Essay: Excusez-Moi! Speakez-Vous Franglais?

The best way to deal with a foreigner, any old-school Brit will tell you, is to shout at the blighter in English until he catches on. If he professes not to understand, just turn up the volume till he does. A man who doesn't speak English is a man who isn't worth speaking to. Robert Byron, the great traveler of the '30s who wrote so feelingly on Islamic culture, got great comic effect by treating every alien he met -- even an American -- as an unintelligible buffoon; and his John Bullish contemporary Evelyn Waugh all but enunciated a Blimp's Code...

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