"Good morning madam"
What about Bon matin? Is it wrong? I've always learnt that good morning is bon matin.
Nonetheless, that still makes it an acceptable answer doesn't it? Just because people in the USA don't usually say "Top of the morning to you", doesn't mean its still not an acceptable way to say good morning.
Even in Quebec "bon matin" is controversial, and considered wrong by many. This Quebec commentator says that the proper greeting is not even "bonne matinée", but rather "bonjour". She says that "bon matin" is an Anglicism and argues that, when it comes to the French language, "l’ignorance et l’indifférence sont des armes de destruction massive" (ignorance and indifference are weapons of mass destruction).
I myself can't help but imagine a medieval France where people preferred to stay up late at night carousing (ou faisant l'amour) and skipped the morning altogether. Or where mornings were in fact so awful that they just couldn't manage to get good wishes out until at least noon.
Or a third possibility: In the morning the whole day is ahead, so why not wish someone well for all of it?
Edit: Perhaps more evidence that the French don't care for mornings is that "déjeuner" literally means "de-fast", i.e. "break one's fast", i.e. "breakfast". In other words, the French "breakfast" at lunch, except that now they've made a slight concession to mornings by having a "little breakfast" (petit déjeuner) in the morning. ;-)
I don't know if you're from Québec but I am, and it's not very contraversial, and it's french... We even break down the day into several parts, namely : bon matin, bonjour, bonne journée, bon après-midi, bonne fin d'après-midi, bonne fin de journée, bonne soirée, bonsoir, bonne nuit. This idea is widely spread in the spoken language of Québec and is staying for good in spite of those so called "Autorités linguistiques", some language purists and some english haters... languages are always influenced and nobody speaking english would complain about using the word "croissant" or "amateur" etc.
Thanks for the context. I was only reporting on my (admittedly limited) research on this particular issue, but what you say makes sense.
However, on the larger issue of English versus French, Duolingoers from elsewhere might be interested to know that there is certainly a measure of overt political tension about it in Quebec. Witness, for example, the shop owner who was ordered by Quebec's French language office to translate her store's Facebook page into French.
(Whether or not they actually had that authority, I would have thought it would simply have been good business for her to maintain French translations on a promotional page for a Quebec business.)
I totally agree with you on the "good business" part. But most of the issues are often with company names or product names rather than whole products information (because yeah... they would be dumb to advertise only in English since 93% of the population is native french speaking...).
The appeal is in the simple english names for businesses and products because they are easy to remember, good looking, simple and cool. The starting point for those is not a desire to renounce to the french language but a tendency to imitate the american culture by using simple, consommer-oriented, easily memorizable names. And french was not developped for that purpose.
"Bonne matinee" is accepted.
They taught us earlier that in regards to the times of day, the masculine refers to the concept in general and the feminine tends to mean a specific one.
For example: "Je prends mon petit-dejeuner le matin.": I have breakfast in the morning. It's masculine here because I'm not talking about any one morning, just mornings in general. The expression "Bonne Matinee" is feminine because when you wish someone a good morning, you're wishing that this specific morning is good.
Actually "bonne matinée" would be used in the sense of "Have a good morning", just like "bonne journée" means "have a good day". It is not used as a greeting, but might be something said on parting. Otherwise, it's "bonjour" as a greeting any time during the day.