The New Olympique Marseille Third Kit Has a Tiny Grammatical Error The French Won’t Stand For

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

No one is more precious about their language than the French. They have an academy to watch over it, making even the most innocuous chance to la langue française an arduous process hilarious to anyone not French. It shouldn’t come as a suprise then, that a tiny error on Olympique Marseille’s new alternate kit is causing a stir.

From The Globe and Mail:

The back of the shirts have verses by local rapper Akhenaton, including the line “nos cœurs sont oranges, comme au couchant sont les flots” (our hearts are orange, like the sea at dusk).

In the country of the Académie française and the Bernard Pivot televised dictation contests, many take their grammar seriously.

So even though the verses are stitched in tiny letters, it wasn’t long before people noticed that there was one “s” too many.

Usually French adjectives agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. However, there are many exceptions and one of them is that colour adjectives are invariable.

In other words, it should have said “nos coeurs sont orange.”

Gasp! Sacre bleu! Mon dieu! C’est horreur du foot!

Anyway, the shirts are obviously worthless now. Marseille has to wear them on May 20 because new ones won’t be ready in time. As this is a crime against the French language, club officials will be forced to spend an afternoon in the stocks, during which time French people will be allowed to mill by and toss rotting fruit at them.

Really, this is all adidas’s fault. As l’OM’s kit maker, they’re ultimately responsible for type on the shirt. Does it come as any surprise that a German company screwed up a French kit?

Once fixed, this will be a very cool alternate kit. The shirt is reversible, with one side black and one side orange, a nod to a 1989 incident in which PSG skinheads bombarded visiting Marseille fans with racist chants. Both groups were wearing black bomber jackets, and the Marseille fans turned their’s inside-out—revealing an orange lining—to differentiate them from the skinheads.

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