NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Tough Sell for the French, Even at Discount

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The Petite Syrah cafe, in the city of Nice, France, began pricing its coffee differently in December to introduce greater politeness among the notoriously brusque French. If a patron orders by saying, "Bonjour, un cafe, s'il vous plait" (i.e., with "hello" and "please"), the price is 1.40 euros (about $1.90). "Un cafe, s'il vous plait" — not quite as polite — costs 4.25 euros (about $5.80). The price for "Un cafe!" — apparently the usual way of announcing one's need for coffee — 7 euros (about $9.50).

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