Language censorship?

Some debate regarding language usage has been stirred up recently, after respected French language body L’Academie Francaise placed some English words on their blacklist of words to “ban”.

In reality, only two words/phrases have been listed so far – “le best of” and “impacter,” a word which means “to impact” and is a mixture of French and English. This move is intended to preserve and enrich the French language. It does not include English words such as “weekend” and “sandwich” which are in everyday use in France. Other words, such as “email,” are encouraged to be abandoned in favour of the correct French, in this case, “courriel”. Here in the UK, a lot of French phrases have been incorporated into everyday language; soiree, raison d’etre, baguette, rendezvous, and deja-vu, to name a few. The difference is that my keyboard doesn’t have the necessary accents to type the words correctly!

Both the French and English languages are historically in no way “pure”, they derive from the Latin and Germanic languages respectively, and have evolved throughout time, incorporating and adapting words from other languages. Whilst it is admirable that steps are being taken to preserve a language, a few crossover words, especially in an ever changing multi-lingual world, surely can’t hurt as long as they are recognised as foreign words?

Comments on Language censorship?