As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Monica Lamb-Yorksi photo)

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Monica Lamb-Yorksi photo)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Trumped up

While Mr. Trump didn’t invent the expression, he sure knows how to trump things up

The Cariboo Chilcotin lost another special person last week with the passing of George Keener. A kind, good-hearted man, George was a walking encyclopedia of First Nation, ranching and Williams Lake history. He will be missed.

***

The shenanigans south of our border keep going on with outgoing President Donald Trump continuing to balk about losing the election. He’s been behaving in a somewhat demented manner to prove his point. His actions brought to mind an old phrase, “Trumped up.” According to both Oxford and Merriam/Webster dictionaries, trumped up means making false accusations, or fraudulently concocted spurious charges (e.g. “He was arrested on trumped up charges.”)

The expression dates back to the early 18th century, and comes from the idiomatic trump up, “devise deceitfully or dishonestly.” While Mr. Trump didn’t invent the expression, he sure knows how to trump things up.

***

On our side of the border Erin O’Toole, the new Conservative Party leader, seems a lot like his predecessor, Andrew Scheer, only without the dimples. He’s good at criticizing the Liberals’ shortcomings in dealing with the COVID pandemic, but he hasn’t much to say about what his plans are for anything else. Unfortunately Canada has a few other pressing problems, including the economy and the environment.

As for Prime Minister Trudeau, I wish he’d shave the beard. It does nothing for him, in my opinion.

***

During the horrendous Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918/19 and beyond, municipalities closed everything except essential services. Everything meant schools, churches and all sporting and amusement events. Provinces enforced laws that included wearing masks in public. According to the reports I’ve read, Canadians complained, but I couldn’t find any accounts of public protests or defiance of the rules. Would that have been because there was no social media to stir things up?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.


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