Whenever I see design shows or fashion magazines, I often see the word "faux" as in "faux fur" or "faux marble." Hello, people, you're speaking/writing English! Why use French? Well, it's more of a rhetorical question because they're trying to disguise the fact that they're talking about fake or imitation stuff. They should be honest and say, "We're using FAKE leather to cover this chair" or "That's made of IMITATION leopard skin."

It's all part of that hoity-toity scene--they want to be important and let consumers know that they're also precious, because they're now a part of the specialness of design. And I guess throwing French words around is perceived as sophisticated.


Jon Konrath said...

"Faux" always reminds me of "Corinthian Leather", which Chrysler invented to make people think the crap vinyl in their car was special.

If you think throwing around French is perceived as sophisticated, try the number of people that throw around Latin abbreviations, especially grad-school dropouts. Even though it's a few extra letters, it's easier to read "for example" than "i.e.", but I spend a lot of my time editing the latter into the former.

Anonymous said...

I use "ie" as a shortcut, but otherwise use "such as" or "for example," especially if it's for work-related or "professional" writing.

Anonymous said...

Barring all repetition and the occurrences of 'faux', there were 16 substantives of French provenance in your 112 word entry. That's 14%. Who's speaking French now?

Your 'faux' discussion totally takes me back to a scene in Legally Blonde, where a member of the acceptance committee commented on Elle having created her own line of faux fur panties. How dreadful!

Anonymous said...

That Legally Blonde scene nails it--they're using the "faux" concept to the max, and not just with their words.

Um, what does "substantives of French provenance" mean? You mean words that come from French?

Anonymous said...

Yes, words that come from French. Yeesh... now that I re-read that, it sounds French. You must have caught me at a thesis moment (I'm writing in French).

Anonymous said...

Writing in French? Impressive--no wonder you're "arrogant." ;)