Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The French Rs of education

You know the ones…Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Recognizing a “Tu” vs. a “Vous”.

I was on the bus when a little girl (she couldn’t have been more than 6 years old) starting talking to me. What surprised me was that she used Tu instead of Vous. I’ve been told I don’t look my age, but in relation to the girl I clearly fall into the adult category. In my mind this means I use Tu with her and she uses Vous with me.

I’ve been tutoied by a stranger in Paris before – he was a retail clerk around my age and he tutoied all of his customers. But the little girl was a different situation, it would be like me walking up to an elderly stranger and using Tu as if we were friends or family. Perhaps I’m being a bit too old-fashioned. Is the singular Vous becoming passé?

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