Green Room

The official French for “hashtag”

posted at 5:07 pm on January 25, 2013 by

There are plenty of things that really get my goat when it comes to the French (that whole “Socialism”-with-a-capital-S thing figuring pretty largely among them), but I must say — when it comes to their proud and robust we-do-what-we-want insistence on French being the one official language… I kind of have total respect for them. Via the AP:

The French government is redefining hashtag with a Gallic touch. The country that has an academy devoted solely to the use of the French language has given its official seal of approval to a new word for the Twittersphere: mot-diese.

Pronounced ‘Mo-Dee-YEZ’, it doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. But that’s not the point. French law requires that government agencies use French terms — and teachers are required to spread the word. New words are approved by the Academie Francaise and written into the lawbooks.

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Makes sense:

Mot = word, diese = sharp, like the symbol in music (♯)

theperfecteconomist on January 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Le hash-tague?

UltimateBob on January 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Too bad we don’t have a government agency to tell us what words to use. Oh wait.

aryeung on January 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

What, this again? I don’t see why they get so bothered over English tech-words leaking into french. Look at how many French words have leaked into English.

AndStatistics on January 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM

New words are approved by the Academie Francaise and written into the lawbooks.

Stunning. Just…stunning.

Imagine the vocabulary you use being decided upon by a bunch of self-appointed guardians of language. Imagine being a teacher and being told what new words you will teach the young.

If this does not demonstrate the massive differences in European and American cultures, I don’t know what does.

MelonCollie on January 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

whats “bleen” in French?

BobMbx on January 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

MelonCollie on January 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Do you think school should only teach classes in english?

(except for foreign language classes, naturally)

lorien1973 on January 26, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Do you think school should only teach classes in english?

(except for foreign language classes, naturally)

lorien1973 on January 26, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Different issue.

Declaring a national language is one thing. Literally having your vocabulary handed down to you is another. I really am starting to realize how different we used to be.

MelonCollie on January 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM

Those French have a different word for everything.

Odysseus on January 26, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Rather Orwellian, don’t you think, having an government office of official language?

Count to 10 on January 26, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Let’s get them back by eliminating French words from English:

MAYDAY Help!
FAUX PAS mistake
VOILA check it out
SOMMELIER wine squire
AIDE-DE-CAMPE camp helper
GERARD DEPARDIEU Jerry Black

Greek Fire on January 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Rather Orwellian, don’t you think, having an government office of official language?

Count to 10 on January 26, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Exactly, why lorien doesn’t get this is mind-boggling.

I don’t know about you but that sounds STRAIGHT out of 1984!

MelonCollie on January 26, 2013 at 8:25 AM

BTW, shows you what the French think of the Quebecois, where the far more euphonious “mot-clic” is already deep-seated.

Greek Fire on January 26, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Of course. Mot-diese translated into Obama English means, “Mo-money.”

HopeHeFails on January 26, 2013 at 11:28 AM

French is a dead language. Face it.

Bmore on January 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Well unless Monty Python comes back on the scene.

Bmore on January 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Declaring a national language is one thing. Literally having your vocabulary handed down to you is another. I really am starting to realize how different we used to be.

MelonCollie on January 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM

Good point. Perhaps the linguistic intolerance of the French is related to their socialist intolerance.

Regulating choice-of-words is the well-spring of modern tyranny.

virgo on January 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Why do I suspect that the French are more aggressive in keeping English words (esp. US-derived English ones) out of usage than they are in keeping Arabic terms out of usage?

SoRight on January 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM