Someone I Can Trust

The one on the right takes it with a grain of salt

The one on the right takes it with a grain of salt

You know it’s a shame, but French ought to, and does not, have a word for “person empowered to enter into negotiations”

Your Intrepid Reporter has read his share of history books written in French, and there’s always a phrase used whenever the sides wish to negotiate: they say the parties (in the infinitive form) engager pourparlers, which is rendered into English as “entered into negotiations,” with the preposition “into” required as pourparlers are discussions or negotiations, not people empowered to negotiate.

But it would fit. I would read “engager pourparlers” and I would always be able to insert “engaged representatives empowered to negotiate,” and it always worked.

So, there is no French word pourparler: it is only used in the plural, and it means sustained discussions.

But there ought to be such a word, and so . . .

I am proud to announce that my son, the former Sergeant-at-Arms of the Eastside democratic Club, is the pourparler for my fast.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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