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The Great French Invention, The Paper Clip

In yesterday's blog post, I mentioned how the French invented restaurants. This idea of all things being invented by the French seems to be a well-developed national trait. Pascal is always quick to remind me of everything that was "French first". You know Frank Sinatra's famous song, My Way? It was a French song first. Bobby Darin's Under the Sea? French first. The Birdcage, that hilarious film starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane? A re-make of a French film (La Cage aux Folles). Three Men and a Baby? First conceived by the French (with the catchy title of Three Men and a Cradle). This is only the beginning. Some French people will insist that their countrymen invented the airplane, cinema, cars, automobiles and more! And if you think that's funny, read this blog post where one American says his French teacher tried to explain how the French invented the term "bling bling".

There is actually a game called: Pretend Everything was Invented by Someone French. It is purported that Paul-Henri Innovateur came up with the concept. The idea is to pretend that any given idea or product was actually invented by a French person who then gave their surname it. This works because almost any word pronounced with a French accent sounds like it could be French. Points are scored depending on how preposterous the claim is and the number of people that believe you.

We all know that department stores were invented by Jacques Penné. But did you know that a French man invented the paper clip? Here's the true story: The humble paper clip was invented by a gentleman named Monsieur Cleep. He was a wise old inventor from the small French village of Poubelle-Sur-Le-Chien. Monsieur Cleep was held in such high regard by all of the other villagers that they called him: "Papa Cleep".

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