Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Surprising": the Code Word and Its Rough Translation

In a political culture driven entirely by media preoccupations, there’s always that awkward moment when the indignant expectations of the press and the wishes of people who live in the real world diverge. The result is usually described as “surprising,” which is a code word used by editors. The rough translation: “People are dumber than I thought.”
Thus writes Denis Boyles, author of a book on France (merci à François Cœur).
Despite Ségolène Royal’s relentless campaign to become president of French women … and her Obi-Wanish sloganeering — “We do not want to appeal to people’s dark side, but to the light and hope inside them, Luke,” she said (“Luke” added) … — they see a Sarko win looming, and, by gum, this time, it’s not surprising them. It’s just making them sad.

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