Non. Je Refuse


#1

France changing its spellings. Seriously, it sucks.

I’m not being an old git. Yes I am. No I’m not.

But the beautiful thing about French is the marriage between format and meaning. This will be eroded.


#2

Oh, the sacred bond!


#3

Wait, FRANCE? The country that has a committee to make sure no more than 3-5 words are added to the official dictionary every year?

Once le weekend and le hotdog took hold, it was only a matter of time.


#4

the storm took officials by surprise as the spelling revisions had been suggested by the Académie Française, watchdogs of the French language, and unanimously accepted by its members as long ago as 1990.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/05/not-the-oignon-fury-france-changes-2000-spellings-ditches-circumflex


#5

L’oikend, L’otdoug…

Le chienchaud?


#6

They’re ditching the circumflex but keeping the cedilla? That’s actually kind of surprising, if they’re trying to simplify things.

And yeah, “ognon” just looks weird.


#7

You’re absolutely right - when I learned french, the cedilla was the last piece to fit into any sort of comfortable position in my head. The circonflex - bof! rien du tout.


#8

C’est la slipperyslope, non?


#9

La cyl-hippo-riz ce l’op.


#10

Those new spellings are purportedly optional, as I recall.


#11

I am shocked that you are not saying that all spellings are optional.


#12

That depends on what you mean by “shocked”, and “you”, and “saying”, and “spellings” and “optional”. Words mean things, dontchaknow


#13


#14

I am a huge stickler for spelling, lexicality, grammar, etc. What bothers me is when people revise language as it is rather than simply making more of it. For instance, if you have a new meaning, create a new word instead of further overloading an existing word. If you prefer a new spelling, then fork the word - keeping the original spelling, but creating a new word with the same meaning and alternate spelling.

Most human language is poorly optimised somewhere between ease-of-use and aesthetics. You might (not) be surprised to know that in elementary school, I started doing my work in the Unifon alphabet, with appropriate spellings. My teachers were horrified and made me promise not to ever, ever do so again.


#15

Color me unsuprised.


#16

They seemed to be stuck using the Roman alphabet, because apparently the only way to teach it is with some corny old song. Any improvements or alternatives must have a better song to be considered.

Personally, I am neither Roman nor English, so I am not very much invested in those systems. And I don’t like songs.


#17

#18

You don’t like… songs? Like, music with words?


#19

It’s a bit foolish. The circumflex shows up where an S has been elided: it is a tie to the original Latin root. Examples (where the English words have a Romance origin): hôte -> host; rôti -> roast (roasted); château -> castle.

The nice thing about these “archaic” spellings is that, when I run across the rare word using a circumflex that is unfamiliar to me, I can usually relate it to a cognate in another Romance language or an English cognate (considering just how many Romance words English has).


#20

That would presume that there is some sort of phoneneme/lexicograph<=>meaning map. Unfortunately, such a thing does not exist. Meaning is socially defined - and it varies from person to person.

Were we meat-bags of logic, rather than bags of meat-logic, it might be different.