France bans English words in bid to "protect language"
PARIS -- The French authorities are continuing with measures to "preserve and modernize" their language - and are banning English words as part of this effort.
After terms "Facebook", "Twitter", and "e-mail" were outlawed earlier, "hashtag" is next in line to be banished from official French documents.
The French will be given a new word to replace hashtag - "mot-dièse".
The authorities are thus battling a rising tide of English terms that are entering the language via online communication.
Not only that, but according to reports, the French Commission for Terminology and Neologisms also hopes to "strengthen the presence of the French language in social networks".
It was this commission that in 2003 banned the word "e-mail" and introduced "courriel" instead. In 2011, the commission had "Facebook" and "Twitter" in its sights - now these words can only appear in the media "if mentioning them is of key importance for the event that is being reported".
However, the newest ban applies to official documents, and French netizens are not under obligation to comply - a majority have continued to use "hashtag", while jokes have sprung up at the expense of its French substitute.
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