Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Oct 2009 12:51 UTC
Editorial A couple of years ago, a professor at my university had a very interesting thought exchange with the class I was in. We were a small group, and I knew most of them, they were my friends. Anyway, we had a talk about language purism - not an unimportant subject if you study English in The Netherlands.
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RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 26th Oct 2009 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Member since:

It may come as a surprise to many, but that's exactly how french grows also.

Then explain why the French Academy dedicated resources to developing a French word to replace email? if adoption is so willing and open then why not accept it? it seems to me as more of a 'screw you' to the anglo-saxons than anything to do with anything reasonable.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:

That attributes (assumes maybe?) that the actions of the French Academy are supported by all french speaking people. Perision, Quebequa; The French Academy has your back. I suspect it's more a matter of the academy puritans doing what they can while the actual use evolves with or without them.

I see a similar struggle between those who know the correct history and usage of the word Hacker versus mass media's purly criminal portrayal based on a minority of information security enthusiasts within the sub-culture. The popularized use falls far short of the meaning and culture the word represents. Perhaps it provides some sympathy for the French Academy.

The other thing that amuses me is remembering that French was the dominant language in europe for a while. More so to think that English was actively hunted yet resulted in becoming the currently dominant language.

Also that someone today wouldn't have a clue what was being said if hearing 200 year old english spoken properly or french for that matter. Pronunciation alone has changed drastically.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Manik on Wed 28th Oct 2009 19:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Manik Member since:

Well, to take the example of the word "mail", one can hardly say the French Academy dedicated resources to develop some replacement : the word "courriel" existed, it had been invented by Quebeckers.

The French Academy only makes recommendations, and those are only valid for official documents (this has been the historical mission of the French Academy : unify the language in a country that had a lot of various idioms, so that the king, and the laws, would be understood by every official). There is absolutely no obligation for the French (who, generally, couldn't care less), not even for the publishers of dictionaries, to follow those recommendations. And "courriel", for example, has largely been ignored by the French, who will, preferably, use "mail"(though they write it, sometimes "mél").

The French Academy, by the way, does adopt english words, sometimes "frenchified", sometimes "as is", and a lot of french words that have been anglicized and that came back in a new form.

There is a comment in that very thread that gives an idea of what's going on in France, and it's not different than what you would see in Turkey, the Netherlands, and a lot of other countries.

Edited 2009-10-28 19:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1