who won the french election
Emmanuel Macron (Image: AP/Christophe Ena)

This week French politicians and pundits have, like Captain Renault at Rick’s cafe in Casablanca, fallen over one another to express their shock, shock, that cussing is going on in France. What’s worse, the cussing is coming not from the corner cafe but instead from inside the presidential palace, the Elysée.

Merde, alors.

In fact, the French word merde, meaning “shit” -- or, more precisely, the related verb emmerder -- is the swear word in question. Remarkably, with this word, President Emmanuel Macron seems to have sworn war against a minority of his fellow French.