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Email? Qu'est-ce que c'est?

France puts its foot down with English tech-speak...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

France puts its foot down with English tech-speak...

The latest Anglicism to fall out of favour in France is the word 'email', now banned from use by government employees. The word 'email' can now no longer be used in French official communication, including documents, memos, the internet and even emails themselves. The General Commission on Terminology and Neology, part of the French Culture Ministry and affiliated to the infamous Académie Française, who outlawed the word 'walkman' in favour of 'baladeur' some years ago, prefer the French alternative 'courriel'. Courriel, a shortened version of the phrase 'courrier électronique' or electronic mail, is not expected to make a lot of difference to common parlance among French technophiles. Email has been in use on the continent for years and the Commission's decision will be largely arbitrary among French speakers, who are particularly fond of slipping the odd English word - le meeting, le cash - into conversation. Interestingly, the word courriel is French Canadian in origin, a French dialect considered a bastardisation of the language by traditionalists in France.
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