Revised as of 13 July 2017
Oui, it’s one of those masculine/feminine differentiations the French are so keen on. Per usual, add an extra e on the end of chargé to indicate the feminine.
I figured the chargé d’affaires word confusion might as well follow the attaché confusion since they are so similar in definition and gender differentiation.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Chargé d’affaires||Chargée d’affaires|
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
Plural for the noun: chargés d’affaires
Plural for the noun: chargées d’affaires
A male diplomatic official who temporarily takes the place of an ambassador
A female diplomatic official who temporarily takes the place of an ambassador
|He is the chargé d’affaires for Ruritania.||She is the chargée d’affaires for Ruritania.|
|History of the Word:|
|Mid-18th century from the French meaning a person in charge of affairs or in charge of business.|
You may want to explore other masculine-feminine word confusions from the French such as “Fiancé versus Fiancée“, “Blond versus Blonde (which includes Brunet vs Brunette)”, “Attach vs Attaché vs Attachée“, “Cher, Chéri versus Chère, Chérie“, “Confidant vs Confidante vs Confident“, or “Protégé versus Protégée“.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
Inauguration in the Presence of the Minister of National Education of Madagascar, the Japanese Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Takanari Kakuda and the Principal of Nanisan High School is Nanisana’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license and Virginia M. Blaser, the Chargée d’Affaires to the Republic of Uganda, was taken by U.S. Mission Uganda under the CC BY 2.0 license; both are via Wikimedia Commons.