Dear readers,

Well today, following the various Awards Ceremonies (Academy awards: Ceremonie des Oscars, Cesars, Victoires de la Musique and else), it is worth (cela vaut la peine) wondering (se demander) whether they are necessary or not.

When you type "awards and recognition" in Google, you cannot imagine how many websites are listed. You can even find the ARA, Awards and Recognition Association which is "is a membership organization of 4,000 companies dedicated to increasing the professionalism of recognition specialists and advancing the awards and engraving industry (industrie de la gravure)".

What means "award" and "recognition"?
The noun "award" has 3 meanings:

1) a grant made by a law court (dommages et interets donnes par un tribunal)
2) a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction (in studies for example - un prix)
3) something given for victory or superiority in a contest (concours) or competition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An award is something given to a person or group of people to recognize
excellence in a certain field. Awards are often signified by trophies, titles, certificates, commemorative plaques, medals, badges, pins or ribbons. An award can carry a monetary prize given to the recipient, for instance, the Nobel Prize for contributions to society, or the Pulitzer Prize for literary achievements. An award can also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without a tangible token or a prize.

Awards can be given by any person or institution, although the prestige of an award may depend on the status of the awarder. Usually, awards are given by an organization of some sort, or by the office of an official within an organization or government. For instance, a special presidential citation (as given by the President of the United States) is a public announcement giving an official place of honor (e.g. President Ronald Reagan gave a special presidential citation in 1984 to the Disney Channel for its excellent children's television programming).

The verb is "to reward": recompenser (someone for...)
Recognition has also different meanings. The one in which we are interested is related to attention or favourable notice.

Let us study deeply this relationship between "award" and recognition".
Extract from the text by Chris Rose on the British Council Website.

The Nobels are the originals, of course. Alfred Nobel, the man who invented deadly explosives decided to try and do something good with all the moeny he earned (gagner), and gave prizes to people who made progress in literature, sciences , economics and maybe msot importantly peace (...)

(...) there are hundreds of awards and awards ceremonies for all kind of things.
The Oscars are probably the most famous, a time for the (mostly) American film industry to tell itself how good it is, an annual opportunity for lots of big stars to give each other awards and make tearful (larmoyant) speeches (...)

(...) Awards do not only exist for the arts. There are awards for Sports Personality of the Year, for European Footballer of the Year and World Footballer of the Year. This seems very strange - sometimes awards can be good to give recognition to people who deserve it, or help people who do not make a lot of money carry on their work without worrying about finances but professional soccer players these days certainly are not short (etre a court de) of cash (...)

(...) Why all these awards and ceremonies appeared recently? Shakespeare never won a prize, nor Leonardo da Vinci or Adam Smith or Charles Dickens (...) In the past, scientists and artists could win "patronage" (mecenat) from rich people (...) With the change in social systems accross the world, this is no longer happens. A lot of scientific research is now either (a la fois) funded (finance) by the state or by private companies (...)

(...) Most awards ceremonies are now sponsored by big organisations or companies. This means that is not only the person who wins the awards who benefits - but also the sponsors.

(...) On the surface, it seems to be a "win-win" situation with everyone being happy, but let me ask you a question - how far do you think that publicity and marketing are winning here, and how much genuine (authentique) recognition of achievement (accomplissement, realisation) is taking place?

Well, receiving an award, a prize, a recognition sign is quite pleasant. All depends at which level this award is, if it is just popular and at small scale (city, university...) or large scale (national, worldwide).
A lot of people realize every day honourable facts or actions and they are recognized and appreciated by the others. No need of crying it from the housetops (crier quelque chose sur les toits).
Maybe the most important is to be generous towards others not materially speaking but thanks to your behaviour ;-)

Well, to finish, here is a list of the most famous awards. Some of them are typically British:


The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was founded more than 60 years ago by a group of Los Angeles-based journalists working for overseas publications. Its annual Golden Globe awards have enabled the non-profit organization to donate more than $6.5 million in the past twelve years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals. In the year 2006 the donation was more than one million dollars.


The recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions (GRAMMY Awards Process). The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world.


The Brit Awards are industry-voted awards, rewarding stars who are liked by a lot of people and therefore make the industry a lot of money.


The Mercury Prize, currently known as the Nationwide Mercury Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the best British or Irish album of the previous 12 months. It was established by the BPI and BARD (the British Association of Record Dealers) in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated Brit awards. It was originally sponsored by the now-defunct telecoms company Mercury, followed in 1998 by Technics and starting in 2004 the Nationwide Building Society [1]. It is often observed that bands who are nominated for, or indeed win the prize experience a large increase in album sales, particularly for the lesser known nominees

Q award

THE Q AWARDS 2006 brought to you by Yahoo! Music took place today at London's Grosvenor House Hotel and proved that it is, undoubtedly, THE music event of the year.


The Turner Prize is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under 50, named after the painter J.M.W. Turner. It is organized by the Tate Gallery, and since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the United Kingdom's most publicised art award. It has become associated with conceptual art, although it represents all media and painters have also won the prize.

The prize fund from 2004 onwards was £40,000. There have been different sponsors, including Channel 4 television and Gordon's gin. The prize is awarded by a distinguished celebrity: in 2006 this was Yoko Ono.

It is a controversial event, mainly for its exhibits, such as a shark in formaldehyde by Damien Hirst and a dishevelled bed by Tracey Emin. Controversy has also ensued from other directions, including a Culture Minister (Kim Howells criticising exhibits), a guest of honour (Madonna swearing), a prize judge (Lynn Barber writing in the press) and a speech by Sir Nicholas Serota (about the purchase of a trustee's work).


The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. It is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of these, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal, which always goes to a newspaper, although an individual may be named in the citation.

The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the university's journalism school in 1912. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on June 4, 1917, and they are now announced each April. Recipients are chosen by an independent board


The Académie Goncourt is a literary organization based in Paris, France that was founded in 1900 in accordance with the wishes of French writer and publisher Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896), and in opposition to the then existing policies towards writers by the Académie française.

Wishing to honor his deceased brother Jules (1830-1870), de Goncourt named his friend Alphonse Daudet to oversee his estate that he bequeathed for the establishment of an organization to promote literature in France. Each December since 1903, a ten-member Board of the Académie has awarded the Prix Goncourt for the best work of fiction of the year. It is the most prestigious prize in French language literature, and a seat on the Board is a much-cherished position in the French literary world. (in French)


The Prix Femina is a French literary prize created in 1904 by 22 writers for the magazine La Vie heureuse (today known as Femina). The prize is decided each year by an exclusively female jury. The winner is announced on the first Wednesday of November each year.

The Prix Femina is often misspelled Prix Fémina but it is officially spelled without an accent even in French. (in French)


The Prix Médicis is a French literary award given each year in November. It was founded in 1958 by Gala Barbisan and Jean-Pierre Giraudoux. It is awarded to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent." In 1970 the Prix Médicis étranger, a foreign prize, was added to award a writer each year from around the world. The Prix Médicis essai is awarded since 1980 for non-fictional works.



The prix Renaudot (also called "prix Théophraste Renaudot") is a literary award which was created in 1926 by ten art critics awaiting the results of the deliberation of the jury of the prix Goncourt.

The prix Renaudot, while not officially related to the prix Goncourt, is a kind of complement to it, announcing its laureate at the same time and place as the prix Goncourt, namely on the first Tuesday of November at the Drouant restaurant in Paris.

That is for today! Talk to you shortly.

With best wishes,