Sense and Sensibility

I was enjoying some French conversation last night, on Bastille Day, when someone tried to think of the French translation for sensible. This is a tricky one because there is a French word sensibilité, but it’s a common false friend for French speakers, as it actually means sensitive in English.

That might seem odd to you, because sensible and sensitive are quite different in meaning in English. However, if we take a little trip into the past, we can see that the difference wasn’t always so marked. Continue reading