I’ve just spent a week in the south of France, in a tiny attic apartment with a doddery old TV on which we could, with careful angling of the arial, receive three separate channels. We watched quite a lot of films; some made in French, others dubbed from English (including an exceptionally silly Clint Eastwood film which I now discover is called Absolute Power and which I urge you to seek out at the first opportunity).
Anyway, the main fact I took away from watching French films was that the French use merde like the English use fuck, which is to say in every context and part of speech imaginable. Where we have fucking, fucked, fuckwit, fucker and other variations (I’m sure you can think of some of your own), the French have more incarnations of merde than I’d ever suspected. My favourite is the verb “enmerder” – literally, “to beshitten”, which I think we should adapt into English immediately.
2 thoughts on “Merde!”
Your recommendation of Absolute Power should come with a heavy cavil: “seek [it] out at the first opportunity, but only if it’s been dubbed into French.” Hearing what a French dubbing artiste thinks a French Clint Eastwood would sound like (speaking French) is pretty much the sole fun thing in it.
I have to disagree. Clint’s masterful disguises are a work of genius in any language.
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