|French to English translations [PRO]|
Marketing - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Fashion
|French term or phrase: dénoncent de fait l’aveu que pouvait trahir|
Could someone help me to understand the second part of the sentence I give below:
Les dessous se camouflent, s’exhibent, s’allongent et se raccourcissent, instaurant un jeu entre l’interdit d’alors et la mode d’aujourd’hui, et ***dénoncent de fait l’aveu que pouvait trahir, autrefois, un simple vêtement.***
This is a text about the evolution of men's underwear.
Thanks a lot in advance!
I think the heart of the problem (apart from the extreme economy of French academic prose) is whether 'denoncer' here is meant in its neutral sense, ie to reveal/expose without any sense of 'accusation', or whether indeed it has the more immediate and negative sense of English 'denounce'.
The idea that is either being illustrated or repudiated by the particular 'semiotics' of underwear is the ability of a 'simple piece of clothing' to have a straightforward meaning, ie to be a simple, direct and involuntary ("trahi") confession, in the way that a "blue collar shirt" was once a direct and involuntary sign of being working class - and indeed this straightforward sign-function of clothing is located in the past - "autrefois".
On the one hand, the conceal/reveal 'play' described in the first part of the sentence points towards the negative sense - that underwear is a counterexample - 'repudiates' - a straightforward fashion semiotic. On the other hand the first part of the sentence could be read as describing the "eloquence" of the undergarment as a semiotic sign rather than its cryptic nature, which would tend towards the neutral sense, "illustrates". The rest of the context perhaps would help decide.
Note added at 1 hr (2006-09-03 20:32:03 GMT)
This posted before reading Bourth's comment, which is probably clearer and favours the negative sense...
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Local time: 09:04
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|Help with the sentence |
that since men's underwear (these days) covers the whole range of styles (in addition to whatever else it covers), there is no longer any question of "labelling" a man in accordance with the type of underwear he wears.
In days gone by, a young athletic man wore briefs (except in America, maybe, where practically all TV I have seen shows men of all ages, shapes and sizes wearing 'shorts' (caleçon) ) and the older, fuller man wore boxer shorts. Not to mention colours, stripes, motifs, kangaroo pouches, etc.
dénoncent de fait l’aveu que pouvait trahir, autrefois, un simple vêtement
literally (more or less)
denounce, in practice, the admission (of one's sexuality/sexiness, self esteem, self image, etc.) that could once be betrayed (= revealed) by a simple piece of clothing.
Pretty much the same can be said of tatoos, earrings, and pink shirts these days.
Local time: 01:04
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 204
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|Changes made by editors|
|Jun 2, 2011 - Changes made by Stéphanie Soudais:|
|Term asked||Help with the sentence » dénoncent de fait l’aveu que pouvait trahir|
|Field||Art/Literary » Marketing|
|Field (specific)||Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters|| |
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