The World: The Battle of Belglais

Fourteen years ago, members of the French Academy unleashed a monumentally unsuccessful offensive against the invasion of Franglais, which brought le smoking (dinner jacket) and le footing (a walk) into the language of Racine and Corneille. Now French speakers in Belgium want to rid their vocabulary of a similar disease — Belglais. Leading the campaign is Parliamentarian Antoinette Spaak (daughter of the late statesman Paul-Henri Spaak). She wants a law that would penalize Belglais-speaking government officials 65¢ to $2.50 per offense, depending on how flagrant it is ruled to be.

If Spaak should succeed, journalists would no longer vie for le...

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