No clever title about the bombings in Brussels, but here’s some relevant vocabulary

Scene from Zaventem airport in Brussels after the bombings of March 22, 2016. There is some concern that with the security in restricted areas of airports as high as it is now, terrorists will now start attacking the public areas, as they did today. Picture source:

The radio show that I listen to in the mornings (Les matins de France culture) starts with the various and sundry reporters going around and saying a few words about what they’ll be talking about.  Yesterday one of the reporters said this: I’ll be talking about the attacks in, um…in, um…well, there are so many of them.  [Nervous chuckle.]  This morning I woke up to the news of the latest attacks in Brussels: two bombings at the airport, then one at a metro station.  All major European capitals are on heightened security at the moment, especially at transit points, but other than that, planes are flying (except to and from Brussels), the trains are moving (except in Brussels, where all subways, busses, and trams are shut down, and people are being advised to stay at home), etc.

It’s depressing to note that I now know most of the words in any given story about a terrorist attack.  However, Zipf’s Law never really goes away, so here are some words from stories about this morning’s bombings.  For the full story from the source, click here.

  • survenir: to occur, to arise.

 Une explosion survenue dans le métro, à la station Maelbeek, aurait fait une dizaine de morts et de nombreux blessés.

“An explosion that took place in the metro, at the Maelbeek station, has caused a dozen deaths and numerous injured.”

  • réaffirmer: to reaffirm.

Nos pensées vont naturellement aux victimes, à leurs proches ainsi qu’à l’ensemble des autorités belges auxquelles nous réaffirmons notre solidarité.

“Naturally our thoughts are with the victims, with their dear ones, and we reaffirm our solidarity to all of the Belgian authorities.”

  • faire le point sur: to take stock of, to review.

Nous venons de faire le point sur notre dispositif en place aux frontières et dans les transports.

“We have just reviewed our security team in place at the frontiers and in the means of transport.”

  • rehausser: to raise, to boost.

Nous n’avions pas attendu cette attaque pour réhausser notre niveau de sécurité.

“We didn’t wait for this attack to boost our level of security.”  Note: the news story spells the word réhausser, but gives it as rehausser.





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