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April 23, 2004
Look For The Weasel Label

A Seattle company has surreptitiously added a message, in French, to labels on its laptop bags and backpacks apologizing for "our President" and claiming that they didn't vote for him (via Wonkette):

Bihn's sales have doubled since a French-language presidential insult mysteriously made its way onto the bilingual washing instructions for hundreds of his laptop bags and backpacks.

The labels read: "Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui."

Translated into English: "We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him."

It's been a while since my high-school French classes, but I don't believe that the correct French idiom for voting is 'We don't have vote for him', which is how Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui literally translates. (It's the wrong tense, for one thing.) Nor is his wiggling about the meaning of the label convincing or even plausible. Bihn says that it could have meant the president of the company, but employees don't vote for company presidents, especially in privately-held outfits like Bihn's apparently is, as he's referred to as the owner.

At any rate, whether their French is as bad as their judgment or not, this will keep me from buying any of Bihn's merchandise in the future. Quelle chutzpah! Even Wonkette, hardly a fan of Bush, seems somewhat offended by the label:

Ooo! Secret messages to the French! Maybe they'll write back. Would an apology for blowing World War II fit on a label?

I'd settle for an apology for selling us out for Saddam's oil-for-food bribes and kickbacks ... that would at least be a start. If that starts appearing on French imports, I might start buying French goods again. Maybe. I won't buy Bihn's merchandise regardless.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 23, 2004 7:46 AM

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