FRANCE: Tempest in a Chapeau

FRANCE: Tempest in a Chapeau

Quelle horreur! Everyone knows the French language is sacrosanct. But that has ( not kept the government of Prime Minister Michel Rocard from trying to reform French spelling to make it easier.

The proposed changes will affect at most 4,000 of the 50,000 words in use, but such minor "rectifications" cut no ice with editors and academics who have launched a vigorous contre-attaque (new spelling: contrattaque). At the center of their protest is the circumflex accent, a little hat the French occasionally put over vowels (as in chateau and hotel, crouton and maitre). To simplify matters, the new rules would remove...

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