Ce tableau jure avec le sofa.

Ce tableau jure avec le sofa.

staa-blow zhew rah-veck luh so-FAH. Click below to hear this.*

That painting clashes with the sofa.

I think this decorator is planning to get rid of the painting, rather than the sofa. Never mind that it’s a valuable and rare original Boticelli. This decorator will consign it to the rec room in the basement.

How can we tell what she has in mind? Because of the sentence order. The other option, of course, would be Ce sofa jure avec le tableau, in which case we would be saying That sofa clashes with the painting. Of course the bottom line is that neither goes with the other, but our human tendency to lay blame leads us to accuse things, as well as people, of misbehavior.

In English, they clash with each other. The word conjures up the flashing and clanging of swords glinting in the sunlight, as we flinch at the sharp sights and sounds. And in French? The verb jurer means to swear (in court, for example) or to curse (probably not in court, anyway). Does that mean this is a cussing contest? Can’t you just hear the sofa and the painting shouting swear words back and forth, each hoping to displace the other?

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:



One response to “Ce tableau jure avec le sofa.

  1. la soeur ainee

    Another of your useful and amusing imageries…the painting and sofa glaring and growling at each other. Interesting that the painting swears “avec” the sofa. Does that imply that also a person might swear “with” fate, a dog with a firm grip on one’s ankle, a sudden rain shower just as the picnic was laid out? If one were inclined to cuss or swear, of course.

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