Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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As the dark northern winter slowly gives way to the rebirth that is Spring, the New Zealand flag still flutters sadly at half mast in The Moodie Report Worldwide Headquarters (also known as ‘The Shed’).
A poignant computer-generated note from my (then) six year-old son still holds pride of place there – ‘Dear Daddy, I’m really sorry New Zealand lost against France, here’s a letter to cheer you up. I love you. Ali.’
And so I will cheer up. In about three and a half years time. And yet – clearly not content with crushing my rugby dreams – and those of all fellow Kiwis – those feisty French are now trying to squeeze the life out of The Moodie BLOG’s freedom of expresssion.
The country’s language police, also known as the Academie Francaise, have monitored and protected the language since 1635.
Now in a sweeping reaction against the importation of foreign (mainly English) words into popular use, it has devised Gallic equivalents to over 500 words which it claims are corrupting the native tongue. And they’ve got The Moodie Report in their sights.
Terms such as ‘low-cost airline’; ‘takeaway food’; and (wait for it) ‘detachable motor caravan’ have all raised a Gallic grimace that would do Sebastien Chabal proud.
Worryingly, given our popularity with French readers, expressions relating to new technology fill an entire page on the Culture Ministry’s ‘General Commission for Terminology’.
That has serious repercussions for a new media company such as The Moodie Report, as two of our most recent innovations, our BLOG and our Podcast, find themselves right in the semantic firing line.
So, in order to avoid any further problems with the French authorities – we need to keep them onside until 2011 when the All Blacks (sorry, ‘Les touts noirs’) finally wreak revenge on Les Bleus – whenever this column is aired in France it will be known forthwith as Le Moodie BLOC, and we will hereby introduce our popular Podcast with the new greeting, ‘Bienvenue a The Moodie diffusion pour baladeur, je suis Martin Moodie…’