“Gender neutral version of French sparks backlash.” What a headline. Yes, of course it does. Anytime language changes, especially if sexual politics are involved, there will always be some old curmudgeon saying: “Why, back in my day we just spoke the way it felt natural! My way is and will forever be the only correct way! Because I say so! Language doesn’t change! Now make me a sandwich!”
What really gets me about this story, though, is that the suggested language change–which does away with the automatic masculinization of plurals that is common in latinate languages–apparently “has offended swaths of traditionalists.” At the same time, the ONLY resistance reported herein is by the “sole British member” of the French Academy, “France’s 400-year-old voice of authority on language.” Yes, this is absolutely how language change occurs. Let’s ask an old British dude who thinks an academy can control language about a language that isn’t even his own and print his opinion. That should be credible.
I don’t even have the energy for this. Go read the story here –>