The words of the year (1/6): “writing inclusive”, disagreement in gender and number

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Writing inclusive, defended for ages by linguists concerned with equality, is again this year a subject of contention and public debate.

As said, a pub with here : it is all the time comic, a chicane of French. Indeed ! Even more so when the dispute focuses on the French in France, just named “country of the year” by the magazine The Economist.


Writing inclusive, defended for ages by linguists concerned with equality, is again this year a subject of contention and public debate more acrimonious. Editor hex Hatier has reopened the old wound in march by publishing a textbook using this new mode of expression.


The book of history entitled to Question the world uses a terminator of women after a median point. The manual for the use of the primary school children also ceases “invisibiliser women” by citing it constantly, for example, to write : “Thanks to the farmer.trice.s, craftsman.e.s and the trader.e.s, Gaul was a rich country. “


In this model, the masculine prevails, therefore, not automatically on the feminine and the professions are feminised when a holder of the warrants. The preference is as far as possible, the use of neutral terms. We opted for “human rights” rather than ” human right “.


These measures apply in part the recommendations of a guide to communicating about non-sexist published in 2015 by the High Council for equality between women and men. The method by the mid-point is far from unanimous, even among feminists. The objective egalitarian, him, enjoyed much more of the world.


The French Academy at first seemed to defend a position radically and unanimously conservative. The usual routine, what. The guardian institution of the language was launched at the end of October a “solemn warning” against scripture, “so-called” inclusive, which would weigh on the French language, nothing less than a ” deadly peril “.


All this writing ? No. The forty Immortals, including four women, seem to be a bit divided. If the midpoint is rejected by all, the feminisation of the professions has its followers and the agreement of proximity does not work all of the bicorne.


The debate has also reached the national Assembly, where deputies measured have established a very fine comparisons with the newspeak orwellienne. The new prime minister, Édouard Philippe, has finally decided, at the end of November, by prohibiting writing inclusive of official texts.


Still, the revolt rumbles still. A group of 77 linguists (including nine of Canada) was published in mid-December, a forum entitled ” the Academy takes its language, not ours.” They claim that the debate continues and that reform becomes an object of collective reflection. They recall the controversy over gender expression date back many centuries and that the case has ramifications in the socio-political, ” whether we like it or not “.


The chicane of French around the French was less of a wave here, where it applies the writing gender-inclusive language (” students “) for years. The lawyer Michael Lessard and lawyer Suzanne Zaccour published a Grammar of non-sexist language-French (M editor) in September. The book introduces the sub-title : The male shall take precedence over !.

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