French Gymnastics, Paris Marathon, In the Merde, Polish Tragedy & New Words …

The 17th Annual French International Gymnastics competition got me up and moving this week. I’m really not sure how important of a competition it is but there seems to be top international competitors there jumping, flipping and flying through the air with a lot of intensity.

Paris International Gymnastics Competition

I’ve shot this event before but each time I see it live I’m shocked and most impressed that humans are able to stand on a thin beam, jump up, flip around and then land again on that same thin beam. I think it’s even more impressive live and up close than on TV.

Paris International Gymnastics Competition

To see more gymnastics images, CLICK HERE.

Staying sporty, the Paris Marathon took place this last weekend. I don’t usually pay so much attention to this event but I had a friend running in it this year.

Paris Marathon

Each runner had some kind of chip (Radio Frequency ID tag maybe?) in their race number bib that showed officials where they were at all times; so jumping on the metro and cutting out a few dozen kilometers from the race would be difficult to do. If you paid an additional 30 euros, you could actually track your favorite runner real-time online. One astounding race fact to keep in mind is that the winner of the race (Tadesse Tola from Ethiopia) AVERAGED 4 minutes and 50 seconds per mile … over a 26-mile race, basically sprinting for over 2 hours. I’d like anyone reading this to tell me if they could run ONE mile in under 6 minutes!

Went to the American Library (not pictured) to hear a talk given by Stephen Clarke, a British author who wrote the well-known book “A Year in the Merde”, and was promoting his newest work “1000 Years of Annoying the French”. He told somewhat amusing stories about his experience with the French and gave some brief history lessons; but the thing he said that stood out the most for me was about being a foreigner in France. He pointed out that generally, when foreigners come to NYC, within a relatively short period of time, they become New Yorkers. The behave more like New Yorkers and maybe more importantly, feel like they’re part of the landscape there. In France, Clarke asserted that that’s rarely ever the case. He’s been here 12 years, speaks perfect French, knows all the “rules” and etiquette, and yet said that he’s never for one day felt like he fit in here. I concur … bigtime.

News of the tragic plane crash that seem to kill most of Poland’s political and civilian elite hit hard over here, where evidently there is a pretty large Polish population.

Memorial at Polish Church in Paris

I went out to a service held at Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption de Paris, a Polish church (who knew?) located on the ritzy rue Saint-Honore in the center of Paris. Mourners had set up a shrine and were holding services throughout the weekend.

And finally, in very important French news, a jury of French-language defenders have agreed on a new set of words to replace five anglicisms commonly used by young people. 

A competition was launched to ask students to come up with suggestions for French words for “chat”, “talk”, “tuning”, “buzz” and “newsletter”. 

The jury, which included Academie Française members, ministers, journalists and rapper MC Solaar, agreed on the following:

buzz – ramdam

tuning (modifying a car) – bolidage

chat – éblabla

newsletter – infolettre
talk – débat (not a new word, but considered the best option)



The junior minister in charge of promoting the French language, Alain Joyandet, said the annual exercise was worthwhile. 

”Ten years ago everyone was talking about the walkman or software,” he said. “These words have now been naturally replaced in our language by baladeur and logiciel.” 

The new words will be added to dictionaries shortly.

Some photos of the week …

Lisa's Effort

"Brilliant" Ad Campaign

Jesus and Dog

My Next Look

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