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JCC Question: why does the American military/intelligence use french words?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Violent Violet Menace , Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    What's with the American military and French words?


    "You will meet with your liaison at the rendezvous point, 4 clicks west from your position".

    This is wrong!

    It should be:

    "You will meet with your freedom at the freedom point"!


    Actually, isn't clicks military jargon for kilometers? Which is from the metric system. Which is evil.

    The full sentence should read:

    "You will meet with your freedom at the freedom point, 4 freedoms from your position".

    [face_flag]
     
  2. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2000
    The Japanese have spiky hair.
     
  3. MrZAP

    MrZAP Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Maybe it has to do with our alliance with the French during the American Revolution? I dunno. Is this common to the UK and other English speaking nations too or is it just the U.S.?
     
  4. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    I don't know, I only watch American movies.
     
  5. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Because they're good at subterfuge.
     
  6. Jedi_Hood

    Jedi_Hood Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2000
    Many of the French military terms are the legacy of one Napoleon Bonaparte.
     
  7. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oh, that makes sense.

    J'accuse, Napoleon!
     
  8. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Another question: Why call it a Walkie Talkie?

     
  9. Mar17swgirl

    Mar17swgirl Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2000
    Don't let Jello hear you... :p

    Also, it's funny how both "tennis" and "may day" started because Englishmen couldn't pronounce French words properly... :p
     
  10. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Please...denigrating the French is so last decade. Today, it's the entirety of Europe that is evil. Because they are socialists.
     
  11. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Maybe we can link the fact that the military operates with kilometers to Napoleon and his evil METRIC SOCIALIST CONSPIRACY!!! :eek: Centimeter by centimeter, your quarter pounder is turning into a Royale with cheese as we speak! It's already started. The signs are there. Haven't you noticed that it's stuffed with... red meat? o_O
     
    MrZAP and Mar17swgirl like this.
  12. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2000
    Because the English language was formed by taking German, putting it in a blender, and throwing in French and Latin.
     
  13. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Meh, so is America.
    They just don't want to admit it.
     
  14. CMShake

    CMShake Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Until the 1870s the French were (or at least were popularly seen as) leading advances in military thinking. As a result quite a few terms and practices used in many countries militaries are French in origin. Also French terms have a terrible habit winding their way into English anyway.
     
  15. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    I'm going to attempt try seek to compose write this entire whole message post note thing without utilizing using saying any terms words of French origin descent derivation provenance stock. It's very quite difficult challenging hard in this language tongue.
     
  16. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    But Terr, aren't those examples words that share a common root in latin in both languages, or that happen to be borrowed from latin later on in both languages? In the case of "rendezvous", it's even pronounced as in French (attempted, at least), even when saying the term in English, even though those letters would be read completely differently in English, which to me suggests that it must have been taken in to the English at a later date than those other examples.
     
  17. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    Nope, all of the stricken words in my post came into English directly via French, albeit mostly through the Norman French dialect of the 11th-13th centuries, which explains some of the differences in spelling or meaning from modern day French (both the English and French languages have evolved quite a bit since then). You're definitely right that words like liaison and rendez-vous were adopted much later, which is why their pronunciation is comparable to contemporary French.

    Words like castle, chair, and chandelier were all adopted from French at different periods in the language's evolution, and it's easy to see the order of their adoption. In modern day French, all three words begin with the "sh" sound of chandelier (château, chaise, and chandelier). But this "sh" sound was formerly a "ch" sound, and before that a "k" sound. The word castle bears seemingly little resemblance to château, which goes to show how much French has evolved since the Norman invasion.
     
  18. Dark Lady Mara

    Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 1999
    Terr, you're sounding suspiciously like an educated elite.
     
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    You're not only into maps, you're into languages too?

    Are you the reincarnation of JRR Tolkien? :p
     
  20. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Here's a question, why do our military and intelligence services use English? I mean, Great Britain was the very first country we fought a war against. We should be reminding ourselves how evil they were and ridding ourselves of all British influence. Oh no, why am I talking in English? Ahhh! The Britishness...it pervades everything!!
     
  21. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace JCC Ravager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Thanks for that explanation, that was interesting. The more you know. :)
     
  22. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    I also used to create numerous fantasy worlds as a youth, so yes.

    Actually, my primary concentration in grad school was dialectology, which marries language and geography, two of my favorite things in the whole wide world.
     
    Darth-Ghost likes this.
  23. Boba_Fett_2001

    Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 11, 2000
    GREG DROPPING KNOWLEDGE BOMBS
     
    Terr_Mys likes this.
  24. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Some of those are very Latinate, but if you're certain that they came from Latin via Norman French, I'm not going to challenge you on that. I'd prefer not to get schooled. :p
     
  25. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    There were a couple I was skeptical about, so I double-checked. :p

    In the process I discovered that "difficult" is a back-formation from the French word difficulté (difficulty), which explains why it differs from the French adjectival form difficile. Fascinating!