Anorak News | French Letters

French Letters

by | 21st, July 2003

‘LIKE Canute trying to stop the tide, the French government is desperately fighting the spread of English words in the language. Its latest step is to ban the word ‘e-mail’ in all its ministries, documents, publications and websites and replace it with ‘courriel’.

The Culture Ministry 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 trouble is that most of France hasn’t got a clue what it means. Marie-Christine Levet, president of French ISP Club Internet, said: ‘Protecting the language is normal, but e-mail’s so assimilated now that no one thinks of it as American. Courriel would just be a new word to launch.’

Posted: 21st, July 2003 | In: Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink