Which Faux is Worse?

After every French driving Code lesson I call Copain.  And during every conversation this is how it goes:

"Hi, it's me.  I just finished the Code."

"How many?"



"No! Bon!"

"Oh great! So you only missed 4! Almost there!"

It always strikes me as strange that he asks me how many, expecting that I will tell him  how many I got wrong.  But then, I had this conversation with F, Copain's colleague and friend who came over to our house after making it to the semi-finals at the Féstival International des Jeux in Cannes (it's a nerd-fest of card and strategy game-players, more on that later...):

"Salut F, ca va?"

"Oui, ca va - et toi, what did you do today?"

"Oh, I just got back from the stupid Code."

"How many?"


Then Copain piped in lest F misunderstand - she means 35 bon réponses - not faux.

And then, it hit me - why do the French always focus on the negative or the faux? Why do they expect me to tell them how many I got wrong instead of how many I got right (which is more exciting to hear anyways right?!).  Who spat in their camembert so many years ago to give them such a dire outlook on life? 

Funnily enough, I know that they accuse us Americans of being too bubble gum happy all the time à la Hello my name is KimberlyandI'mgoingtobeyourservertoday! They call us "faux" - or fake- not "incorrect" like the other French meaning of faux. But I think they've got it all faux. I'll take the faux American mega-watt smile over the French grimace, glare and exasperated soufle anyday.  We may be a faux that they find hard to swallow- but they focus on the faux all too often.


  1. You are so right. In search of a culture somewhere in-between the two extremes of bubble gum happy and French grimace...Does it exist? Does it come from the hybrid Franco-American? Is it in our hands, Debo?

  2. totally - we are the future Sunny!


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