouraged by working in European institutions. From wood s lot via language hat.

bq. Even President Chirac has been infected. He is fond of saying that anything disagreeable is ‘pas ma tasse de the’. Tea? Not his ‘glass of wine’, would make better sense. The President should set an example and challenge the littering of his mother tongue

Hmm. I wonder what he’d make of Desbladet?

bq. Skihoppning is, of course, the second-finest sport in the world after cricket. And the second-best just got second-better, ‘cos now they’re letting wimmins play on the Big Slopes. Enjoy our slö-motion replay…

wood s lot also quotes netlex, but that is already in Euro lish! (immemorial purity? foreigness? contribute to give birth?)

7 thoughts on “Euro-Lish: EU-affected English

  1. Lately I am occasionally condescended to by Forreners who take me for a struggling second-language user of the Engleesh, but whatever Paul Flynn MP would think of my style is probably less harsh than

    my opinion of his
    .

  2. I hope nobody takes this sort of rubbish at face value. I would give little credence to those anecdotes and examples he relates and the general point about Eurolish doesn’t stand up to any scrutiny.

    Incidentally, the writer’s only first-hand experience of what he describes appears to consist of Council of Europe meetings. The Council of Europe, as you know, has nothing to do with the EU.

    Ciaran

  3. While my days are fraught with battling against Eurolish – and all the nasty lingo that is making all texts taste the same- I’m going to be a real bore and point out that the example of ‘pas ma tasse de thé’ is a poor one.

    It’s by no means a new expression in French, and even shows up in those dictionnary thingamajigs.

    I squirm much more at English words transposed into other languages, then rendered in a baffling spelling purportedly in an attempt to mask their roots. E.g. mail becoming mel.

  4. @ciaran: Yes, I suppose I should hesitate to mention these things, because many people will believe them. I overlooked the Council of Europe point – I just thought his whole way of arguing was ignorant.
    @Gail: Ah well. I don’t know that any of his examples are good ones.
    The Germans don’t change the spelling deliberately, although I used to get very irritated by ein Leggin (

  5. Ciaran is quite right about the Council of Europe having nothing to do with the EU.

    Perched like a White Elephant in front of the EU Parliamentary Building in Strasbourg, it is – paradoxically for a human-rights court-office – a well-guarded prison-like institution whose time as a bastion of Eurolish must be running out.

    With all of the new member-countries joining the EU in May, the Council’s functions will surely duplicate those of the ECJ that factors the ECHR Convention into its judgments anyway.

    It will then have to devise a hackneyed form of Turkolish, Roomanish or Moldavish – because those might be the only non-EU countries left to send human-rights inspection teams to.

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