Shameless shilling

When a verb and a noun love each other…on the lovelock bridge

If you were wandering across the “lovelock bridge” today, you might have seen this:


Somehow, a handful of  “Well son, when a verb and a noun love each other…” fliers (or flyers, whatever you prefer) got nestled among the hardware that weighs down the poor pont des arts.

Oh…here’s another one…


and another…


Why? Because What The French?! doesn’t heart lovelocks. We heart grammar. Actually we don’t “heart” things much at all. But we do like grammar enough to write about it just for you… and all your friends who someday want to go to Paris and, like the adorable lemmings they are, take hardware normally designed to exhibit your general mistrust of the civilized world and repurpose it as a declaration of love.

And it wouldn’t hurt few graffiti artists to brush up their grammar, as PTK (our beloved Pretentious Technicality Kid) will show you in a future post.

Market WTF?! and earn big bucks (in some other job)

What The French?! flyer


Imagine a career working in the marketing department of What The French?! : Dining with the jet set at Le Meurice, meeting with foreign dignitaries, developing your signature cologne/ mime repellant spray.

Now imagine getting none of those things but instead having the personal satisfaction of helping us find people like you who love French but don’t like expensive stuffy textbooks. Over the next few weeks, flyers might magically appear all across Paris (maybe. not that I would in any way endorse activities such as inserting flyers into free magazines at sandwich shops, posting them next to tawdry ads for massages, or dropping them in the Louvre.) and maybe in your town. What if, say, somebody were to print a flyer from this post, and cleverly distribute it in some legal-ish fashion, perhaps documenting their efforts and sending us a pic for a future blog post with virtually no hope of any reward? Tempting, right?

mime flyer

How the French see Americans: two videos for your viewing horror

“Le conseil du jour 7 – L’ancien corres’ américain” par Le Conseil du Jour sur

I can’t decide: Is this video simply not very funny or is it funny but so painfully accurate a portrayal of an American in Paris that it’s hard to laugh. You decide.

Next, let’s see what insight “travel expert Kate Thomas” can glean from her real live local friend Elise:

So there you have it: French people don’t hate Americans. If we just treat them like cats all will be well with the world.

We here at What The French?! may never have the kind of astute and nuanced socio-cultural awareness exhibited in these videos, but one thing we do know is how to help you learn French. Buy a copy of What The French?! on iTunes/iBooks, and you too can sit at a café that serves food on giant triangular plates. You too will be able to bombard locals just like Elise with your own needy questions—only you will be doing it in French.

What to do with an iTunes gift card?

I have to admit, I have an embarrassingly first-world problem: I get more iTunes gift cards than I can use.

itunes giftcard

Poor me.

When I say “too many”, that’s approximately one $10 gift card per year for the last few years. My account currently has $45.12 in it, and although I have various devices I could use that money for, nothing ever seems to jump out at me as a good use of it. With internet radio and YouTube, my music-listening needs are met, and the apps I use most are the free ones like Dropbox and Google Drive. Maybe you have this same “problem”, or maybe I’m just a curmudgeon.

But hey, you know one thing you could buy with a single $10 iTunes gift card? It shouldn’t surprise you that I recommend What The French?!what with this entire site being designed to get you to buy the book. But in case you weren’t aware, consider the following 5 reasons to use that $10 on What The French?!:

  1. What The French?! is not just for iPads anymore. With the Mavericks OSX update, you can read it on a Mac desktop, laptop, iPad or iPad mini. The features remain the same.
  2. Speaking of features! This isn’t just a wall of text with bad Eiffel tower clip-art. What The French?! contains interactive exercises for every concept, allowing you to practice what you learn as you go, get immediate feedback, and evaluate what you need more practice on.
  3. What The French?! covers French grammar, from the very basics to the end of a second-year course of study and beyond. Most textbooks treat grammar like a dirty secret that’s too hard for students, but What The French?! believes in you.
  4. Although it covers a lot of ground, the book is organized in a way that lets you go at your own pace and focus on what you need to know. For example, if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to learn the basics about articles, but wait until you’re further along to study the finer points of relative pronouns.
  5. What The French?! was written for real people. It’s not dumbed down, but it is accessible to first-timers, monolingual English-speakers, and non-linguists. And because grammar isn’t always everyone’s idea of a good time, this book is full of humorous examples, as well as relevant cartoons and illustrations from

Not convinced? Or have you already bought it? Well, you could always buy and gift 10 downloads of Rebecca Black’s sophomore effort Saturday (follow-up to her viral “hit” Friday). It would be a great way to make 10 friends question their friendship with you.

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