Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mot-dièse.

In defense of the mother tongue, a French commission has decreed that the word "hashtag," which, as everyone knows, is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (thus: #yourhashtaghere) and used by Twitter to organize gazillions of random tweets, should not be used in France. Instead, they propose "mot-dièse." But as Scott Sayare points out in the Times, dièse is the the musical sharp symbol, so that mot-croisillon might be a better choice in French.

9 comments:

C Scott Willy said...

So they made a hash of it.

Passerby said...

I love these commissions. I might even be the same people who came-up with "i-mel" has the proper French expression to replace "email". Of course none ever used it. Popular vote went for the better souding "courriel" from Quebec.
I just hope these people were not paid to come-up with proposals.


#toomanyfreaksnotenoughcircuses

Passerby said...

Erratum: "It", not "I".

Patrick Coleman said...

The Quebec language office has proposed "mot-clic" instead:
http://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/blogues/les-mutations-tranquilles/369037/le-mot-clic-du-quebec-pour-remplacer-le-mot-diese-de-la-france

Patrick aysicaoh

Cincinna said...

"The new term was developed by a government committee on vocabulary and published this week in the Journal Officiel, where laws and government rules are recorded."
The fact that the French government is actually paying people to come up with this nonsense, and forms and underwrites government agencies and journals to deal with such urgent issues in a time of economic and international crisis, demonstrates why France is going broke and losing its way. Wasting the people's money on such drivel will only further drain the already leaking coffers.
The days when French was the language of international diplomacy and usage, and reigned supreme in the world, are long gone. "Email", "Twitter", and "hash tag", in English, which is the internationally recognized computer/digital language are here to stay. Say bye bye to "couriel", "mail", "SMS", "portable", and, yes, "mot dièse". "Cell phone/smart phone" "text", "email" and "hash tag"are the real McCoy, used everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"mail" is used for "email" because email looks like émail (which has a totally different meaning). I haven't heard ANYONE in France use "cellphone", people just say "portable" and "smartphone" is used but since a great number of French people have smartphones with 3G/4G access, the distinction is losing relevance. Same for "text", which in French (texte) means "lengthy writing" akin to what the word "essay" covers and is therefore not used for "un sms" or "un texto". hashtag however is here to stay - obviously those who proferred "mot dièse" arent using Twitter. :p

Guilhem said...

Actually sometimes those artificial frenchisation do indeed take up ("ordinateur" is an exemple, even if according to Wikipedia, it was invented by IBM France, not by this commission).

Also, made me realize the difference between "croisillon" and "dièse": in fact, the mistake is even earlier than "mot dièse", as we refer to "dièse" and not "croisillon" for the hash symbol on phones (in Belgium, they speak about "carré")

Anonymous said...

'Mobile' not the US 'cell phone' is used in British English.

csw said...

"Mobile" is used in France for cell phone...http://mobile.free.fr/