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Russia issues diplomatic notice of air strikes in Syria ...


Lookups spiked on September 30, 2015.


Russia’s airstrikes in Syria were preceded by a diplomatic message advising U.S. forces to clear the area in a communication officially known as a démarche. The warning was made less than an hour before the strikes began.

Démarche is pronounced day-MAHRSH and can be spelled with or without the French accent mark on the letter e. It means “a petition or protest presented through diplomatic channels.” In French, the word literally means “gait” or “walk” but also has the figurative meaning of “step” or “action.”

French was the official language of international diplomacy for centuries, and U.S. passports still have labels in French alongside English. Words like embassy, diplomat, _and _passport all came to English from French.

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