I am getting soooo tired of learning vocabulary related to terrorist activity

It’s impossible to keep up with current events these days without a robust vocabulary related to terrorism and police actions.

Rocket launcher seized in a police raid in Lyon on November 13, 2015, three days after the attacks in Paris. Picture source: http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2015/11/26/01016-20151126ARTFIG00199-des-perquisitions-contestees-mais-efficaces-selon-les-policiers.php.

With the world apparently going violently crazy–this year is only 14 days old, and so far we’ve had terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Hurghada (Egypt), Marseille, Kabul–more than I have the patience to list, actually (Wikipedia says 28 of them), and that’s not even counting the nutjobs occupying federal property in Oregon, who haven’t actually killed anyone yet–the news from France is full of stories of searches, arrests, and the like.  A bit of trivia: according to Wikipedia, the English word terrorism comes from the French word terrorisme, which originally referred to the policies of the revolutionary government during the Reign of Terror (1793-1794).  Here’s some of the relevant vocabulary that keeps showing up in the news these days.  Definitions from WordReference.com:

  • la garde à vue: custody.  Not to be confused with:
  • le garde-à-vous: attention (the military posture).  If you’re French: to us Americans, this sounds just like garde à vue–really.
  • être placé en garde à vue: to be held in custody.
  • mettre en garde à vue: to put in custody or to send back to custody–I’m not sure about this one.
  • perquisitionner: to search.
  • la perquisition: a police raid, a police search.
  • faire une perquisition: to carry out a search.
  • le mandat de perquisition: search warrant.
  • les menottes (f): handcuffs.
  • passer les menottes à qqn: to handcuff someone.



2 thoughts on “I am getting soooo tired of learning vocabulary related to terrorist activity”

  1. So it averages to 2 a day, only counting the attacks that make it into major news headlines. Didn’t know that the Terreur period was the origin of the word – it sounded hair-raising when studied at school …

    Liked by 1 person

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