2 thoughts on “Bang bang

  1. Urrrggh—they mistranslated “esprit d’escalier.” They called it “staircase ghost,” based on the fact that the word “esprit” can mean “spirit.” But “esprit” also means “wit,” as in the French expression “faire de l’esprit,” i.e., to be witty or to engage in wit. Also, “esprit d’escalier” is most decidedly NOT a simple comeback: it’s the comeback that you think of when it’s too late: you’ve lost the argument and you’re stomping up (or down) the stairs in a huff when the perfect retort suddenly comes to you. At that point, though, halfway up (or down) the stairs, such a comeback is useless, and that’s the implicit humor that underlies the French expression: to experience “staircase wit” is to experience a kind of rhetorical 20/20 hindsight as you suddenly realize what you should have said.

  2. Hilarious! Obviously, I missed all that. But I am acutely aware of the “staircase wit” concept your describe. With me, I wake up in the middle of the night and go “damn, why didn’t I say THAT!”

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