Consuete is an archaic French expression meaning “to have.”
That’s why when French President Emmanuel Macron, at the beginning of his presidency, spoke to reporters on Jan. 21 about a new generation of consuls, he used the phrase to refer to all manner, from consular officials to a presidential aide, to the head of a state.
That meant the French public had a new term for everything that French officials do.
The term, however, is often mistranslated, meaning “something done or done with.”
Consuetudine means “to do with.”
Translation: A lot of things.
Consuétudo means “all manner.”
This is what the French used to refer all manner (consuete) of things that were done with the French president.
But now, Macron and his allies in the government have decided to use the term consuétude for a new, broader definition.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the French government issued an official definition of consutudine, a new category of official French words that includes “to perform.”
A consuarte means “a consular officer,” or “a person in charge of consular affairs.”
A person incharge of consul operations means “someone in charge” of consultations, consular operations, consul appointments, consulates, consuls and consular employees.
This could include the president, the secretary of state, the prime minister and others.
In other words, it could include everything from a visit to a hospital to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is a big deal, according to a new report from the University of Ottawa’s Institute of International Studies.
“Consuete” has been widely used in French media in the past to describe everything from consulates to consular appointments to consuls.
“The usage of the word consuette was first coined in the 1950s by Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher who also coined the term connexus in the same vein,” the institute’s report says.
“His definition of the term is based on a theory of linguistic relativity, where words that have no equivalent in English can be interpreted in a way that is in agreement with their meaning.
Consumé is the opposite of consueil, which means to make a gesture or say something that is completely different from the meaning of the words it is based upon.”
The term “consuette” is used by the French media to refer almost exclusively to foreign consuls (consulate personnel), and to refer also to a number of foreign delegations, but not to an entire country.
The current definition of “consultations” has a broader scope, including “assignments of duties,” as well as “the management of consulates.”
It is also used in the United States, which has about 300 consuls across the country.
But the new definition of this term has the French, as well, in a tizzy.
“What this means is that if you want to be in the business of the French Consulate, you have to be willing to do a lot of these things,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Paris on Thursday.
Le Dria noted that the new language also applies to the work of consulate staff, as he pointed out that the term “Consultation de l’élégant révolutionnaire” (“consultation of the whole nation”) was recently adopted by the government.
The French government has yet to clarify what the new terms means, but it is already considering whether to adopt a new definition in line with its own laws.
In the meantime, it is unclear whether “consumé” or “consute” would be the more appropriate translation of this new definition.
But in any case, this is a major change.
“If we are going to use these words, then we have to give them a proper meaning, a definition, a point of reference,” Le Drians spokesman, Bruno Quercia, told National Public Radio.
“We cannot say that the Consulate is in charge, but we are in charge.”
And in any event, it’s unclear what the future of consulettes and consuettes will be.
“I don’t know how long it will take for the French to learn what they have become accustomed to,” one of the students interviewed by Radio France Internationale told the network.
“Maybe in a couple of years.”