Right of reply to June’s Is it me?

By Anita Jaynes on 28 June, 2016

TBE has received an anonymous postal response to John Davies latest Is it me? rambling about BBC One TV Show, MasterChef. Read the original post here.

It’s a bit tricky to read word for word from the photo above, so here it is transcribed..

Cher Monsieur Davies,

I am an avid reader of your articles and have enjoyed them enormously – even if I can’t agree with everything you say, par example on Brexit, and kissing (Pouf! What is your problem with this?)

However, I almost choked on my canard aux cerises when I read your recent piece about food. I do not understand why you have got your petites culottes galloises in such a twist. Do you not know that the French are – and have been for centuries – pre-eminent in the kitchen (and also in another room, which we won’t mention)? French is the language of love (sorry, I said I wouldn’t mention that) and food.

We French can boast an unbroken chain of excellence, from L’Escoffier in the 1800s through to Jean Paul Sartre, Jacques Tati and Gérard Depardieu. Expressions such as ‘bain-marie’ (please note the spelling) and ‘jus’ have a subtlety and precision that is impossible to replicate with the blunt epée that is the Anglo-Saxon tongue. At the same time, we have given the world the concepts of ‘gastronomie’, ‘cordon bleu’, ‘Michelin Star’ and ‘nouvelle cuisine’.

In any event, I find the criticism even more difficult to take from a British lawyer, whose profession has a reputation for mangling its own language. In evidence I set out some examples hereunder:

  • “This deed witnesseth as follows” (Really? Surely this version of the present tense died with King James I (and VI of Scotland) in 1625;
  • “The day and date first before written” (Wouldn’t it be quicker to just say ‘today’?)
  • “Enclosed herewith” (Where else would you enclose it?)
  • “Hereunder; Heretofore; Wheretofore; Whereas” (Do they still use these words in everyday speech apart from in the Gwaun Valley?)
  • “With respect, we cannot agree” (Why don’t you just say it as it is: “You’re talking bo**ocks”)

Enfin, or finally as they say at the seaward end of the Mumbles Pier, I look forward to your future articles, mon petit chou. But for your unwarranted criticism of my beautiful language and the murder committed on your own language by the profession of which you are a leading member, I suggest that you should, as penance, face west to the Land of your Fathers, and recite 10 times every morning, “’Ark, ’ark the lark in Cardiff Arms Park” until the start of the next rugby season.

With my distinguished sentiments,

Madame Cholet

P.S. Allez les Bleus!

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