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French neologisms

The Telegraph reports on the Academie Francaise's ongoing efforts to protect the French from anglicisms, a task much like trying to push back the Atlantic with a mop. I've had a look at the Academy's website and found a fair few things of interest, particularly foreign words that have gained French nationality, including ersatz, kitsch, bazooka, ayatollah, kibboutz, chianti , Kalachnikov and geisha.

They have had some success with ordinateur for computer, logiciel for software and so on, but the Academy is never going to move as quickly as usage. I'm a bit torn between thinking that the effort is in vain and represents unwarranted interference, and gruding admiration for their efforts. I'm not sure how many other countries have similar bodies policing the language, although I know there is one in Iceland. If memory serves, the Icelandic for television is a rendering of 'magic seeing box' or somesuch, as they wil insist on using old Norse root words for new concepts.

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Blogger Praguetory said... 2:27 pm

I know you state that you keep a close eye on France, but it's veering on obsession. There's stuff happening in the Uk on which your views would be appreciated  



Blogger Croydonian said... 3:37 pm

I'll have a mull.....  



Blogger Praguetory said... 3:34 pm

Thank you  



Anonymous rigger mortice said... 4:45 pm

no,Croydonian..no.

as Babs Worth once pointed out to guido in a comments thread.that's the point of blogging.

'it's your blog'

Personally,I like the french stuff.It broadens horizons.If I want to rant about british stuff I can go to guido/Iain Dale etc.

On topic.I really respect the french for their efforts and something is better than nothing.

Still think they should shower more often but that's a separate issue--boom boom  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:59 pm

Rigger - indeed, it is my plaything, but I want to cover enough issues and so forth that it keeps people intersted.

And our friends across the channel don't seem to be up to much today....

I suppose the single scariest thing I have discovered about the Gauls is that if you accuse some of them of lacking a sense of humour they will agree. I've long regarded the 'you've got no sense of humour' as the deadliest insult in the English language, as I'm not aware of anyone (well, maybe a few dons) who would let such a comment pass without a vehement denial.  



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