Reading Michael Bérubé this week reminds me of the old French proverb: Cet animal est tres mechant. Quand on l’attaque, il se defend (“This animal is very naughty. When you attack it, it defends itself.”).
Just a clarification – mechant should be translated as mean or vicious. It works better that way.
Yes, “vicious” is probably the mot juste. I discarded mean both because it didn’t sound right, had an alternate meaning (cheap in Britlish), and only one syllable. Didn’t think of vicious, but I like it.
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