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The language of love for an American in Paris

To the editor: I enjoyed William Alexander's absurdly useful Bastille Day guide to the usage of vous and tu. And I offer an additional example, circa 1960s Paris.  ( “A Bastille Day guide to vous and tu,” Opinion, July 13)

An American friend of mine, a student in his 20s, was having an affair with a French woman in her 40s. She was socially very proper, even stern. When they were in amorous embrace, she insisted he use “tu” in their communications, but the moment that ended, she demanded he address her as “vous.”

The “tu-vous” usage, in this case, was activity-driven.

Ronald Rubin, Topanga 

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