As you will see in the readers’ comments, many British expats in France have torn it to pieces.You’ll only make yourself look ridiculous, stuffy, and old-fashioned if you try to behave as described in what could look like a retired diplomat’s guide.France is one of those countries everyone has an opinion about, and which has spawned many stereotypes: the French are eternal seducers, lazy, speak only French (so fast that no one else can understand it), and drive like the Italians, just to mention a few.
It may seem contradictory that they take things literally, since I just said they speak indirectly, but what they would take literally is their interpretation of what you just said, after a diplomatic decoding, if necessary.
The French diplomatic decoding does not work the same way as the British decoding of subtleties.
Every guide book will tell you to say and first names.
The young Internet generation doesn’t have the obsession that English is a menace to the French Republic, though the miserable French schooling system doesn’t give them much of a chance to learn it.
’ I deliberately omitted the word ‘logical’ since—as most men know—a logical woman is an oxymoron. You will rarely hear a Frenchman admit he made a mistake, and even more rarely apologize for a mistake.