The English language press on the continent

Having spent so much of my adult life amongst Johnny Foreigner I\’m something of a lover of the way in which newspapers supposedly written in English aren\’t in fact written in it. Technically correct, but just not quite right.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is hoping to convince young people to say "No" to abstinence.

The Commission is worried about the level of voter turnout at the euro-elections and is thus running a campaign to get the young to vote.

Saying "No" to abstinence is thus "correct" but the message given to a native English speaker is really rather different, isn\’t it?

7 comments on “The English language press on the continent

  1. That’s what I love about language, direct translation can be highly amusing – like the recent letter I received from EDF that explained to me the benefit of valleys. Off peak, of course…

  2. Is “abstention” a real word, or an Americanism?

    Because it indicates to me someone who abstains from casting a vote in a specific poll. An event.

    Abstinence strikes me as a long term practice or stance.

  3. Clearly todays youth are already saying no to abstinence- so are they trying to get credit for an existing trend?

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