French coldwave: a sort of proto-goth rock sound that developed in the late 70s.
American coldwave: guitar-driven electro/industrial music that enjoyed brief popularity in the early 90s.
To fans of both genres (author included), watching people get pissy about the difference can be very entertaining indeed.
US rivet head: yeah, bro, totally! just bought the new 16volt album, shit was SO cash...
French goth: qu'est-ce que c'est, 16volt? do you like trisomie 21?
US rivet head: who's that? have they remixed any Chemlab tracks?