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I asked someone Est-ce que j'ai tort?, and the response was, "Oui, tu as tord."

I thought maybe it was a spelling mistake, but he said that there are two ways of writing it. I can't seem to find anything in English explaining the difference between the two. Is there a difference, or are the two interchangeable?

I found this: http://www.ladictee.fr/grammaire/truc_astuce_grammaire/tort_ou_tord.html but I don't know enough French to know what it means, and Google's auto-translate isn't very helpful.

  • Was this written or spoken? Perhaps you may have just heard wrong; otherwise tort is the correct spelling for wrong. – Mason H. Hatfield May 13 '16 at 11:00
  • @MasonH.Hatfield It was written, which is why I confirmed with him that it wasn't a spelling error. It's odd because he is French. – Fodder May 15 '16 at 9:42
  • That's extremely odd... Especially since he is allegedly French. But many English speakers don't know how to spell things; perhaps that's the case. – Mason H. Hatfield May 16 '16 at 1:18
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TORT means wrong. It's used with avoir in french, and be in english

Parfois, on voudrait avoir tort.

Sometimes, you just want to be wrong.

TORD means bend (verb TORDRE in conjugated form)

Il peut tordre une barre de fer de ses mains.

He can bend an iron rod with his hands.

So in your example :

" Est-ce que j'ai tort ? " is right but " Oui, tu as tort " is the right answer. Your friend is wrong.

1

There was some early overlapping use as a feminine adjective mentioned in Dictionnaires d'autrefois (jambe/bouche/gueule torte = jambe/bouche/gueule tordue), but the only vaguely “logical” modern connection that I can find between the notions of “tort” and “tord[…]” is in the French-Canadian expression ...
“se mettre les doigts dans le tordeur” ...
which, according to Pierre DesRuisseaux in Dictionnaire des expressions québécoise (I have a copy, but can’t find an online version), means “to adopt an untenable [=wrong?] position or point of view” (literally “to put one’s own fingers in/through the wringer”).

However, in spite of this early adjectival connection and my lame attempt to concoct a modern one, I agree with @Chris’ answer that your correspondent is simply wrong and I think you could respond by telling them that if they’re claiming that “tort” and “tord” are interchangeable as two officially recognized spellings of the same word, then they’re perhaps not just mangling their own fingers but the French language as well!

  • Hahaha, thanks for that interesting point of view. :) – Fodder May 15 '16 at 9:43

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