The French are world-renowned for their dedication to their language (it sounds nicer than calling them snobs).
However, now they may have taken it too far. They have banished the hashtag…or at least the term “hashtag.”
France’s Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie announced this week that all government references to hashtagged words and phrases, will now use the French term “mot-dièse,” which means, “sharp word.”
It’s either a gross over-estimation of the caliber of thoughts that accompany the majority of hashtags (they’re not all that “sharp”).
Or it’s oddly fitting. Read the rest of this entry
It should come as no surprise to our fellow crusaders that 2WC is a fan of free speech. Over the past few years we’ve made our opinions known time and time again.
Another one of our other favorite crusades is the expansion of the English vocabulary through means of cutting back on curse words.
Needless to say, the town of Middleborough, Massachusetts has left us stumped.
This small town recently passed an ordinance imposing a $20 swearing fine.
Now don’t panic if you’re planning a summer excursion with your “Cursing Enthusiasts” club to the famed cranberry bogs of Middleborough. Fines will only be enforced on the loud and unruly public profaners. So keep your swearing soliloquys at a nice, even conversational volume, and you’ll be fine.
Of course, this does raise the First Amendment issue. Does prohibiting individuals from harassing their fellow human beings ears with their foul language, violate free speech? Also, what words qualify as official swear words?
Free speech issues aside, this may be a bit of over legislation. After all, you can’t enforce common sense and decency.
Countdown (or countup?) to 1000 posts: 997
More on the Story: Reuters
…just for fun:
Warning- This may raise a few questions from a younger audience:
On this the day after the birth and death of the Bard of Avon himself, William Shakespeare, I thought I (on behalf of 2WC) could take yet another moment to acknowledge and honor the English language.
In the past we’ve obstrigillated its demise, searched for the right words, rotfl‘d at the overuse of acronyms, and chosen words before emoticons. Needless to say, 2WC has an incendiary past with the modern English tongue.
However, today I’ll provide some accommodation, try not to proselytize (or be grammatically sanctimonious), and merely salute the vernacular for all that it is.
If you’ve learned nothing else about Shakespeare, you’ve probably learned that word choice is everything. When sharing your thoughts, in verse, prose, print, or proclamation, the words you choose say a lot about you, whether you are cognizant of it or not.
In the case of the Bard you may not understand it or like it, but the man knew how to choose his words, or if all else failed invent one. On this the day after the most auspicious day of his birth/death, 2WC and myself, applaud his far-reaching and unrestricted vocabulary and all those who continue to value vocabulary and the entirety of its promise.
I, 2WC, and the publishers of dictionaries and thesauruses thank you.
“A Point of View: In Defence of Obscure Words”: BBC
Shortly before the new year, Lake Superior State University released their annual list of “Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.”
An interesting name since the “Queen’s” English hasn’t been widely used in the US for at least a century.
But since 2WC loves a good hopeless cause, it would be a crime to not lend an assist.
The list ranges from the extremely overused to the just obnoxious when used at all.
Topping the list this year is “amazing,” with “occupy”, “ginormous” and “man cave,” among the highlights.
If your wondering just how you’re going to survive without these staples of the modern-day vernacular, here are some suggestions:
Amazing: See title
Occupy: absorb, amuse, or if you prefer a truly ironic replacement for the “occupy” movement—employ.
Ginormous: prodigious, monumental, or the baby-steps version—very large.
…I think a lot of us will agree this one can be replaced with silence.
True, these words represent a small portion of a much larger collection. And let’s face it, we should be thankful that they’re used correctly (even if applied too generously) on a somewhat regular basis.
But wouldn’t it be nice to be flabbergasted every now and then?
It would certainly mix things up.
More on the Story: The Guardian
…just for fun:
The existence of Miss, Mrs. and Ms. has always struck me as strange, given the lone option of Mr. on the other end of the spectrum. However, and I’m slightly ashamed to admit this, it never struck me as sexist…until now.
All it took was a small town in France (and apparently all of Germany… Fräulein Maria you just didn’t know how degraded you were).
Cesson-Sévigné, a suburb of Rennes, France, recently won a battle to have the term “Mademoiselle” removed from all official documents.
The case of the women’s rights groups pushing for the change was that if a man’s title “Monsieur” and only “Monsieur” doesn’t call for specifying their marital status why should a woman’s?
I cautiously admit that I like the sound of mademoiselle more than madame, but it’s the principal of the matter. So au revoir mademoiselle. As of January 1, 2012 (truly a thing of the past) you shall grace legal documents originating from Cesson-Sévigné no more. I bid thee adieu.
Liberté, égalité, solidarité féminine!
p.s. one more question: What exactly is so feminine about a calculator? But I suppose that’s for another discussion.
“Adieu to ‘Mademoiselle’: French Town Bans ‘Sexist’ Term”: TIME