September 18, 2003

No more e-mail in France

The French government has banned the use of the word 'e-mail' in all its ministries, documents, publications and websites.

"In the latest step 'to stem an incursion of English words into the French language', the Culture Ministry says the term should be replaced with 'courriel'. The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France already use the phrase courrier electronique (electronic mail) instead of e-mail. The commission ruled: 'Evocative, with a very French sound, the word courriel is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed mail in English.' The commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that has been one of the top opponents to the seeping of English terms into the French language."

God forbid languages evolve.

Note also that the Oxford Dictionary staff estimates that roughly 28% of English words come from a French origin.

Maybe we should purge the English language of French words. Here's a list of words the American government should ban. After all, we should keep the American language pure, shouldn't we?

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