First of all I'm happy to report that the trolls have vanished. I hope they stick around and participate on some meaningful level. I haven't had to delete any comments and although there are much fewer of them, at least what is said is interesting.
Ironically, on the same day that I introduced my new comments policy, banning trolls, BLOGGER.COM added a new feature to the Comment Moderation module that now includes a SPAM filter, much like on an email client. It seems that if you swear, your comment ends up in the SPAM box automatically, where I have to fish it out manually. Everything seems to get more complicated.........
There seems to be a bit of confusion related to my post yesterday announcing an end to trolling on this blog. Some have asked if posting in French is still allowed and if contrary opinions are allowed.
The answer is an empathic YES and YES.
The object of this blog is not just to create a site where Anglos can rant, (although they may.) Without the input of Francophones, the blog is diminished. It's important to hear ALL opinions, for and against, English and French, otherwise it would be a colossal bore.
Respect for others opinions is all that I ask.
I'd like to hear people disagree with me. Let the readers decide for themselves and let them hear all arguments and most importantly, let them participate.
By the way, as regular readers can attest, I have a thick skin and unlike many nationalist blogs, I promise never to sit on a legitimate comment that offers a contrary view.
I shall continue to offer links explaining those English idioms that are sometimes hard to comprehend for a non-native English speakers, as in the example included above.
Now I know that having French posts presents some hardships to those out of province readers who aren't bilingual, but if someone is only comfortable writing in French, it's important that his or her opinion be heard.
Usually Google translate is good enough to get a sense of what is being said. If you still have trouble understanding a certain post and want a clarification, just leave a polite comment asking for a translation. I will endeavour to provide one.
To those francophones who write in English, I applaud the effort. Obviously there will be a number of orthographic errors included, but that's okay. Comments complaining about spelling and sentence construction will not be printed. They add nothing to the debate other than to denigrate.
Many people have wondered why we anglos stay in Quebec and fight for language rights instead of just pulling up roots (as many of us have.)
It's easy to answer.
We stay here because we want to. We don't hate francophones or anyone else for that matter. We complain because we want to make Quebec a better place to live, for everyone.
What makes Montreal (where most of us live) so fascinating is hard to describe.
Perhaps it is because Montreal has an edginess not found anywhere in Canada, where life can best be described as neat. That's not meant to be an insult, we're just different. Some people flock here because of that fact and some people flee.
This morning I read that Montreal indie band ARCADE FIRE debuted their album "The Suburbs" at number one on the Billboard chart. Interestingly, not one of the band members are native Quebeckers, they all chose those to live here and make Montreal their home. Let's face it, in chaos there is creativity.
Montreal is home to the worst drivers and the most disrespectful pedestrians in Canada, yet it is the birthplace of BIXI and has started a North American revolution in urban cycling. Our Olympic disaster of 1976 gave birth to the North American lottery system, back them named by, Mayor Jean Drapeau as a 'voluntary tax.' Yes, Montreal is a paradox. For every language incident there are thousands and thousand of stories of people getting along just fine.
Of all of Canada's major cities, Montreal may be the most imperfect, but it's what makes it interesting to live here. If you don't get it, then you shouldn't stay.
One Saturday night, after a Habs/Leafs game at the Bell Centre, I was cut off by a taxi making a right turn, while I was crossing a downtown street on a green light. The cab ground to an immediate halt because of traffic and the passenger in the back seat, wearing a Maple Leafs jersey rolled down his window and offered an apology for the driver's recklessness.
"Hey" I answered, "This is Montreal. Don't apologize!"