Il ne faut pas confondre les faux pas / One mustn’t confuse the faux pas…..

“faux pas”

I noticed this curious little tidbit probably a few months ago, it resurfaced when I was in Florida, and just again today, so I thought I’d share this with you.

  I’m curious if the first people to use “faux pas” in its current sense realized they had two sets of homonyms that end up with the same overarching meaning….. quite witty if they did.  Here’s how it works:

“faux pas”:

“faux”: false
“pas”: step

= false step, misstep
 a social slip-up, blunder

“faut pas”:

shortened from “il ne faut pas” in slang
“faut”: must
“ne….. pas”: not

= [indefinite] “one” must not, “one” shouldn’t
 when used as a noun, a social blunder

  Quite witty, if that was the intention.  Oh words, how I love thee…..

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Hanging On (2005)

I cannot say I’m pleased
repetition is, however, foreseeable
and I did not foresee
a failure on my part for feeling
the rudimentary error of my species
a mistake Mother Nature corrected with the others
and hoping
a moronic faux-pas in this century
if I collapse, you’ll understand
for I’ve forgotten what is new
and I’ll remember the old
all over again so it is once more fresh and disturbed

tiny speckled thoughts of random
tear me away into bliss
but sharp jabs in my side remind me
such cringing should be my guest
it heralds not impossibility
and speaks with the ancient eyes
so why do I feel so lost and helpless
when my stage continues to grow
and my crowd fights it out amongst themselves
this mantle is silent but near implosion
with albums of fear and hatred and ignorance
weighing down on the chance for sustainment
but bricks are strong
and though the weight is mighty
it keeps me afloat somehow
my worries only feelings
those rancid add-ons to our faulty line

Copyright L.M. 2007.