Why does the President annoy me so? If I turn on the television and he is talking, I immediately change the channel. I was trying to figure out where this visceral reaction comes from. Today it came to me. A French phrase, for which we have no equivalent in English: He speaks en haut de bas. It actually means from high to low, but is generally considered to describe haughtiness-- the aristocrat looking down his nose at us peasants. It is infuriating.