What’s going on in France? I’m talking about the way some people are reacting to the modest spelling reforms put forth by the Académie Française. According to a New York Times report, no sooner had the Académie proposed removing the circumflex from some words (only in cases where there would be no ambiguity), than Je…
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I like Larry Kunz’s article here. Language does evolve, and sometimes rules make sense to keep (like Oxford commas), but in this case, I can understand how the circumflex would be useful in some words, and not in others. But that’s what’s amazing about language, as Larry points out. It’s not just English that evolves, but all languages evolve.
The French and the Spanish, I know, have academies that closely monitor the French and Spanish languages very carefully. Interestingly enough, I am not aware that the English language has such an academy, other than style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style and similar folks. (Let me know if I’m wrong!) Could this be that the French are starting to have a better understanding of global implications of their language? Perhaps.
The first thing I thought of, even though this is a very small adjustment, is how is this going to effect translational work, especially if it’s machine translation? Ah…there’s a big adjustment right there. Time will tell if this is, indeed, a bold move on the part of the French academy or not.
What do you think? Include your comments below.