What the killers said


On page 10 of the new issue of Charlie Hebdo – under the subhead Allah Akbar! –

The killers shouted twice before executing the team – “God is the greatest!” Bah, no, fuckhead, if he existed, you really think he would have let your bottomless stupidity murder the brilliant intelligence of Wolinski, Cabu, Honoré, Charb, Tignous, Bernard Maris, Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad?

It actually says “he wouldn’t have” rather than “he would have” but I figure that’s an idiom I’m not aware of.

“Allah Akbar” was Charb’s cri de guerre, his salutations in emails and texts – “Allah Akbar, do you think you can manage to get your article in tomorrow?” One day at the magazine, for a laugh, we said “Char, quit saying that, the day they arrive to whack you, we won’t know whether it’s a joke or not.” And it arrived. We knew it, we at Charlie did – that humor is something very serious.

Bien entendu they did.

H/t Brian E.

 

Comments

  1. Brian E says

    If French is anything like Spanish, then a double negative reinforces the negative, not negate it, as in English.
    That was a rather negative sentence.
    C.F. No vi a nadie (I didn’t see noone) which means I didn’t see anyone.

  2. says

    It’s not a double negative, because all negatives are double in French – ne + rien or personne or pas or whatever. But it must work the same way, because that’s the only way it makes sense.

  3. Brian E says

    Yes, well written Salty. I have to admit that I jumped to the conclusion that Charlie Hebdo was racist. I thought they were equal opportunity offenders. I never thought they brought it on themselves, as if giving offense merited death.
    It was a knee-jerk reaction, see an image that’s racist, and attribute racism. It’s strange that in doing so, I placed leftist progressives in the same box as far-right like the national front….

  4. brucegee1962 says

    I always thought the double negative rule reinforced the “England is an island of shopkeepers, France is the land of passion” notion. To a mathematician, sure, two negatives equal a positive. To everybody else, if we hear “I didn’t not never say that,” we don’t bother counting up negatives.

  5. Brian E says

    Ophelia, a contrary-to-fact conditional phrase might be what they’re doing….

    If he existed, he wouldn’t let such bottomless stupidity murder the brilliant intelligence of Wolinski, Cabu, Honoré, Charb, Tignous, Bernard Maris, Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad, don’t ya think?

    But with the way it’s phrased, that gets lost. Maybe?

  6. Brian E says

    To everybody else, if we hear “I didn’t not never say that,” we don’t bother counting up negatives.

    I hear that as

    I certainly did say that.

    Except if I’m talking with an old salt, and I make allowance for the idiom.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Brian E @ # 1: … a double negative reinforces the negative, not negate it, as in English.

    Ain’t no way!

  8. Brian E says

    Ain’t no way!

    I know, I’m full of shit. I meant to put an emoticon in my comment #9, so you’d know I was taking the piss, but I forgot. And I’m hogging this thread, so I’ll shut up. :)

  9. woozy says

    Well, I interpreted it as:

    “Bah, no, fuckhead, if he existed, [do] you really think he would have let your bottomless stupidity murder the brilliant intelligence of Wolinski, Cabu, Honoré, Charb, Tignous, Bernard Maris, Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad?”

  10. Jean says

    It actually means: “…don’t you think he wouldn’t have…”

    When it says: “tu penses bien” it actually means: “don’t you think”. You can’t translate it word by word.

  11. says

    Ah! No, I know you can’t, that’s what I said – “It actually says “he wouldn’t have” rather than “he would have” but I figure that’s an idiom I’m not aware of.” It would have been clearer if I’d said “I figure there’s something idiomatic about the construction that I’m not aware of.” Thanks; it’s good to have that explained.

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