October 22, 2003

"What are you, French?"

Scene: earlier today on a Philadelphia playground. Dramatis Personae: three seven- or eight-year-old boys.

Boy A:  [kicks boy B]
Boy B:  Hey!
Boy C:  Kick him back! What are you, French?

I feel that this is quite unfair to the French government, which can't be accused of being inadequately vengeful, and even more unfair to the French people, who presumably hold the usual range of opinions on such things.

But at this point the meme is apparently unstoppable, and all we can do is watch as its linguistic consequences unfold.

Posted by Mark Liberman at October 22, 2003 05:27 PM