Monday, January 13, 2014

Melle?

In Le Monde this morning I read this:
François Hollande, d'après l'Elysée, n'a jamais eu connaissance des liens entre la locataire de l'appartement, MelleHauck, et certaines personnes réputées proches du banditisme corse. Ainsi, fait observer l'entourage de M.Hollande, le nom de Ferraci n'apparaît pas sur l'interphone de l'appartement. Le président n'avait connaissance que de l'identité de la locataire du logement, MelleHauck, amie de longue date de Julie Gayet.
Now, what interests me here is not the alleged but probably fortuitous link between the president of the Republic and the Corsican Mafia. Nothing any longer surprises me about the recklessness of the French elite. What interests me is rather the abbreviation Melle. When did Mlle go out of favor? I must have missed this momentous change in French nomenclature. Could someone please enlighten me?

8 comments:

Barcelona's Singing Organ-Grinder said...

It's a trendy Gallicism dating from Mel B/C of the Spice Girls.

tcheni said...

It's a mistake, plain and simple. As is "Mr." for "M.". "Mlle" is the correct one (but "lle" can be in superior letters, like the "r" in "Dr").

C Dent said...

My kids (British but educated in France) tell me that 'Melle' is the modern way they were taught to address their unmarried teachers, which isn't what I had taught them. School won.

FrédéricLN said...

Perhaps a "freudian" connection with Miss Ségolène Royal, who had been elected a MP at Melle.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Melle" with the "elle" above the median the very old etiquette like "Ctesse" "Pcesse" etc written the same way? Return to tradition? I just checked some cartes de visites from the 80s and that's how they are written.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour, l'abréviation "Melle" se rencontrait aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, comme ici, par exemple : http://books.google.fr/books?id=PUH2FZdK8DIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22melle+de%22&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=cfrUUt2iGOjM0AXyqYGQAw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22melle%20de%22&f=false
De nos jours, c'est plutôt "Mlle", effectivement. Notez par ailleurs que l'emploi du mot "mademoiselle" est critiqué et qu'on lui préférera "madame", qui s'abrège Mme…
Cordialement,

Anonymous said...

It is a fairly recent change in french culture, the equivalent of Ms. for anglophones

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it happened because government bowed to the idiotic demands of a small band of feminist extremists and abolished the use of "mademoiselle" on all official forms. In doing so they totally ignored how culturally pervasive the term mademoiselle is. Try googling (google.fr) the word for instance.