February 25, 2024


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“Camping”, “table football”, “smoking”…these words should be avoided in English

“Camping”, “table football”, “smoking”…these words should be avoided in English

These words, which appear to be of English origin, are in fact entirely French inventions.

By Joseph Le Cour

Ending with the suffix “-ing”, words that appear in English can be misleading.
© AJR Photos/Shutterstock

VE is in London and your high school English classes are distant memories. No problem, you tell yourself, you’ll ask the manager of the “campsite” in Shakespeare’s language where the “table football” is. But the director looks at you suspiciously and says he doesn’t understand your question. For good reason: you don’t speak to him in English, but in Française.

Let’s start again in line. “Camping” does not refer to the place where you spend your vacation, but rather the act of camping. Use the word to talk about location camp, Or that camping grounds, If you are in the US.

Incorrect Anglicisms

“Where is the table football?” If someone looks at you questioningly because you asked that in English. “, just because you asked where “the baby’s foot” was (baby Literally “child” and Football Meaning: “foot”)… Say instead table football, In English or Football table In American English.

Read moreThe French Academy was very concerned about the Franglais outbreakNotice to bold athletes, English speakers say, to speak of “jogging” in the French sense of the word Run, run Or Go jogging. Because let’s just say it: the word “jogging” doesn’t mean sweatpants! Again this is a false anglicism because the British say it sweat suits Or trousers. So it is completely wrong to say that we are jogging when we are jogging.

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The “-ing” trap

Our list of mistakes is even longer. So, James Bond doesn’t wear a “tuxedo”, but Tuxedo Or Dinner jacket. The origin of this misunderstanding dates back to the 1860s: high society British men wore this jacket in smoking rooms, later popularized by Edward VII. Smoke (“smoke”), so. Since then, every year, hundreds of French people cannot understand themselves when they want to buy a new jacket in London.

Read moreCan you learn a foreign language while sleeping?

These false Anglicisms aren’t just a rich people’s problem: we don’t say “basketballs” but “sneakers”, and don’t try to make up for it by saying “tennis” because that’s what the British talk about. Tennis shoes.

So, to avoid falling into the same trap again, let’s remember that words that usually appear in English are incorrect because they end with the suffix “-ing”. Forget “makeovers”, “squeezing”, “brushing”, “zapping”, “lifting”, “aquaplaning”, “forcing”, “parking”… they should be banned across the channel, please!