On Friday, Hugh Hewitt wrote of John Kerry:
Americans don't tolerate posers, especially posers who keep changing the pose.
Of course, if there's one thing Americans find more intolerable than a poser, it's a poseur.
It's odd that the French spelling is so common even in English, despite the fact that we have a perfectly adequate English form. So much more common that the American Heritage Dictionary (4th edition) actually defines 'poser' as meaning 'poseur', with no further explanation. Apparently there's something peculiarly French about the whole idea of being "One who affects a particular attribute, attitude, or identity to impress or influence others", which is what we find when we go to 'poseur'.
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*Most French words and phrases commonly used in English -- camembert, ratatouille, bouillabaise (I had to look up the spelling of that one), je ne sais quoi, ménage à trois -- have no vernacular equivalent. Those that do are usually shorter and more convenient and often provide usefully differentiated shades of meaning, e.g. café vs. coffeeshop or resumé vs. curriculum vitae. In the last example the French form is actually less pretentious. Of course, the non-French form is polysyllabic Latin rather than simple Anglo-Saxon. I don't suppose Angles and Saxons put much stock in paper credentials when hiring.Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 22, 2004 11:43 AM