Friday, July 2, 2010
Okay, I'm a little bit behind on the news. So shoot me. Or just get in your time machine and travel back to earlier in the week. Here's the French take on President Obama's decision to give General Stanley McChrystal the boot. The headline for the article in Le Figaro read: Limogé, le général McChrystal en retraite.
If you're stumped by the term, "Limogé," let me enlighten you. It's the past participle of the verb, "se faire limoger" which means literally to send someone to Limoges. Figuratively, it means, "So long sucker! You are relieved of your duties and sent to the provinces." Supposedly, this dates from the World War I when French general Joffre had to relieve a group of insubordinate officers of their duties and sent them away from the front. Not all of them ended up in Limoges but somehow the name stuck.
I'm dreaming, though, of a corollary situation in American English where the headline in last week's New York Times might have read, "Paducah-ed, General McChrystal takes his leave." It's got a ring to it, doesn't it?
If you're from Kentucky and you find this offensive, come up with a snappy alternative to insult some other part of the country and leave it in the comments section.