Language and Government Interference
Soon the French language with its infamously archaic orthography will, once again, be subjected to government interference. That is, certain words will have their official spellings changed and one of my favourite accent marks, the circumflex, will be removed. The main words that will be changed are:
– Oignon >> Ognon
– Week-end >> Weekend
– Nénuphar >> Nénufar
– Coût >> Cout
– Disparaître >> Disparaitre.
It is their language so I suppose they can do as they wish with it, but it seems slightly absurd. Then again, unlike English with its myriad forms that have been allowed to develop organically French has since the 18th century has been “maintained” by a group of Francophone scholars. Despite arguably being one of the four main global languages, along with English, Spanish and Portuguese French has remained heavily Paris-centred. There is a fair degree of regionalism in the language, of course, but the standards of French are broadly accepted in ways that no form of English or Spanish are. I will no more go along with the new spellings than I went along with the 1995 reforms of German orthography.