France has always taken a rather aggressive stand when it comes to its culture, language or norms. The country has long tried to dissuade its citizens from using English actively, claiming that this may damage French in the long-run. The French Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie has now banned the popular Twitter term ‘hashtag.’
The word has been banned simply for the reason that it comes from English language. The Commission has proposed a French term ‘mot-dièse’ to be used in its place. The term literally translates to ‘sharp word.’
Interestingly, the Commission didn’t bother looking into the background of the word ‘hashtag’ in much detail. The world was originally popularized in online relay chat boards when online chatting was still gaining momentum. When Twitter launched, the word soon caught up with the audience of the new micro-blogging site and has since stayed and become even more popular.
The ban by the French Commission is apparently not welcomed even by the French. Many of them have taken to Twitter to mock the new proposed term by the government body. Many critics cite that the problem with organizations somehow trying to ‘regulate’ the French language is that they end up sapping away the aspect of decentralization from it. English, they argue, on the other hand is fairly decentralized with no authority trying to regulate it.
And that is precisely why English seems to have taken the front-seat with French trying hard to keep up. If France really wants French to continue thriving as one of the most widely spoken languages, it needs to let the language be and allow it to evolve. And that will include not bothering about words such as ‘hashtag.’
Courtesy: PC Mag