So, scandal has erupted this week in the French Twitter world. Oui, c’est vrai; the French are saying au revoir to the word “hashtag” in an effort to protect the French language from anglicisms.

*Note: anglicisms are English words that are added into other languages: examples in the French language include : email (which the French tried to change to couriel), many sports such as le basketball, le baseball, le football, le football américain, le bowling, and other various vocabulary words such as: le babysitting, stop, cool, fun, super, etc.)

The reason for the change (or ban) is quite simple– the French want to protect their language and keep it, well, French.

I am sort of torn about this issue for several reasons. First of all, the word, mot-dièse, actually means sharp (as in, “That note is sharp” when discussing music) in English, and the corresponding symbol is actually: ♯ and not # (spot the difference).

Clearly, the French do not have a proper word equivalent for the word hashtag, and therefore I see no problem with using an English word (the two languages share many words as it is!) However, at the same time, I totally understanding not wanting English or narcissistic Anglophones taking over everything.

Regardless, the French are taking a stand and protecting their (absolutely wonderful) language & culture.

Borrowing too many words from English opens the door to a mishmash of French and English,” a spokesman for the Office Québécois de la Langue Française said, according to Metro U.K. “This can have an impact on French word-formation, phonetics and grammar, not just terminology.” ~HP

What do you think about changing the word “hashtag”?



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