More than six years ago, we wrote about how the French, ever protective of their language, had rejected a bunch of commonly used words to describe new technologies such as email, and created their own official French-approved versions. The process, of course, is an ongoing one, and an attendee at a recent meeting explains the process by which the French come up with officially acceptable French ways of saying things like "ipod" and "pharming." As the article says: "The words are created by a panel of industrialists and savants, either from scratch or based on observations of evolving usage. The Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry has set up a Special Commission on Terminology and Neologisms in Electronic Communications to carry out such work." Apparently, just letting languages evolve naturally (while perhaps requiring that much less bureaucracy) is just way too messy.
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