petite anglaise

July 12, 2004

"it's a class thing"

Filed under: working girl — bipolarinparis @ 4:13 pm

My workplace is an oasis of Britishness in Paris. Like in the British embassy, all French rules are suspended upon entering the building and you have to set your watch to GMT.

There is a framed portrait of Her Majesty QE2 in the entrance hall. We got a day off for the golden jubilee. We have Tetley tea and fresh milk in the kitchen (as opposed to nasty French UHT, which makes a terrible cuppa).

When writing to clients we have to address them as “Esq”, e.g. Percival Goldman Esq. The dictionary tells me this is “a title of respect for a member of the English gentry ranking just below a knight”.

It’s a bit tricky to know who ranks just below a knight these days and who doesn’t. The only explanation anyone could venture when I asked for clarification was “it’s a class thing”.

Makes one proud to be British.

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