Thursday, November 20, 2014

touché: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, November 20, 2014

In formal fencing matches, when someone is hit by an opponent’s sword it is traditional for the person hit to cry out touché (French for “touched”) to acknowledge that fact. In other contexts, we may say touché when somebody scores a point against us in an argument, or otherwise skewers us verbally.

It is inappropriate to cry touché when you think you are the one who has skewered your opponent. Touché is not a synonym for “gotcha!”

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