Faux Pas

Topics: French language, English language, Philosophy of language Pages: 2 (485 words) Published: April 18, 2008
The rudest manners I have witnessed probably would be when my teacher bent over to expel gas in class. Others say it was the Queen of England picking her nose at a public event. Either way, these are prime examples of a person committing a faux pas. In the next four paragraphs, faux pas’ pronunciation, part of speech, etymology, definitions, and synonyms will be revealed.

The word faux pas is commonly mispronounced. The pronunciation of a word is “the way or ways in which a unit of language is spoken by persons qualified by education or otherwise to be speakers worthy of imitation.” The most common ways to pronounce faux pas are fO”pä and fō’päz’. Also, faux pas’ part of speech or “traditional class of words distinguished according to the kind of idea denoted and the function performed in a sentence” is a noun.

Most words from the English language can be traced back into time. The etymology of a word is “the history of the linguistic form shown by tracing its development and relationships.” The word faux pas originated into the French language in the year 1674, so the word has been around for many centuries. It was not until the 1980’s that faux pas was borrowed into the English language from the French.

Many people get confused with the meaning of words. One reason is because a word can have more than one definition. A word’s definition is its “statement of the meaning of a word or word group.” In the French language, faux pas literally means “false step.” The French use this word as a formal word rather than an everyday expression. However, the English language defines this word as “a tactless error in manners or behavior; a social blunder.” Another definition is “a slip in speech, conduct, or manners.”

The English language would be dull and boring without the use of synonyms. Synonyms are used to avoid the repetition of words. Webster defines synonym as “one of two or more words in the same language which have the same or very nearly...
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