For instance, of all the forty-odd phonemes of English, and the similar number in French, only two are identical in the two languages (and there may be small differences even here): /f/ and /m/. All the other sounds of the two languages have differences that contribute to the sound of a French accent in English, or an English accent in French.
1996: A woman warns the owner of a Quebec pet store she might get in touch with language authorities because Peekaboo, the parrot she wanted to buy, didn't speak French.
1999: The Old Navy chain is asked to rename its stores "La Vieille Rivière." It never happens.
2000: The owner of an Indian restaurant is told he's breaking the law by having coasters for "Double Diamond," a British beer.
2001: Some people express disappointment that race-car driver Jacques Villeneuve calls his restaurant "Newtown."
2005: Language authorities say they will investigate complaints that Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay's party used the word "Go" on its posters and pamphlets, as in "Go Montreal."
2007: Imperial Oil says it will keep its Quebec-only "Marché Express" name for its Esso gas stations after protests against a proposal to change the name to "On the Run," as they are known elsewhere in North America.
2007: About 50 people protest outside a Second Cup outlet to demonstrate against the words "Les cafés" being dropped from "Les cafés Second Cup" at some of the chain's outlets.
2007: Language activists decry that callers to many Quebec government offices are told to "press nine" for English before instructions are delivered in French. Some of the departments have since changed the message to put English at the end.
Pronouncing French vowels as if they had a circumflex doesn't make much sense, since it usually doesn't change the pronunciation. The mark typically indicates that the vowel was once followed by an [s] which went silent (compare English forest and French forêt or English castle and French château).
Huh. There seem to be some sound changes associated with the circumflex in French, but the Wikipedia article on the subject is daunting. Money quote: "Some circumflexes appear for no known reason."
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.