Outrage (was: a New York Times article about a single word)

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Apr 30 13:48:08 UTC 2008

Larry said:

> On the other hand, "outrage" in French, where nobody would connect it with the
> (non-existent) "rage", remains pretty strong; my Larousse glosses it as
'affront > ou offense grave, manquement à une règle morale', which sounds a lot
> serious than your garden-variety anglophonic outrage.

But _rage_ does exist in French.  I'd say that Eng. 'rage' isn't it's primary
meaning - people are maybe more likely to use _colère_ or something for that,
unless they really want to make a point - rather, the primary meaning of Fr.
_rage_ is 'rabies'.  Of course, it's hard to think of an instance where context
wouldn't disambiguate between these two, but I mean that most French people,
seeing _rage_ in a word-list, would think of the disease (especially since
rabies does still exist in France, and people are still very careful about it).
 Nevertheless, the 'rage' meaning is there, both as an independent noun and in
at least one idiom, _faire rage_ 'rage' (v.), as in _La bataille a fait rage
pendant deux ou trois jours_ 'The battle raged for two or three days'.

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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