Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, May 27, 2013

Just how excited are you?

C's English has been getting progressively better, so it's been a while since I've had a funny story to share from English Weekend.  And maybe it's the mood I was in, but I was busting a gut the other day after hearing him sigh and say from the other room "It really used to be a lot easier to get into my pants!"


But that reminds me of something else - when I moved to France, I was told to avoid using the verb "exciter" because it had sexual connotations.  However ten years later, I'm hearing it used on a pretty regular basis in the American sense, ie as I am excited to do XX or to see YY.  I've heard it used this way on the radio, on TV and at work, which makes me wonder if its usage is changing. Has anyone else noticed this?  I know languages continually evolve, and maybe this is just one more example of that?

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Blogger jean laine said...

I think it is in the context.
For example ; "demain c'est Noêl, les enfants sont excités"
" Cette femme m'excite"
A big difference isn'it ?

May 28, 2013 at 4:54 AM  
Blogger Mallory said...

Au Canada, on est toujours excitée.

May 28, 2013 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Hi jean laine - thanks for your comment. Before I would have agreed, but now I am hearing adults use it to say they are excited to meet someone or excited to see a movie for example.

May 28, 2013 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

Despite the Academie Francaise's wishes, more and more English words are becoming monnaie courante in the French language. The same with Arabic. I would venture a guess that 50% of today's ado slang, with its "wesh wesh moray," "Kiffer", "le zob" has its roots in the banlieue, or beur culture.

So I'm not surprised to see exciter being used as anglophones use it--to imply enthousiasm, rather than sexual heat.

May 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

That reminds me of one of Alain's stories- when he was doing his PhD, his lab was interviewed for tv about some new machine or something. They interviewed him, and he said "It is very exciting!" He got gaff about it for a long time.

May 28, 2013 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Canedolia said...

Love the first anecdote!

My first thought about the excitement one was that when it's not sexual it's usually used for children, I guess because that gives a very clear context. I asked UFM and he said that if you use it for adults, you definitely want to give a context in the sentence, eg. "I'm excited about my holidays". I couldn't say if that usage is increasing for exciter, but I've definitely think other verbs, like realiser, are used more and more in the English way (instead of se rendre compte) so it wouldn't surprise me.

May 29, 2013 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Ohlala Maman said...

Oh this is great news! I have tried to totally avoid it to avert disaster, except in the case of "surexcité" for the children, but even then I am secretly panicking that I have made an inappropriate sexual innuendo! I would love it to go mainstream. Also always avoid saying "cou" for fear of a "cul" debacle.

June 7, 2013 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Artfully Adored said...

I was taught to avoid exciter as well while learning French back in the states. It's like one of my internship bosses whose French asked me if she could say "I have a proposition for you" without the sexual implication. I impression was that the guy that first corrected her was flirting and teasing - after all she's a beautiful French lady, exotic to his American self. The person that corrected me about exciter was not an adult but a young college student. I'm still not sure about the word just as I'm sure my boss is hesitant to use "proposition."

June 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM  

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