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French phrase of the Day: Angle mort

French phrase of the Day: Angle mort
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This phrase is usually less grim than it sounds.

Why do I need to know angle mort?

Because it’s useful in both practical safety-related contexts, if you’re taking a driving test, and in more general conversation.

What does it mean?

The literal translation of un angle mort is a ‘dead angle’ but it really means a blind spot.

If you drive you will probably have noticed stickers on the side of large vehicles warning other drivers of their angle mort – the blind spot where the driver cannot see you in his or her mirrors.

However, just like its English equivalent, angle mort can also be used metaphorically to describe a person’s ‘blind spot’ on an issue that their either don’t properly understand or just ignore.

It’s quite often used in political analysis if the writer feels that a certain politician doesn’t understand an issue or understand why it is important to voters, but it can be used in any daily context.

Use it like this

Le changement de voie, par exemple, pose le problème de l’angle mort, cette zone difficilement visible entre le champ de vision direct et celui procuré par le rétroviseur – Lane changing, for example, raises the question of the blind spot, an area of reduced visibility between the driver’s direct field of vision and that offered by the rearview mirror. 

L’angle mort de Macron – c’est l’immigration – Macron’s blind spot is immigration.

L’égalité des sexes sur le lieu de travail est son angle mort – Gender equality in the workpace is a blind spot for him

Synonyms

Le point faible – weak spot


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