La question n’est pas là.
lah kess-tee-aw nay pah LAH. Click below to hear this.*
That’s not the question.
Uh-oh, this is starting to sound a bit argumentative. Are you both getting a little hot under the collar? Maybe you could at least agree on what the question is…or, since we are speaking French, where the question is. Because the French says, The question isn’t there.
Isn’t where? How can you lose a question? The logical, rational, Cartesian French mind (that is how they like to think of themselves, anyway) imagines a discussion as a map, or a diagram. The question isn’t here, it’s there. Where are you going with this? I don’t follow you. In point of fact, some of this is the same language we use in English to conduct a discussion. We just don’t mislay our questions; we deny their identity.
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll give you the rebuttal to this protest. Sit tight.
*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: