Friday, December 26, 2008

Words I inexplicably love: clique

Specifically, I love it when used to denote a gang-like group, like in Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" ("What's up with this? / Tell the truth, who you with / How would you like it if I came over with my clique?") or in The Chemical Brothers'* "Not Another Drugstore" ("rollin' with my clique, the One-Inch Punch"). Partially I love it because of its root in the word claque -- from claquers, who were professional applauders hired for opera performances -- since I imagine Beyoncé rolling up to some dude's house with a raucous group of 18th-century Italian peasants who react with feigned rapture to everything she does. Which is probably not terribly unlike her real life.

Anyway, there are many satisfying words to describe a group of like-minded people: set, coterie, cadre, junta, posse comitatus, entourage.** These are all great. But just consider using clique every once in a while. It's worth it.

* In about 1999, the Chemical Brothers briefly tricked me into thinking electronic dance music could be cool. Deal with it.

** I sent my wife (Baby) a preview of this post, and she offered a couple suggestions for clique synonyms, leading to this exchange:

lazlo1979: why are there so many french words for this?
babyhouseman2: guess
lazlo1979: courtiers
lazlo1979: fucking courtisans again
babyhouseman2: france was run for like 1000 years as a big popularity contest
babyhouseman2: and then all the cool kids got their heads cut off
lazlo1979: that's brilliant
lazlo1979: you're better than kate beaton


  1. i guess i'm left wondering if it's Clique and Claque the Tappert Brothers, instead of Click and Clack. hrmmm....

  2. (1) France is still run like a big popularity contest. See, "Sarkozy, Nicolas." See also, the "Socialist Party."

    (2) You still have an interest in facile electronic dance music. See, "Talk, Girl." (And this time I have nothing to do with it.)