Sunday, December 14, 2008

BBC gets it wrong about France

It seems the BBC has now joined the tabloid competition to see who can make the most fun of the French with this smug piece about "heavy legs", which is supposed to prove that France is a nation of pill-popping hypochondriacs, as opposed to the hardy Brits who just grin and bear it. Strange, then, that whenever I sat in a GP's waiting room in the UK, I would see a big poster saying "Antibiotics don't work on colds", though just why stiff upper lip, "mustn't grumble" English types would need such information escapes me. Maybe it was in case any French people walked through the door. Ho hum.

Madame le Prof explained to me that what the French call "jambes lourdes" is, in fact, the early stages of varicose veins, which explains why some people only feel it in the summer. You'd think a BBC journalist in France would have bothered to find this stuff out before sending a report back to her editor. It's true that the French have a reputation for consuming lots of medicines, but she could at least have done a serious piece on it rather than this hatchet job.

For once there's no form at the bottom for me to "have my say" and put them straight on this one, which is ironic considering the morons who the BBC usually allow to broadcast their vile, reactionary, ill-informed and, erm, idosyncratically spelled rants to the world via HYS. At least I no longer pay a TV licence.


The Tefl Tradesman said...

I thought that 'heavy legs' were caused by excessive drinking of alcohol (as if there is any other type!). Well, whenever I get ratted on booze, my legs tend to spread out all over the place, as if they can no longer support my portly frame.

Have I got things wrong, here, dear Prof?

M. le Prof d'Anglais said...

What the French call "jambes lourdes" is more of a women's thing, which fits with varicose veins. Are you sure you're not thinking of wobbly legs?

Anonymous said...

I must say I find your blog so refreshing- it's not the usual French bashing expat blog but debunking a lot of the myths and claptrap around. Well done!

Matt said...

Speaking of the people who post on Have Your Say, you might like Speak You're Branes:

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