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Saturday, 19 January 2008

News, with a malicious little twist

Whilst doing my shopping this afternoon I glanced at the front page of Le Monde - one of the two main serious French dailies

The opening to the top front page news item was a neat example of that wit which none but the French deploy quite so well - and of how a carefully phrased sentence can convey a little innuendo.

It was about Bush, and read (in French, obviously): "The President has decided to take action to prevent a worldwide recession etc., etc."

Now imagine the way an English or US paper might have reported that story. They would have said something like "President acts to stem recession." Something simple, straightforward and implicitly positive.

What is the difference?

It is simple: that tiny reminder in Le Monde's phrasing that everybody has known of the dangers of a recession for months but only now has our boy got round to deciding to do something.

I must say, by the way, that it's hardly possible that George Bush could be as stupid as people make him out to be, but I did find that little touch in Le Monde amusing.

Which I guess will have you thinking what a trivial mind I have. True.

But then again most British papers - even the serious ones - nowadays seem to lead with stories about football managers. We get the papers we deserve.

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