The assistant can hardly see me. She waves pointing towards the bread 'Did you want the loaf sliced?' I nod, becoming aware of people queuing behind me, and quickly add 'And can I have two of these cakes please?’ ‘These are not cakes, they are gateaux’, she says. I shake my head in assent but I dare not point to the tempting curly pastry with shiny raisins in it. She’ll perhaps say that it isn’t a snail but an escargot. The next day if I wanted to buy an umbrella, would I call it a parasol or a parapluie?