DEFENDING THE FRENCH LANGUAGE. Max Colchester’s article traces the 18 month path of a proposed translation of “cloud computing” as “information en nuage.” The proposal was ultimately rejected, but the French authorities have been successful with other efforts to establish French words for the computer age. “World Wide Web” is “toile d’ araignee mondiale”—“global spider web.” And “courriel” was officially approved and has successfully replaced “e mail.” Anglo Saxons are bemused by the thought of government agencies inventing and imposing new words, but I am sympathetic with the importance that the French give it. Colchester quotes the head of the General Delegation for the French Language and the Languages of France as saying in defense of the process: “Language is what brought this country together.” I posted here about how it was not until the nineteenth century that France was able to establish a national language which prevailed over the 55 dialects and hundreds of subdialects which were spoken at the time of the French Revolution.

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