Competitions nos. 96A and 96B: results

Elizabeth Bibesco asks for three mistranslations of famous French sayings, giving as an example ‘J’y suis; j’y reste’ = ‘I am Swiss; I do not work’. Interestingly, she makes a point of saying that the examples must be original, the first time a judge has suggested that sending in well-known mistakes is off-limits. Hard to see how she could check!

Some competitors (Seacape included) blundered either by misquoting, or giving non-famous phrases, or (the shame) being ungrammatical. There is a large cast of also-rans, from Belleverte (toujours la politesse = two juries and a policewoman) to Guy Hadley (Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas = The dog has reasoning powers of which we know nothing). The winner is a new pseudonym, Tonk, and the runner-up is W. Sterne:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

96B is an epigram competition. Undeniably popular, but they seem to me to have dated badly, Bibesco wanted one on a brilliant reviewer whose first novel has been justly panned. Her own panning of the entries is brisk, and by the look of it, fair: only Michael Holland gets a prize

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