Good morning, and happy Tuesday. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, and were able to observe Memorial Day. This week’s words will all be French words that are now part of the English language, and since I was not in the office yesterday to record the word of the day, today includes two words. Have a great week!

laissez-faire  or laisser-faire (les-ay-FAIR)

noun: 1. the practice of noninterference in the affairs of others.
2. the economic policy allowing businesses to operate with little governmental intervention.

Etymology
From French, literally “allow to do”. Earliest documented use: 1825.

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Perhaps we need to reappraise our laissez-faire attitude to domestic cats and be more proactive in trying to contain the burgeoning feral population.”
James Parry; Britain’s Burgeoning Feral Cats; The Independent (London, UK); Oct 25, 2012.

 

politesse (pol-i-TES, po-lee-)

noun: formal politeness or courtesy

Etymology
From Old French politesse (cleanness, polished state), from Italian politezza (polish, smoothness), from Latin polire (to polish). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pel- (skin or hide), which also gave us pelt, pillion, and film. Earliest documented use: 1683

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“How did the loud, fast-talking James Haskell fit in amid the politesse of Japanese culture, with its bowing and eye-lowering?”
Jonathan McEvoy; James Haskell, Written Off as a Loudmouth, Travelled the Globe to Transform His Game; Mail on Sunday (London, UK); Mar 1, 2015.

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