Friday, July 18, 2003

CNN reports that the French Culture Ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology "has announced a ban on the use of 'e-mail' in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites". Instead, the term "courriel" (which presumably has not been polluted by Anglophone culture) is to be used.

The French Academy has long stood as the purity police of the French language by inventing new terms to replace ones borrowed from abroad. As with previous inventions, many question whether "courriel" is really used that much (Google lists just under a million instances, but then, they're probably part of the anti-French conspiracy), or means what the Commission says it does.

I wonder how many countries have a "Commission on Terminology and Neology"? Vive le snobisme française!

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