Nicholas Sarkozy is one of France’s more colorful heads of state, and this is saying something given that French history includes Charlemagne, Louis XIV, Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle. The British news magazine, The Economist, has devoted many of its well-read columns to him. However, according to a letter to the editor in the November 19, 2011 issue, the magazine could use a bit more originality when it comes to its repeated description of the French president as “mercurial:”
SIR – I have noticed that “mercurial” has become a rather overused word to describe Nicolas Sarkozy in The Economist. It has been used no less than ten times since March this year alone, most recently in your October 22nd issue (“Sauce Hollandaise”). Although it aptly epitomises Mr Sarkozy, perhaps you will permit me to suggest some alternatives: capricious, changeable, erratic, expansive, fickle, impulsive, inconstant, irregular, irrepressible, lubricious, spirited, unpredictable, unstable, variable, volatile.
Can anyone write a letter to the editor as well as a literate Brit?