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France bans 'e-mail' from vocabulary Friday, July 18, 2003 Posted: 12:35 PM EDT (1635 GMT)
PARIS, France (AP) -- Goodbye "e-mail", the French government says, and hello "courriel" -- the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents.
The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.
The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail -- a claim some industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.
"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 ruled.
Calling it artificial The move to ban "e-mail" was announced last week after the decision was published in the official government register on June 20. Courriel is a term that has often been used in French-speaking Quebec, the commission said.
The 7-year-old commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that has been one of the top opponents of allowing English terms to seep into French.
Some Internet industry experts say the decision is artificial and doesn't reflect reality.
"The word 'courriel' is not at all actively used," Marie-Christine Levet, president of French Internet service provider Club Internet, said Friday. "E-mail has sunk in to our values."
She said Club Internet wasn't changing the words it uses.
"Protecting the language is normal, but e-mail's so assimilated now that no one thinks of it as American," she said. "Courriel would just be a new word to launch."
Just one more example of why the French are simultaneously a scourge on society and the biggest butt munchers on the planet.
The French language will either live or die on it's own merits.
-------------------- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers