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A fresh croissant

Das Luxusproblem

One of the key questions in Britain these days is: should croissants be curved or straight? Forget people on the breadline, the Brexit saga, the refugee crisis or  Trump – in a move that can only be described as bold, Tesco decided to lift the burden of choice from customers by abandoning the traditional curved version. See Guardian article here. The French President was unavailable for comment.A fresh croissant

From a linguistic perspective, the Oxford English Dictionary was unavailable for comment on the term luxury problem, which would suggest that it is not yet an ‘official’ (British) English term – unlike the German Luxusproblem, which the Duden defines as: Problem, das gegenüber anderen, gewichtigeren als unbedeutend angesehen wird. The other meaning, in case you are wondering, is: Problem, das im Vorhandensein mehrerer guter Lösungsmöglichkeiten in einer besonders günstigen Gesamtsituation besteht.

The English phrase spoilt for choice may overlap somewhat with this by suggesting a wide range of alternatives are available, but it fails to convey the parallel notion of this being a “problem” unique to those living in luxury, rather like the tale of The Princess and the Pea.  As for the pronunciation of croissant, there is a wealth of  alternatives: the question of  the definitive UK pronunciation of croissant, and how to anglicise it, remains unresolved, with mouthfuls ranging from Kwason to Croysants to Crowissants to Cross Ants.  The question of what gender the noun should have in English is, thankfully, still a Luxusproblem as English nouns, unlike German and French, do not have genders, yet.