The annual Prix de la Carpette Anglaise was awarded in France a few days ago. Carpette Anglaise translates as 'English Doormat' and the 'award' goes to 'the person or institution who has given the best display of "fawning servility" to further the insinuation into France of the accursed English language' (BBC story here). Runners-up this year included the supermarket chain Carrefour for describing itself using the English word 'market' and a French rock band called Nelson (after Admiral Nelson) who sing in English. The winner was the French higher education minister Valerie Pecresse who admitted she preferred to communicate in English when attending European Union meetings in Brussels.
Last year's winner was another minister - Christine Lagarde - who also used too much English for the Academie de la Carpette Anglaise's liking. Other winners in previous years have included France Telecom for issuing publications with such titles as Business Talk and Live-Zoom, Jean-Marie Colombani, editor of Le Monde, who published a weekly supplement entirely in English, and Alain Richard, Minister of Defence who insisted military personnel speak English within Eurocorps, even though there are no English-speaking countries within this group. The president of the French Football Federation was nominated in 2004 for adopting the Jackson 5 hit Can You Feel It as the anthem of the French team. More on the Academie de la Carpette in French here.