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Comme ci, comme ça

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  • Comme ci, comme ça is a French phrase that literally means like this, like that. In conversation it means so-so, or neither good, nor bad. It is pronounced /kôm ˈsē kômˈsä/ (come see come saw). It should be used with the comma separating the two phrases. Sometimes the phrase is spelled comme ci, comme ca, where the cedilla mark is omitted; however, this is incorrect. Perhaps it will become commonplace as facade did, but for now, keep the cedilla in place.

    Normally the use of foreign words in English would require the use of italics; however, this phrase does not. Though somewhat uncommon comme ci, comme ça has been adopted into the English language. (Note the italics in the previous sentence is the stylistic norm for this site.)

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    Quotations should only be used if quoting a person, which may be often since this phrase is largely used in an informal manner.

    Examples

    Since they call everyone “SAWFT,” The Legionnaires say they are just “comme ci, comme ça.” [Slam]

    The found-footage horror flick As Above, So Below, set in the labyrinthine Parisian catacombs, took second place with a comme ci, comme ça $3.2 million. [EW]

    Cooler heads noted that while employment data was positive, it was lower than consensus estimates, ergo the Fed may be less eager to start raising rates. Comme ci, comme ça. [Morning Star]

    In the meantime, they tease one another. “You love me or not?” asked Marjorie Biederman, as she sat near her husband in the lobby of Marriott’s Fairfield Inn and Suites. “Comme ci, comme ca,” answered Terry Biederman, tongue in cheek. [Napa Valley Register]

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