1. I will always say "bon appéttit!" – at least when I am not wishing my unsuspecting guests "bonne chance! (Good luck!) I am glad to know that you will continue to wish your guests well, keep you hands in sight, and not announce any upcoming birth plans while at the table. xo, David

  2. So happy you were able to talk to Françoise. She is a veritable fount of knowledge about French language and culture! And I think she is right — one has to be cautious about judging another's use of language. The main purpose of language is communication. Expressions evolve over time. Certainly we don't use the exact same phrases in 2014 that were used in 1914! If intention and feeling come through, hasn't one's choice of language been successful? Surely saying "bon appétit" at the table expresses a desire to welcome your guests and encourage them to enjoy the meal — a successful and appropriate communication by my standards!

  3. I'll bring it up at our table on Salter this evening where we will have an Argentinian, an American who has been a recent ex-pat in Berlin, and some Americans who always say "bon appettit" and feel both expansive and worldly in doing so.

  4. Your comment really made me smile! I should definitely begin some of my meals with "bonne chance" but I suppose that might plant expectations I would dprefer to avoid!! The varied rules of etiquette across countries is baffling enough but I can't imagine mastering the rules of proper upper class behavior at Downton Abbey. As Maggie Smith said in response to a query about the irrational etiquette rules she advocates “I were to search for logic I would not look for it amongst the English upper class."

  5. Amen!
    And regarding Françoise, I sincerely hope I have the pleasure of meeting her and her husband some day. Thanks very much for your assistance here, too, Kirsten. (As I think about it, I sure hope I meet you in person some day!)

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