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    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #1

    faux naIf

    what this phrase means:
    It is a faux naif question
    i think that this italic part is in french but why the writer uses it while writing in english?is there any specific reason?it's ethymology?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: faux naIf

    Quote Originally Posted by nimsooze View Post
    what this phrase means:
    It is a faux naif question
    i think that this italic part is in french but why the writer uses it while writing in english?is there any specific reason?it's ethymology?
    You're right in thinking that it's originally French; the writer was too clever for his own good! Lots of French words have been borrowed directly into English; my habit of keeping generations of old dictionaries (much to my wife's chagrin [there's one]) lets me chart the slow Anglicization of, for example 'rle' by way of 'rle' to 'role'. Like 'role' (a part in a play), the most successful borrowings lose their italics over time; faux naf, because of its limited use, has always kept its italics.

    The phrase faux naf refers to a person - a man or boy (it's male) who pretends to be more innocent than he really is. The phrase is used in literary contexts, and maybe in glossy magazines given away with serious newspapers at weekends. It's rather pretentious.

    I've never known it used to refer to an inanimate - still less an abstract - noun like 'question' (which in any case is feminine!)

    b

  2. queenbu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: faux naIf

    faux-naif:Marked by a false show of innocent simplicity: "Their gee-whiz, faux-naif comportment is not always convincing" Madison Smartt Bell.

    I think here it's used in the same way, no?


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #4

    Re: faux naIf

    then?

  3. queenbu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: faux naIf

    Then what? The question was marked by a false show of innocent simplicity.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: faux naIf



    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #7

    Re: faux naIf

    Does it mean that the one who asks [I]faux-naif [I] question , know the answer even before asking?

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: faux naIf

    A faux naif questions is an absurdly simple question.

  6. queenbu's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: faux naIf

    faux in french means false
    naif means innocent,ingenuous
    It should be seen in the context but that sort of question is usually made to feel the other feel embarassed, uneasy or to hide the fact that he already knows about the situation or to see the other person's point of view. Yes, probably the one who asks already knows the answer.

    For example, something happens at work and you know all about it. A colleague comes up to you and says 'Have you heard what happened?' and you say,'No. Why? What happened?' to hear your colleague's version.

  7. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: faux naIf

    Quote Originally Posted by nimsooze View Post
    Does it mean that the one who asks [I]faux-naif [/I] question[s], know[s] the answer even before asking?
    Yes and no. There might not be an answer. The questioner is pretending to be nave. It's synonymous with disingenuous in this sense, pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naf.

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