“A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.”Which roughly translates as; being more sad about a situation than angry about it.
That pretty much sums up my feelings over the moronic and Kafkaesque debate in the National Assembly with politicians decrying the use of the familiar phrase by store clerks in greeting customers.
"The National Assembly is formally asking Quebec’s merchants to “warmly” greet their clients with the word “Bonjour,” and drop the old standard “Bonjour-hi.”A resolution to that effect, sponsored by the Parti Québécois, sailed through the legislature Thursday morning following a short debate over semantics.It goes to the nastiness that pervades the language debate whereby petty linguistic slights are elevated to absurd heights by thin-skinned Anglophobic politicians who pretend to encourage Quebecers to be bilingual but don't really want them to express themselves in the language of the oppressor. Sadly this includes politicians of all political stripes including the Premier who called "BONJOUR/HI" an 'irritant.'
The vote was 111 for and no opposition, which means the Liberals, Coalition Avenir Québec and Québec solidaire MNAs all endorsed it." Link
Couillard who is acting more and more bizarre as the next election approaches, offered up this nose-stretcher when he noted that it was never the intention of the father of Bill 101, Camille Laurin, to impose French as the exclusive language of the workplace.
Really????? Are you kidding me!!!!!!
Camille Laurin was a despicable anglophobe who wished nothing less than to chase every anglophone out of the province and worked with a measure of success to do so, successfully contributing to the decimation of the anglophone fact in Quebec.
So let us dissect what is so offensive about "Bonjour/Hi."
It is a phrase used in the downtown and western part of Montreal and in some malls in Laval. Those areas account for at least 30% anglophones and so the use of the phrase in greeting customers signals that the server or clerk is bilingual and happy to serve customers in the language of their choice.
This is what is so offensive to these politicians, the serving of anglophones in English, an outrageous scenario that in their mind mocks and diminishes the French language in Quebec.
Now you won't find the term used by clerks in Abitibi, Lac-St.Jean or Trois Rivieres, because there are few if any English customers and few bilingual employees able to speak English anyways, but in the Montreal area, clerks and servers offering English is a customer service issue that fosters happy clients, a concept that quite frankly these politicians cannot fathom.
Jean-Francois Lisée the leader of the PQ is tilting at windmills in a stupid but sadly successful attempt to drive language divisions in Quebec to restore a measure of relevance to the moribund PQ.
The PQ leader has supported Quebecers learning English but is wary of increased English courses in public schools. He thinks that it's a horrible idea to speak to your boss in English or for that matter to use English in the workplace. He also believes that its wrong to speak to customers in English and that watching English television or movies hurts the French language.
In essence, he and just about all Quebec politicians believe that everyone in Quebec should speak English, but not use it in Quebec.
How's that for stupidity?
And so the English that francophones are supposed to learn should only be employed in that two-week vacation in Old Orchard Beach, never at home!!
This is sadly Quebec.
And the French anglo-bashing media is no better...
We all know that gaining proficiency in another language is no easy task and I'm reminded of the old Jack Benny joke which tells of him being stopped on the street in Manhattan by a tourist asking how to get to Carnegie Hall, to which Benny offered his now famous rejoinder,
"Practice, Practice, Practice!"
If francophones don't practice English by either speaking it or watching English media how will they ever become proficient?
Lisée wants everyone to be bilingual, but never use the language inside the province. Bah!
The great lie is that as much as we are told by politicians that they love and respect anglophones and English, it just isn't true and they are quick to throw us under the bus in response to stupid language attacks.
"In 2012, a poll commissioned by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française found that 79.8 per cent of those surveyed disapproved of the expression and would prefer just Bonjour."I am more than familiar with polling having worked as a political organizer in charge of internal polling for many years for various political parties and various candidates. I know how to run an honest poll and how to run a dishonest poll. I've done both.
The above poll is nothing more than an infamous "Push Poll," an ostensible opinion poll in which the true objective is to sway voters using loaded or manipulative questions.
Let me explain this concept by stealing from the brilliant physicist Werner Heisenberg' whose famous 'Uncertainty Principle,' states that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon.
In polling, just asking a certain question or asking a certain question in a certain way may necessarily change the results.
"Do you believe that man really landed on the moon?"
This is an example of how asking a stupid question will push some to believe the absurd by legitimizing the question.
Here is a classic push poll.
"Do you believe that if democratic candidate John Doe had an affair with his daughter, he should be allowed to serve in Congress?"
And so readers, asking if the public preferred Bonjour to Bonjour-Hi, is just a push poll, a blatant attempt to sway public opinion.
Whenever you see a poll, first look at who or what organization commisioned it and ask yourself if the organization has a hidden agenda.
Would you really take seriously a poll commissioned by the tobacco institute that asks the question; "Are smoking risks exaggerated?"
The organization that ordered the above poll is a French language lobby group with an agenda. The Montreal Gazette should never have published it.