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You know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese...?

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 11 years ago

It's funny.  Laugh. 59

France, in a move to keep their language genuine, has renamed the term 'email' to 'la royale with spam.'France, in a move to keep their language genuine, has renamed the term 'email' to 'la royale with spam.'

Submitted, but I doubt it'll be chosen.

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The whole schpeel: (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471654)

Vincent: And you know what they call a... a... an email in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it an email?
Vincent: No man, they got the surrendering system. They wouldn't know what the fark an email is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a "Royale" with spam.
Jules: A "Royale" with spam! What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it "le Big-Mac".
Jules: "Le Big-Mac"! Ha ha ha ha! What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn't go into Burger King.

Re:The whole schpeel: (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471829)

"royale a la spam", I believe.

Re:The whole schpeel: (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471973)

Vincent: But you know what they put on instant messages in Holland instead of buddy icons?
Jules: What?
Vincent: Mayonnaise.
Jules: Damn!
Vincent: I seen 'em do it. And I don't mean a little bit on the side of the window, they frellin' drown 'em in it.

Re:The whole schpeel: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6472563)

Jesus tapdancing christ, the word is Spiel.

Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471674)

I honestly thought this was a joke. Ah well, just one more reason to laugh at the French. I wonder how they feel about German words... <rimshot>

Re:Wow. (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472436)

Ah well, just one more reason to laugh at the French.
Why? Because they want to preserve their language (and part of their culture) and not let it crumble into some Frenglish hybrid? I don't think this all that funny (though I did get the Pulp Fiction ref!), but it is a bit amusing that they waited this long. They probably would look more respectable if they incorporated the new term several years ago.

Quebec bans the use of English names on storefronts and businesses (and more) for this very reason.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472769)

Why? Because they want to preserve their language (and part of their culture) and not let it crumble into some Frenglish hybrid?

Uhm, yes. Exactly that. What's the point of not using an English word that has manifested itself through-out the entire world? Pretention. It's absolutely absurd to try to invent a new word, just because you don't happen to like it's origin.

I don't think this all that funny (though I did get the Pulp Fiction ref!), but it is a bit amusing that they waited this long. They probably would look more respectable if they incorporated the new term several years ago.

Exactly. Like... lets say, 7 years ago it would have been almost reasonable. They could do Japanese-style foreign words, and write them with different letters. That way you preserve your language, but still allow external influence for the sake of simplicity.

This is on par with the US calling them "Freedom Fries."

Welcome to the globe, your language isn't the only one there is. Get the fuck over it and try not to embarass yourselves by inventing new words.

Re:Wow. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472894)

FYI - they are called 'french' fries because of the way the potato is cut to make them (its 'frenched'). The french didn't invent them, I believe it was a brit.

Re:Wow. (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473045)

It was the Belgians.

Re:Wow. (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498620)

A lot of good stuff comes out of Belgium, like the Beligum dip, where Dr. Evil gets whipped cream on his nose... what?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6473239)

Uhm, yes. Exactly that. What's the point of not using an English word that has manifested itself through-out the entire world? Pretention. It's absolutely absurd to try to invent a new word, just because you don't happen to like it's origin.
Inventing new words happens all the time. It's not that they don't like its origin (that it is from English), it's not personal against any language. They are just preserving the logic and style of their own language. They aren't asking us to say it differently in our language. Germans change the spellings of words as well, including our beloved English words, so that they are more German. These words stick out a lot more in other languages. English is a huge incestual bastard language where spellings and pronunciations are so inconsistent that foreign words just blend in.
Exactly. Like... lets say, 7 years ago it would have been almost reasonable. They could do Japanese-style foreign words, and write them with different letters. That way you preserve your language, but still allow external influence for the sake of simplicity.
Or... they could do what they are doing. The word "courriel" wasn't just invented right now anyway, it's been there, it is just that now it is declared official and "e-mail" is being eased out. Just like they've done hundreds of times.
This is on par with the US calling them "Freedom Fries."
It's nothing like that. Like I said, this change is nothing personal towards English-speakers, because they do it with anything and have been for a long time. There is a linguistic purpose for the change. And, the French changing to this word does not epitomize the ignorance of French culture as "Freedom Fries" did with Americans. Both about the origin of "French fries" and the way we acted like this was the first time two allied countries disagreed on a major issue.
Welcome to the globe, your language isn't the only one there is. Get the fuck over it and try not to embarass yourselves by inventing new words.
Welcome to international politics, this kind of thing has been going on in different places for a long time, you just didn't know about it. Try not to embarrass yourself by ranting about something you know so little about.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474517)

Welcome to international politics, this kind of thing has been going on in different places for a long time, you just didn't know about it. Try not to embarrass yourself by ranting about something you know so little about.

To whoever the AC is, why don't you write non-AC? I am somewhat multi-lingual. I think that preservation of the purity of languages is idiotic. I have studied linguistics, and I know that every language becomes tainted. Trying to stop the "taint" is impossible. I'll rant about the idiocy of a nation that consistently does things just to try to maintain the illusion of elitism, especially in the form of language, if a topic comes up.

The only reason why I can see you posting this as AC is because you knew that the points you were attempting to raise were weak, and easily smacked down. If you want to continue the debate, login so I will see the messages. If not, I'll just assume that you don't have what it takes to debate about the idiocy of language-purity and get on with my life.

Re:Wow. (1)

Erdinger (601447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493372)

I have studied linguistics, and I know that every language becomes tainted. Trying to stop the "taint" is impossible.
Stopping the evolution of a language is impossible, but influencing the "taint" is certainly not impossible. It can and often does work. Will this replacement of the word "email" work? Who knows. It is a matter of opinion, however, whether or not this should be done. One of the major complaints people who learn English as a 2nd language have is the fact that English is so inconsistent, and has so many borrowed words (usually a number of words for the same thing), that it is a real pain. Is it so terrible to try to avoid having this get out of hand? Does it have to be spun in terms of your preconceptions of French people?

You seem to mention many times that this is an example that reinforces the pretentiousness and elitism of the French. But why are you ignoring examples of other countries that mess with language, like Germany with their Neue Rechtschreibung, Canada with its strict bilingual literature laws, Turkey whose language was practically remade from scratch, and so on?

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493497)

One of the major complaints people who learn English as a 2nd language have is the fact that English is so inconsistent, and has so many borrowed words (usually a number of words for the same thing), that it is a real pain. Is it so terrible to try to avoid having this get out of hand? Does it have to be spun in terms of your preconceptions of French people?


Any major language (French isn't a major language.) has great influence from other languages so it becomes more powerful and familiar. Yes, English is a bastardized mutt (Especially American English) of languages. I'm not disputing that. However, using an invented word when one already exists and is well known is just stupid. It's adding inconsistent global complexities that are not necessary. If you look at the point of language, it has but one sole purpose. Communication with others. By making an exception for your language, you are just hindering others. If America decided that they wanted to change "delicatessen" to "Quick'n'Easy Food Service Counter" I would call that idiotic. (Ok, that was a really horrible example, but I can't think of any other thing to use that is reasonable.)

But why are you ignoring examples of other countries that mess with language, like Germany with their Neue Rechtschreibung, Canada with its strict bilingual literature laws, Turkey whose language was practically remade from scratch, and so on?

Because we're talking about French, at the moment :)

Re:Wow. (1)

Erdinger (601447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493976)

Any major language (French isn't a major language.) has great influence from other languages so it becomes more powerful and familiar.... If you look at the point of language, it has but one sole purpose. Communication with others.
Oh lord, this "debate" has no chance of going anywhere. Just study up on languages. If you honestly believe these two things then there is no point to continuing.

And of course, continuing the line of "inventing a word" in regards to "courriel" shows you are ignoring the fact that this word was not just recently invented.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494148)

Just study up on languages. If you honestly believe these two things then there is no point to continuing.

French speaking people account for 3.5 percent of people on the internet. English is 36.5 percent. Japanese is 9.7 percent, and I would just barely count that as a major language. Chinese is 10.8 percent. Spanish has over twice as many as French, at 7.4%

If you also are trying to dispute that language is a creation to enable communication between two people, than you have some serious issues.

So, why don't you study up on Linguistic research?
Uhm, obviously I do.

And of course, continuing the line of "inventing a word" in regards to "courriel" shows you are ignoring the fact that this word was not just recently invented.

It has never taken a footing, and has not manifested itself in any widely known dictionaries. It has not been around nearly as long as email has, not even in France.

And this debate won't go anywhere when you cannot actually provide any additional information to the debate, but merely try to contradict what I have said by making up contrarian points.

Re:Wow. (1)

Erdinger (601447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6499831)

French speaking people account for 3.5 percent of people on the internet. English is 36.5 percent. Japanese is 9.7 percent, and I would just barely count that as a major language. Chinese is 10.8 percent. Spanish has over twice as many as French, at 7.4%, blah blah blah
I'm not talking about raw percentages here, which is what I figured you were going by. But I wasn't about to argue your "French is not a major language" where you just mention it in a parenthetical side-comment. Being a "major" language has a lot to do with influence, diversity, reach, etc. China has a huge population of people who speak Mandarin, but how many people learn Mandarin outside of China compared to French? French is the second most frequently taught language after English. And French is the major language of a diverse number of countries on five continents. French is the official language of the UN, the Olympics, the Council of Europe, etc. It is one of the official languages of international post (par avion?). It has a global reach that is only second to English. I'm not saying it is the 2nd most important or more important than this or that language, since there are so many factors to take into account. But to say offhand that French is "not a major language" really does hurt your credibility in terms of seriously studying this stuff.
If you also are trying to dispute that language is a creation to enable communication between two people, than you have some serious issues.
You said that language exists for the sole purpose of accurate communication. This is true, in the sense that the sole purpose of one's life is procreation. You are ignoring everything else that goes along wtih it. You implied that something which went against the most concise and accurate communication was foolish, hence "courriel" is foolish. You are ignoring the importance of language in cultural identity, history, art, etc. France is by no means the only country or people that hangs on to their own language or keeps it grammatically consistent. And besides that, the most direct line of communication is rarely taken for a variety of reasons. That's why you probably don't say "I need to shit in the toilet" and instead say "I need to use the lavatory" for example.
It has never taken a footing, and has not manifested itself in any widely known dictionaries. It has not been around nearly as long as email has, not even in France.
It has taken a footing in Québec. And not being around "nearly as long as email" is kind of a silly statement since "email" has only been in wide use for about the past 10 years or so. In terms of etymology, email is still a newcomer that is still stabilizing (is it "e-mail" or "email"?). It can be argued that courriel being made of familiar French words, and being different from émail meaning enamel, has commicational benefits in the long term anyway (That's a matter of opinion, but certainly not clear-cut one way or the other!).

Besides, the main crux of what I have been saying, which you have not addressed, is that this distaste you have for the French based in part on their actions regarding language should be equally directed towards the many, many other countries which do similar things all the time. If you have your "French are elitist" stereotype ingrained into your mind, then that is the spin you will see on things like this, while not seeing it for other countries and people.
And this debate won't go anywhere when you cannot actually provide any additional information to the debate, but merely try to contradict what I have said by making up contrarian points.
I wasn't about to write a bunch of text arguing your unsubstantiated claims until you gave some sort of clarification.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502271)

French is the second most frequently taught language after English.

Uhm, what? Care to back that up with some facts?

And French is the major language of a diverse number of countries on five continents.

Ok, name them.

French is the official language of the UN, the Olympics, the Council of Europe, etc. It is one of the official languages of international post (par avion?).

And so is Air Mail. Just because they have "Por Avion" on there, doesn't mean it's an official language. I can also write it in Japanese and it will be delivered.

It has a global reach that is only second to English.
A global reach that accounts for 3 percent of the sites on the internet? Right. Do you just pull these out of your ass or do you actually have some weird ass source for this?

But to say offhand that French is "not a major language" really does hurt your credibility in terms of seriously studying this stuff.

No, French is not a major language. This is called a fact. French on the internet is definitely not a major language.

Besides, the main crux of what I have been saying, which you have not addressed, is that this distaste you have for the French based in part on their actions regarding language should be equally directed towards the many, many other countries which do similar things all the time.

Uhm, no. I did address this. See here [slashdot.org] , where I say, "Because we're talking about French, at the moment :)"

I suppose it's easier for you to not read what I am actually saying, instead just making up numbers about how great the French language is.

Re:Wow. (1)

Erdinger (601447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505324)

French is the second most frequently taught language after English.

Uhm, what? Care to back that up with some facts?

Here [intstudy.com] and here [about.com] .
And French is the major language of a diverse number of countries on five continents.

Ok, name them.
Jeez, I thought you said you knew what you were talking about!

Here [swarthmore.edu] and here [vt.edu] .

And so is Air Mail. Just because they have "Por Avion" [sic] on there, doesn't mean it's an official language. I can also write it in Japanese and it will be delivered.
Japanese is a major langauge. Try writing it in a minor language like Welsh or Icelandic. Again, I'm not trying to say that French is THE major language or that language x is irrelevant.
No, French is not a major language. This is called a fact.
This is not a "fact", I hope you didn't really mean that. You can try to convince one way or the other, but to call it a "fact" implies a misconception on what a fact is. This is always going to be a subjective assessment. There are many factors including number of native-speakers, non-native speakers, political influence, history, official recognition, and so on. Each person can weigh their own importance, and each person can decide where the cutoff is. You can't have a "fact" that something is best.
French on the internet is definitely not a major language.
So, now you're a bit unsure, so you modified your statement to include "on the Internet". In any case, of the thousands of langauges, French falls into the top 10 most spoken languages on the Internet. Yes it is dwarved by English, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
Uhm, no. I did address this. See here, where I say, "Because we're talking about French, at the moment :)"
Okay, in what way did that topic not address France? I want to know your assessment of what France is doing in comparison to other countries which do similar things. If you consider all of them to be foolish and elitist, then that makes a big difference. If you don't know anything about what those other countries do, then I think it would be important to realize that France is not all that unique in this area, which is what your postings imply. This is very relevant to the topic at hand.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506158)

This is not a "fact", I hope you didn't really mean that. You can try to convince one way or the other, but to call it a "fact" implies a misconception on what a fact is. This is always going to be a subjective assessment. There are many factors including number of native-speakers, non-native speakers, political influence, history, official recognition, and so on. Each person can weigh their own importance, and each person can decide where the cutoff is. You can't have a "fact" that something is best.

The 11th most popular language in the world is not a major language. Sorry if that doesn't fit into your world view. The fact that only 150 million people speak French (according to your link) shows that it is definitely not a major language. In fact, at 6 billion people in the world it is barely a blip on the linguistic radar, but don't worry most languages aren't.

So, now you're a bit unsure, so you modified your statement to include "on the Internet". In any case, of the thousands of langauges, French falls into the top 10 most spoken languages on the Internet. Yes it is dwarved by English, Chinese, Japanese, etc.

No it doesn't. French sites account for less than 3 percent of all sites on the internet. As I already stated. I was saying that there is no way you could think it was a major language on the internet. Apparently you do, which is fine. You seem to have your own issues.

Okay, in what way did that topic not address France? I want to know your assessment of what France is doing in comparison to other countries which do similar things.

Apparently English isn't your native language. I'll break it down for you, so your special ed teacher doesn't have to: I am discussing France, and berating them, because this thread is talking about France.

Was that really so hard to understand?

Re:Wow. (1)

ces (119879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6585938)

French is the official language of the UN, the Olympics, the Council of Europe, etc. It is one of the official languages of international post (par avion?).

Perhaps this is due to the fact that France throws a major 'effing tantrum when French isn't chosen as the 'official' language of an international organization. They think it is still 1703 when French was considered the language of diplomacy.

Problem is almost anyone who isn't French will tend to use English nowdays when operating in a multi-lingual context such as the Internet or international business.

I don't see Spanish or Mandarin speakers freaking out every time an English word becomes widely used or when some language other than theirs is chosen as the official language of an international organization.

Re:Wow. (1)

ces (119879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6585959)

You seem to mention many times that this is an example that reinforces the pretentiousness and elitism of the French. But why are you ignoring examples of other countries that mess with language, like Germany with their Neue Rechtschreibung, Canada with its strict bilingual literature laws, Turkey whose language was practically remade from scratch, and so on?

Big difference is most other language committees don't have the force of law. The Neue Rechtschreibung may reccommend a more "German" term for something but a business won't be fined for using the "wrong" term. Similarly the OED could be said to define English (or at least Oxfordian English) but it is more descriptive than prescriptive.

The goal of the French language police seems to be to attempt to prevent any loan words from leaking into French and thus preserve the "purity". Of course they totally ignore the fact that languages evolve from the bottom-up rather than the top-down. The average French speaker is going to continue to use terms like "email" or "mail" rather than "couriel" and the rest of the world is going to make fun of their thought police.

Re:Wow. (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473291)

What's the point of not using an English word that has manifested itself through-out the entire world? Pretention.
No, pretention is forcing your term on other cultures or encouraging them to come up with their own non-English word. Preserving your culture is not pretentious.
It's absolutely absurd to try to invent a new word, just because you don't happen to like it's origin.
They didn't do this because the word was American, they did it because it was not French.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473338)

No, pretention is forcing your term on other cultures or encouraging them to come up with their own non-English word. Preserving your culture is not pretentious.

Sorry, I don't seem to recall any English-based push for everybody to use e-mail. For that matter, the guy who created it called it e-mail. Do the French call Fords or Chevrolets some made-up word as well?

Preserving your culture by inventing a new word. Right.

Re:Wow. (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473948)

I don't seem to recall any English-based push for everybody to use e-mail.
There wasn't one, but that doesn't matter. The French are simply providing their own word for something.
Preserving your culture by inventing a new word. Right.
Courrier has always been the French word for "mail". The guy who created e-mail didn't invent a new word either (it's still "electronic mail"), he just applied the appropriate pre-existing words to it, like the French are doing now.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474050)

There wasn't one, but that doesn't matter. The French are simply providing their own word for something.

Ok, well then... I'll just go ahead and start calling email "E-French-is-a-stupid-language" and it's no big deal then. I'm just providing my own word for it. See, it's dumb. It's idiotic.

Courrier has always been the French word for "mail". The guy who created e-mail didn't invent a new word either (it's still "electronic mail"), he just applied the appropriate pre-existing words to it, like the French are doing now.

He said, "I'm calling this email." The French are saying, "We are calling this courriel, because most of our people know it as email but we're elitist snobs." Everytime you have internationalization, you have words that cross languages.

This is why there are "deli"'s in the US, along with several other things. Trying to preserve the "purity" of a language is elitism and xenophobia. There is no such thing as purity in something that constantly evolves and changes.

This is the same stupid stunt that they tried a while back with the time median (Planting the row of trees.) France cries like a little child everytime something comes along to threaten the French Way(TM).

Re:Wow. (1)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 11 years ago | (#6475733)

Trying to preserve the "purity" of a language is elitism and xenophobia.

Now I know you're pulling my leg. The french elitist? Say it isn't so!

Re:Wow. (1)

ces (119879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6585964)

The one I loved was the French are calling Americans arrogant. Why, the nerve!

Re:Wow. (1)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 11 years ago | (#6476567)

Preserving your culture is not pretentious.
Pretending that your culture exists in a vacuum and is unchanging is not only pretentious but foolhardy.

Franko will eventually have to use English words, but in the meantime "latrine" and "rendezvous" will be joined by other Frency imports.

Add spices to taste, stir thoroughly, simmer. Eat when done.

Re:Wow. (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473315)

What's the point of not using an English word that has manifested itself through-out the entire world? ... This is on par with the US calling them "Freedom Fries."

No it is not. They have not translated the word because they hate some country, they have translated it because the word is not French.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473377)

No it is not. They have not translated the word because they hate some country, they have translated it because the word is not French.

They didn't translate it! They made up a new word that is like "courrier." If it was translated I wouldn't find it retarded. Since they just invented a new word, it is retarded.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6473517)

They invented a word that is kinda like the word "mail" in french. Just like "e-mail" is kinda like the word "mail" in english. Would it have been better if they had called if "courrier-e?"

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473525)

They invented a word that is kinda like the word "mail" in french. Just like "e-mail" is kinda like the word "mail" in english. Would it have been better if they had called if "courrier-e?"

It would have been better to call it courriel 5-7 years ago. Now it is just petty and stupid, as everybody knows what the term "email" means.

Re:Wow. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474729)

It would have been better to call it courriel 5-7 years ago.

Actually, they did... I have hear that word at least three years ago. It's not because Yahoo picks up this news right now that it is really news. And for the matter: it did not stick with the population. They still use the word "mail" for "email".. So, often if you hear a european saying "send me a mail" he means "send me an email". We just dropped the "e" and use your word for classic mail to indicate electronic mail. So, we are already using "different" words for the same thing.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474794)

Actually, they did... I have hear that word at least three years ago. It's not because Yahoo picks up this news right now that it is really news. And for the matter: it did not stick with the population. They still use the word "mail" for "email".. So, often if you hear a european saying "send me a mail" he means "send me an email". We just dropped the "e" and use your word for classic mail to indicate electronic mail. So, we are already using "different" words for the same thing.


If your entire population uses one word, don't change the word out of pretention. Just say, "That's what the people call it, so that's what we call it." I try to avoid saying email, because I don't particularly care for the word. I will usually use message. People still understand what I say. I don't care if it's via email, IM, SMS, or voice mail. If I say, "Send me a message about it." I just mean send me a message. I don't care if it's by homing pigeon, I just want a message.

If it were something that was isolated to France, I also wouldn't think it's a big deal. If they raise their children to call something that is globally known as email to courriel, it just makes things irritating. The rest of the world has to make an exception while sending an email, excuse me: courriel, to France or French folk. That is why this is an idiotic move.

I'm big on using the words we've all agreed upon. Internet, email, webpage, etc. Yes, they are English "words" but they were created, more or less, for their uses. 20 years ago, there was no such thing as a webpage. Trying to change your language at the sake of the rest of the world is just the exact reason why people have the stereotypes about France.

Re:Wow. (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502891)

If your entire population uses one word, don't change the word out of pretention. Just say, "That's what the people call it, so that's what we call it."

I noticed an odd thing while in Brazil. There is a League of Lusophone Countries and they occasionally make changes to the "official" portuguese language. Coming from the USA and never hanving heard of an english language equivalent, I found this concept to be rather shocking. One of the memorable changes around 1995 was to change how some obscure accents are used. There was no natural evolution of the language, a committee sat down and decided that the language would be better off with their changes, and so they were made. This sort of top-down dictation of what the official language "is" smacked of elitism to me. Of course the committee is going to make random changes, otherwise there would be no reason for such a committee to exits, and who would want to lose their post on such an important committee?

In the USA the only similar thing that I have noticed is the occasional article about Webster's including a new word such as "internet" or "'doh!" That process is very bottom-up though and is an indication of the language evolving naturally.

Re:Wow. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6503419)

This sort of top-down dictation of what the official language "is" smacked of elitism to me. Of course the committee is going to make random changes, otherwise there would be no reason for such a committee to exits, and who would want to lose their post on such an important committee?

While in the same vein, but slightly different is a typical thing in Japan. They update the kanjis (and even some hiragana) and the proper stroke order. While I learned some one way, my girlfriend would tell me I was wrong, when in fact we were both right. Some academic society just decided they wanted to change the stroke order or one slight stroke difference.

In the USA the only similar thing that I have noticed is the occasional article about Webster's including a new word such as "internet" or "'doh!" That process is very bottom-up though and is an indication of the language evolving naturally.

Or, "irregardless" and "supposably" :) Any language that changes itself or tries to impose words contrary to what is common is just stupid and elitist. It's like Mac users ::duck::

Re:Wow. (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6477069)

  • Why? Because they want to preserve their language (and part of their culture) and not let it crumble into some Frenglish hybrid?


And why not? The English had to deal with the French making an awful mess out of THEIR native language, why should we Americans get back at the French for, in the end, sticking us with this confusing language?

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6472601)

Guess what, the French have been doing this for a long time. They actively try to keep their language from getting too diluted. Is it worth doing? That's a matter of opinion. But there is a certain logic to it.

German words are just like any other non-French word. It's nothing personal. I'm not sure if you were aware, but France and Germany have not been enemies for over 50 years.

Royale with spam? (1)

NaveWeiss (567082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471718)

I didn't quite get your joke..
Anyway, in Hebrew it's similar. The half-official word for email is "doal" (mail=doar and the "l" for electronic), and it's used mostly on written communication. People still prefer saying "email" when speaking.

Re:Royale with spam? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471846)

its a quote from "Pulp Fiction" when they are talkinga bout what the french call a "Quarter Pounder With Cheese", because france is in the metric system.

Apropos... (1)

Interrobang (245315) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491260)

Because when I saw the JE's subject heading, I thought, "Trayf? Really, really trayf?" (I'm actually the token shiksa around here, but I look for meat-based food with hexures on them (now) because I need my food dairy-free.) In any case, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is something I don't eat for about three reasons. :)

Since I'm also learning Hebrew, I'm going to remember that word for e-mail. Thanks!

Re:Apropos... (1)

NaveWeiss (567082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494266)

You know, it seems that Americans know Yiddish better than Israelis. Many words are pronounced differently in Israel (trayf -> taref) and the rest aren't in use at all, like yarmulke (kipa in Hebrew) or that word for oznei haman (the poppy-filled thing that some people eat in Purim) which I forgot.

(I'm talking about the normal, secular audience. Yiddish is still in use among the orthodox ashkenazim)

(After reading your journal) Damn, you have a fiance? No shiksa for me, I guess. ;)

Re:Apropos... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6503113)

that word for oznei haman (the poppy-filled thing that some people eat in Purim) which I forgot...

Hamentaschen. I think it means "Haman's ears" also.

I agree about your larger point. There are many more Yiddish words in general use in American English than are used in Israel, especially among Sephardim. It's probably comparable to the level of usage of Arabic words in Hebrew.

Can I ban the hyphen? (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 11 years ago | (#6471895)

The whole story talks about banning "e-mail". Why do people insist on the hyphen? It's like a typed out way of doing those stupid finger quotes that people do. Like I have to emphasize that this is *E* mail so you dont go heading for the mailbox. It's a different animal entirely, not a special version of traditional mail.

Way to piss of the French. If they really did ban "e-mail" feel free to write of "email" all you want. :)

You can, I won't. (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472245)

I use the hyphen because it's a designator. Written, it looks better, to me. I'm not sure if there's an (fingerquote) official (/fingerquote) ruling on it, but when I'm writing about e-mail, I think it reads better than email. Like She-Hulk or Spider-Man. Although I think I remember that Spiderman doesn't use the hyphen because Jon Stewart was making fun of the pronunciation (like goldman or chairman). Maybe I'm thinking of Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner.

Anyway, you dont' say the hyphen when you speak "e-mail". email looks to me like it would be said "emm-ail". Or something.

And on topic, good for the French. "Courriel" looks more continental than "e-mail" and it looks like e-mail would be hard for the French to pronounce. I mean, not *hard*, but not their usual way of pronouncing things. I would think it would come out of a French mouth like "eh-mai-eel". "Courriel", I can visualise (aurallise?).

End ramble.

Re:Can I ban the hyphen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6472634)

I can tell you why Germans prefer the hyphen. The word "Email" already means "enamel".

Perfect (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472194)

But remember, the US is the country full of arrogance.

This is nice.

Reminds me of a linguistical version of the Nazi Party. That's right, I just equated the french language to Nazis.

Em Rulz. U R teh suck.

Uh...yeah. Go Bears!

Re:Perfect (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472420)

Way to sign FS Mike Brown to six years, btw.

how to get it accepted.... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6472489)

michael appears to be on duty, so here's to get it in (especially since he appears to enjoy posting paranoia stories today):

Set it to a YRO story on Censorship. Twist the write-up into how French government is restricting people from using the word email in all respects. Make comment on how you'll never visit France or drink French wine ever again because of it.

That should work.

Re:how to get it accepted.... (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6473372)

Also, make stuff up. Like: "The French government has set up an echelon-like computer network to monitor the use of the word." You can quote me if you want.

Re:how to get it accepted.... (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 11 years ago | (#6484291)

michael appears to be on duty, so here's to get it in

Bizarrely enough, it was finally posted [slashdot.org] by Taco of all people. Just not from FK's submission...

This is why English as a language rocks (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474509)

It is a bastard language by root (with all of its Teutonic, Gallic, and Rommantic trappings) and then has evolved at a staggering pace with all of the regional variations. With that it has gained various tones and subtleties that really give it breath. Cajun and pidgin variants are subsummed and assimilated into the mainstream. It is inclusive by default.

Compare that to this crap. Damn, this just sounds like xenophobia to me. I wonder what the Algerians and Haitians think of this? I assume that they have their own dialects. Probably just helps reinforce the implicit social order of things. French is a heirarchy that none but a chosen few are birthed into. You want some social-darwinism with that? How fucking 19th century.

Bah (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 11 years ago | (#6474670)

This is so old, I wonder why you even picked it up. I have heard that term ages ago. Alas, you probably don't care that virtually nobody uses the term "email" here anyway. Most people just call it "mail". Yup, if we say "mail" we mean "email"....

As for the french renaming things, they always do... doesn't always work. They are inherently wary of introducing foreign words in their language, which is understandable because they want to keep a cultural identity (and cultural idenitity implies language) Heck, I guess you don't even know how you say "computer" in french.

Re:Bah (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498778)

umm... "Le computer"? :-)

Re:Bah (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502054)

No...
But seeing that smilie, I just will assume you know the correct word.

Don't want messages, eh? (1)

Squidgee (565373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502451)

Well, message this!

Me too!! (1)

bethanie (675210) | more than 11 years ago | (#6503165)

Me too!

(I've always been one of the obnoxious ones!)

....Bethanie....

Re:Don't want messages, eh? (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 11 years ago | (#6503239)

BTW - quit arguing in the 'france changes email' JE

Well, message this!
Can't you just leave the poor guy alone?! He doesn't want to keep getting messages from a journal he left long ago. He has important things he has to do, like take showers with the newly re-acquired power at his house, and read about football division re-alignments. Oooh - I like dashes - d-a-s-h-e-s - wow - I'm going to replace all my .'s with -'s - How fun -

Oy, what's that? Oh, sorry Josh, I'll try and keep the noise to a minimum.
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