Friday, December 16, 2005

Excuse me, where is the pressing?

Have a look at what a French speaker of English might say:
Pressing? - Yes the pressing. I am staying at the camping and I need to go to the pressing to have clothes cleaned. I took me ages to find a parking and now my wife is at the hairdressers having a brushing. Then we are going footing in the hills and after that we might go and do some fooding with some friends.

Pressing, footing, camping, parking, brushing, footing and fooding are pseudo English that don't exist in English. At least they don't have the same meaning as in French. It seems to me that words that end in ing are popular in French because they can be immediately recognised as being of anglo-saxon origin, and thus a little more exotic.

This trend has led to the wrong word being used, and an English speaker might be confused when listening to what a French person believes to be correct English.Pressing means in English the action of pressing something and could certainly be used in the sense of ironing clothes. But I take my suits to a dry cleaners, not a pressing. A woman goes to the hairdresser's to have a cut and blow-dry, not a brushing. I would go running for exercise, a footing is somewhere to put my feet, if I lose my footing, I fall over. I go camping, and I put my tent up in a campsite. When a shop or hotel informs me that there is plenty of parking, that means that there is a car park. As for "fooding", I'm sorry I have no idea. Could someone explain?

There are a few "bons amis", however, "marketing" and "shopping" are useful words that have more or less the same meaning in English. Shopping is much more general in English, you go shopping at the supermarket as well as the boutiques, and when you have no intention of buying anything, or have no money, you would go window-shopping.

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