When in France...

Jan 21st, 2005, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 199
I was in Cahors this past summer and asked a french lady which term was more proper - madame or mademoiselle. Her answer to me was that it was always safer to address a woman as mademoiselle since I wouldn't know if they were married or not. The madame salutation is for married women. (like Mrs. versus Miss).

JoeCal is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 897
Cigale -

I sure you have experienced the micro-climates in Provence, but were you aware of the micro-kissing-climates. It seems as if the number of kisses can literally vary from village to village. In St. Saturnin, it is 3 times without fault. In the south of the Luberon, it is two times. In Aix, often four. I was used to Paris, where it is two times (plus ou moins) because everyone is in such a rush. At first in St. Saturnin, I had the tendancy to leave people hanging in mid-air waiting for kiss #3. Luckily I could always fall back on the fact that I am just a completely uncultured American !!

kevin_widrow is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 03:19 AM
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>...when the French get down it, they can outwork the Americans!<

Now, them's fightin' words.

I propose that "Work" be made part of the Olympic Movement.

Hational teams will engage in events such as:

Telephone solicitation
Report writing
Real estate sales
Computer programming
Ditch digging

ira is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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It's a small point but I don't agree it is better to say mademoiselle than madame, when in doubt.

Madame is a term denoting, variously, the dignity of: professional achievement, social rank, age -- or marital status.

A woman may have any of the first three without the fourth.

Even here in Canada, Madame would be the usual address of, say, a female Cabinet Minister, even though everyone might know she is unmarried.

If in genuine doubt, Madame is the more flattering choice, IMO.
tedgale is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:41 AM
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UK counterpart: All domestic cooks were, and perhaps still are, addressed as "Mrs."
tedgale is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 09:22 AM
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A French vs. American Olympic-style "work-off" is a great idea! 'Course, there'd have to be negotiations on the tasks and so on. The negotiating teams could be put up at the Hotel de Crillon, like the American negotiators during the Vietnam-era Paris peace talks. (Our friend Pierre, who was a U.S. State Department translator at the time, said he was not all that troubled that the negotiations dragged on.)

Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Kevin, true, but my friends in Provence, Loire, Poitiers, Normandy give me four and it delights me
cigalechanta is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Far be it for me to interfere in one's delights !!!

Gros Bisous,
kevin_widrow is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,587
If invited to someone's house, I would not bring anything that is intended as part of the meal, including wine. The host and hostess have organized the meal and the drinks that come with it. Flowers are usually safe, as well as some type of confiserie that clearly might or might not come after dessert. I sometimes bring wine, or a foie gras, but only to very good friends who understand that I do not always wish to follow standard customs, and they in turn will not necessarily open the wine.
Michael is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:22 PM
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kiss, kiss, back to you, Kevin
Michael, To close friends we always bring wine and pastis, as we all drink alot of it and they are not rich, others who have entertained us may have their own wine cellar and our pocketbook choice would pale so like one time I brought a bottle of Fenelon back from the Dordogne. And maybe to Normandy bring a bottle of Frigolet from Provence.
cigalechanta is offline  

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