Un Américan tranquille

Can you spot a mistake in the above book title: Un Américan tranquille ?

When I first borrowed this novel by Graham Greene (‘A Quiet American’) from Portsmouth and Southsea library I had to go to my Collins-Robert dictionary to find out why a man had been described by what to me looked like a feminine adjective.

In the dictionary I discovered there is no such French word as ‘tranquil’ (I feel a joke trying to get out). All things (masculine or feminine) that are ‘quiet, peaceful, tranquil’ are described as ‘tranquille’.

So if, as I did, you thought the publishers had made a mistake, it is in fact us who are in the wrong.

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