Je m'excuse

Poor Mlle. Madeleine Doerfler, who labored patiently to teach me French in high school, must now be blushing as only angels can. These days I use French so rarely, I've forgotten the rhythms of the language. I plucked secousse and crainte out of a dictionary as translations of "shock" and "awe." Not very good. Secousse is a shock like an earthquake; crainte may have been an awesome word once, but doesn't really convey the same impact as Rumsfeld's phrase. I see that Le Monde's gloss on "shock and awe" is choc -- which conveys collision, used in military lingo, which is a little different, but overlaps with Rumsfeld's meaning -- and terreur, which probably is what Rumsfeld meant by awe.