Thank you, Mme. Richards

When I was in high school, just a few years ago, I studied French for four years and remember very little of the language. But I remember my first French teacher, Mme. Richards, a feisty little woman who could put the fear of Dieu in football players a foot taller and wider than she. I might not have learned a lot about French, but I learned enough to know this is très terrible:

The expression “femme fatale” consists of two French words: “femme” for woman and “fatale” for deadly. The plural is “femmes fatales.” Both words need that S to be grammatically correct in French and to be spelled correctly in English.

Too bad the editors who work on the Yahoo! front page didn’t have the benefit of Mme. Richards’ instruction.


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