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English has borrowed words from other languages indiscriminately, and has done so for hundreds of years. Often, this happens even when a perfectly sound native or imported synonym already exists, but sometimes the new term gains its footing because it expresses a concept better than an existing term, or conveys a connotation or nuance no other single word or phrase does.
But speakers and writers of English don’t always use the word as it is intended, leading to semantic drift. In the interests of preserving the purity of some highly evocative terms, here are twenty such words acquired from French:
- What’s the Difference Between a Bun and a Chignon? Plenty, Actually (bellasugar.com)
- C is For Chagrin (anglophonism.wordpress.com)
“God, to me, it seems, is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper," designer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller once said. And it makes sense. As long as we do our work honestly and not hurt others, what does it matter if we believe in some invisible superman in the sky, who happens to have such a fragile ego so as to condemn people for not believing in him, no matter how good they might be?
Do the best job I can, not hurt our fellow beings on this planet, that’s my religion.
—Anu Garg of A Word A Day.