Il a le tort d’être trop jeune.
ee lahl tore det-ruh tro ZHUHN. Click below to hear this.
The trouble/problem with him is that he’s too young.
The English version is bad enough. He gets criticized for being the wrong age. But the French is even worse, since it seems to blame him for inflicting a wrong on others by virtue of his age.
Have you ever heard of tort law? In the American legal system, a “tort” is an action that causes some sort of harm to another, but does not involve a breach of contract. A recent case (“ripped from the headlines!”) involved a woman hit in the head by a stray golf ball as she was gardening in her yard adjacent to a golf course. Did the golfer set out to hit her intentionally? Was he careless (negligent)? These are the questions asked by tort law.
The English word comes from the French, which in turn comes from the Latin, around the year 980 or before. And what’s the original meaning? Twisted! It means twisted! Tort (both French and English) has the same root as torque (again, both languages), which has to do with the twisting force that helps make your car go forward.
So sure. Let’s blame him. It’s all his fault, right? He should do something about this! He is twisted, going about causing harm to others by being too young. Before you know it, they’ll be saying Il a le tort d’être trop vieux (too old). He should just quit listening to them.
Tomorrow, more about tort. It’s an interesting word.
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