Monday, October 22, 2007

"Objectif Zéro-sale-con"How to Change the World

drawing by marguerita

Here is Monsieur Robert Sutton

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Objectif Zéro-sale-con: A New Blog for French Edition of The No Asshole Rule

I wrote a post a few weeks back about the forthcoming French edition, which will published by Vuibert in April and is called Objectif Zéro-sale-con. I love the explanation from my publisher about the process through which they developed the title. As I said, Geoff Staines explained:

French_cover2_3 The literal translation of asshole is "trou du cul", a form of endearment generously employed throughout the French-speaking world, but during an impromptu Vuibert seminar on the subject its meaning was felt to be halfway between sneak and jerk, besides which it is not used in relation to women. The very commonly used "con", in many ways the natural choice, usually means plain stupid and lacks the disruptive/destructive/mean-minded nuance. The more selective expression "sale con", however, does it all because the qualifier "sale" (dirty) emphasises the intentional nature of the con-ness. And as for "zéro" instead of "règle" (rule) or "facteur" (which means factor but also postman), we went for it because it harks back, amongst other things, to "zéro défaut" (from the quality circles' elimination of faults).

Vuibert has also just launched a blog about Objectif Zéro-sale-con. It looks fantastic. For starters, it has a translation of my post about why I call them assholes, the self-test now known as the ARSE Test, and an excerpt, with more to come. As those of you who have read my posts about the reaction to Der Arscholch-Faktor in Germany know, I've been quite interested to learn what it takes to be known as workplace jerk in different cultures, and the different ways that they are handled in different cultures. I hope that those of you from France (and from other French-speaking regions, such as Quebec in Canada) will enlighten us in French on both the new Objectif Zéro-sale-con blog, as well as on this blog in English.
Meanwhile, I will turn to one of my favorite Stanford students, Tsedal Beyene to help me translate what written in French about the book -- Tsedal went to French schools when she was growing up and speaks it fluently, along with another four or five languages.

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