Monday, February 28, 2011

Dans la mesure où ...

Fillon on Alliot-Marie:

«La voix de la France n'était plus audible, parce que Michèle Alliot-Marie faisait l'objet d'une campagne injuste, dans la mesure où c'est quelqu'un d'intègre».
Now, I find this a very interesting locution. To be sure, dans la mesure où has become, in le français courant, a frequent synonym for parce que or puisque. But its root sense is "to the extent that," "insofar as." So the subtext of Fillon's apparent endorsement is actually a covert critique: the campaign against her was unjust insofar as she is a person of integrity. But is she? Fillon is hedging his bets, under semantic cover, as it were.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I enjoy your subtle reading and I concur. Isn't that's what the French call a lapsus or what we call a Freudian slip? Let's just call it a compromise between the unallowable truth and the obligation to lie. He can't help saying what he mustn't. Of course Fillion wouldn't agree, but then would because he wasn't aware. And yes "dans la mesure où" is a rather wretched euphemism.