In which I am very nasty indeed

Professor Krugman:

It takes quite a lot of chutzpah — do they have that word in Germany?

Not really, no. As a matter of policy they killed everyone that used it sometime back.

30 thoughts on “In which I am very nasty indeed”

  1. I suppose that Paul Krugman, who is Jewish, is very well aware of the history of the Jews in Germany.

    Naturally enough, there are some Yiddish borrowings in German, including “Chuzpe”.

  2. “I suppose that Paul Krugman, who is Jewish, is very well aware of the history of the Jews in Germany.”

    What would make you think that? He can’t even get U.S. history straight (or, more precisely, he can’t get the bits that contradict his political worldview straight).

  3. The French have no word for entrepreneur.

    That one’s actually true, just as they don’t have a word for “double entendre”.

  4. I once had an embarrassing moment in a Paris boulangerie when I was racking my brains trying to remember the French word for “sandwich”.

  5. The French have no word for entrepreneur.
    That one’s actually true,…

    Of course it’s not true.

    …just as they don’t have a word for “double entendre”

    Try “a double entente”.

  6. according to my Petit Robert dictionary, edition 1972:

    “Entrepreneur: toute personne qui dirige une entreprise pour son propre compte et qui met en oeuvre les divers facteurs de la production….en vue de vendre des produits ou des services”

    At least in 1972, French had a noun that meant entrepreneur. perhaps this is one of those canards that should be put to rest?

  7. In actual practice, whoever mentions Goodwin’s law should generally lose the the debate. For many (I’m not including Andrew here) it seems to be a “gotcha” meaning they don’t have to listen to any arguments any more.

  8. There a difference, a significant one, between having a word and having a word for. No one, including Dubya, claimed that the French don’t have the word “entrepreneur.”

    Take a look a the definition for the French word. It carries a different sense. It does not have the sense of “innovation” that the English word does.

  9. PST: Diogenes gives one definition, I linked to another:

    L’usage courant l’assimile à un chef d’entreprise, tantôt porteur d’un projet d’entreprise en phase de démarrage, tantôt dirigeant d’une entreprise davantage établie, à laquelle le plus souvent il s’identifie étroitement et personnellement

    Which translates roughly as:

    Current usage is for the leader of an enterprise, sometimes in the development phase, sometimes more established, which usually he identifies himself with closely and personally.

    What more do you want?

  10. PaulB –

    Put in the simplest terms I can, the two words, the English word and the French word, occupy different “meaning spaces”.

    The English version carries with it a connotation of adventure, innovation, speculation, and so on. The French word does not. In fact, the French meaning simply signifies what one might describe as a member of the bourgeoisie.

    The two words are thus false cognates. And Dubya was right after all.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, when Timmy made what was obviously a gag, why did you feel the need to stomp all over his punchline? That’s not yet a hanging offense, but it ought to be.

    Tim adds: well it wasn’t that good a gag that someone should be hung for stamping over it. But you wait, you wait. When I do gain total power then we’ll see…….

    Which, of course, is the problem with anyone gaining total power but like most, I’m willing to make an exception for myself. Given that I’m clearly too dumb to know what is good for me I’ll not be imposing any ideas about what is good for you.

    Except my attempts at jokes of course.

  11. ok…so my Petit Robert dictionary from 1972 is wrong…according to a bunch of people whose first language is not French.


  12. There must be quite a list of talk suppressors -eg Godwin’s law, “that’s racist”, “That’s sexist”, “thats homophobic”.
    It is a wonder people dare talk at all in the UK.

  13. PST: put in the simplest terms, the French themselves say that one of the meanings of the French word “entrepreneur” is pretty well the same as its English meaning. Boring of them, no doubt.

    when Timmy made what was obviously a gag, why did you feel the need to stomp all over his punchline?

    I’ll answer that. Because Krugman was making essentially the same joke, but more subtly. Which I think makes Tim’s joke unfunny. And I think if you’re going to make a joke about a subject as sensitive as the holocaust, it had better be a funny one.

    It’s to Tim’s credit that I can say this on his site without his wanting to have a go at me.

  14. Andrew M, Godwins law can be used as an indicator that the discussion has come to an end. But that’s after a discussion has taken place and then use of Nazi is then an indicator that the debater has had to use cheap arguments so has effectively lost. But when the term is raised as a form of finishing a debate prematurely then it’s a way of suppressing debate.

  15. “Because Krugman was making essentially the same joke”

    That’s definitely how it read to me, in context.

    I thought both were funny – in their different contexts – but then I’m easily amused..

    Re Tim’s site, couldn’t agree more – it reminds me of the “pre-lune” era, when people may despise what someone had to say, but would clearly defend their right to say it. I think we used to call it freedom of speech?

    I got confused over what was pathetic?

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