Gen­der is­sues

Living France - - WHAT'S NEW - Martin and Jane Evans Haute-Loire and Cambridge

My wife and I were a lit­tle sur­prised to see Liv­ing France per­pet­u­ate the lin­guis­tic er­ror com­monly made by the English in Ian Moore’s col­umn in the July edi­tion – in the sub­ti­tle, the il­lus­tra­tion and the text! It is not Madame la Maire, but Madame le Maire; it be­ing the word not the per­son who has the gen­der. Thus Madame le Maire was once un bébé, who grew into une per­sonne.

Apart from that lit­tle slip, we are get­ting a lot out of your mag­a­zine, as usual.

Thanks for writ­ing to us, Martin and Jane, as this gram­mat­i­cal point caused us some de­lib­er­a­tion when we printed the ar­ti­cle. You are ab­so­lutely right that Madame le Maire is gram­mat­i­cally cor­rect, but Madame la Maire is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon. In fact, Paris mayor Anne Hi­dalgo is quoted as say­ing “Ap­pelez-moi Madame la Maire”.

We would love to hear from other read­ers who can share their ex­pe­ri­ences of how a fe­male mayor is ad­dressed in France. – Ed

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