Jane Kramer’s New Yorker article “Taking the Veil,” about the French law (Article 141-5-1 of Law No. 2004-228) forbidding conspicuous religious symbols in public schools (not online), has a couple of problems dealing with French that I thought were worth mentioning here. First is the odd quote on p. 64, claiming that Chirac called the veil “the siege of a politics of Islamization.” The first noun clearly represents the French word siège, which in most contexts (and certainly this one) means ‘seat, locus’; I can’t imagine how this mistranslation got past the editorial staff of one of America’s most prestigious magazines—as written, it doesn’t even mean anything. The other glitch is a quote from a feminist lawyer named Linda Weil-Curiel, who says (according to the magazine) “I’ll take Chirac, with all his casseroles, because his position on [the veil] has been, well, noble.” Casseroles? I’ve packed up my French slang dictionaries, so I can’t look it up, but I shouldn’t need to; the New Yorker shouldn’t be using any foreign slang whose meaning is neither known to every literate English-speaker nor obvious from context. Tsk, is all I can say. That and: can anyone tell me what casseroles means in this context?