I’ve been using the acronym UFR in several posts now and thought I should add a Franglish definition. The complete phrase that becomes UFR in French is <<Utilisateur de Fauteuil Roulant>>. It’s a tongue twister even for my moderately competent French. My first exposure to the term was when I was paying attention to wheelchair accessibility of the Paris bus system. The word by word translation is “utilizers of chairs rolling”. I adore the subtleties of Franglish <<mot par mot>>. The American equivalent term is “wheelchair users” or some variation. In French you don’t “use” but rather “utilize”, and therefore your are a utilizer not a user. I much prefer the French term over the English.
However it was the very next word and its meaning that really got to me and ultimately to this blog post. My French equivalent for “chair” is <<la chaise>> and not <<le fauteuil>> (which is much more difficult to pronounce). <<Fauteuil>> in my personal translaguation isn’t “a chair” but rather “a comfy chair with cushions and perhaps a foot rest”.
What is a UFO? It is a <<utilisateur de fauteuil ordinaire>>, therefore not rolling. UFOs are folks who are ensconced in their comfy chair with cushions and perhaps a foot stool, unmoving. In other words “couch potatoes” while the UFRs are rolling along! Whether you are a UFR or UFO, I can assist you when you want to roll around Paris on the bus. Allons-y!