The Ministry of Dictionaries strikes again

Our FLE teacher has revealed the latest official changes to Français comme il faut.


For those of us who've suffered learning when to use hyphens in numbers
(cent-vingt-trois) and when not the new answer is always. They have the nerve to tell us that the rules before were largely random, well they're not kidding, but about b***y time, and what about the million and one other joys, starting with La or is it Le table etc.

No more circonflexe over î and û

The tréma (umlaut) is put over ü where it belongs ambiguïté becomes ambigüité

Ooh and plenty more

Thinking on...

Miss tells us that this is evolution. I've tried without success to explain that language evolves
by popular consent and usage, not by imposition from the ridiculous Ministry of Dictionaries (l'Académie française), she doesn't get it.

Here is their latest take on email.
In short, les Québecois came up with courriel just to be different, which was obviously adopted straightaway, everybody kept saying email anyway, so then they tried mél (supposedly as an abbreviation for messagerie électronique, yeah right), and now you are allowed! to use Mél on your letterhead, but not in everyday speech.

All this in contradistinction to laws, where it seems to be the French way to pass a law first, lob it out, see if it takes, and if not then scrap it (ie a genuine evolutionary process). Which I quite like now I've got the drift (the neighbours were quite amused to know I'd bought the ethylotest thingies)

The complete list is on
Get studying there'll be a test in the new year.

I've attached a nice photo of the Ministry HQ

More power to your elbow. I shall imitate you forthwith

A handy puzzle for the neighbours

what is 420109 ?

My favourite is to write septante, octante or nonante on cheques. We have checked and l'Académie française says they are offically part of the French language. The Belgian huitante too. In an article I read, it said that 90% of French speakers worldwide use those forms of numbers anyway. I have had people refuse cheques, in turn I have told them take it or leave it. It is usually taken with a grunt. No bank has as yet returned one. If ever, I am ready for the fun...

My occasional letters from URSSAF or RSI/RAM still have email but not courriel and I suspect many other instutions and corporations will turn their blind eye.

As for the circonflexe, they still teach that at primary school as was and when I challenged a teacher she said that because I am not a native French speaker I should check before saying such things. I had the appropriate piece of paper ready to present to her, her jaw dropped a little then she said words to the effect of 'we know all that' but we are obliged to teach traditional French. What, I ask, is the point then?

So Steve, like you, I'll get down to some studying again soon. My 1960s school book I still have went 'out of fashion' but it appears to be becoming relevant again, with exceptions, in the divergence between what l'Académie française tells us is right and what my children are being taught. I think one might say that it is a language at odds with itself.

Meanwhile, I shall continue to use septante, etc, as and when I please.