From Keith Houston’s excellent blog, “Shady Characters“:
The first stage of this year’s Tour de France ran from Mont-Saint-Michel to Utah Beach/Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, along the north-west coast of the Manche region, on the second of July. As the riders followed the 188km route, they passed through the little town of Gouville-sur-Mer, which, in the time-honoured tradition of provincial villages that the Tour visits but once every few decades or so, laid out its slogan for the tv helicopter to see: Gouville-sur-Mer, capitale mondiale de l’huître de pleine mer (Gouville-on-sea, world capital of the open sea oyster). So now you know.
World oyster capital though it may be, Gouville-sur-Mer is not, evidently, the world capital of diacritics: the noble circumflex, which should have reigned proudly over the word huître, was nowhere to be seen. Nor were any other non-alphabetic marks — not the hyphens that should have appeared in Gouville-sur-Mer or the comma that should have come after it, and not the apostrophe that should have punctuated l’huître. And yes, tweets and instant messages may be increasingly doing without their full stops, but I could have handled one appearing here. For shame, Gouville-sur-Mer! I salute your oyster credentials but I deplore your aerial typography.