France Bans E-mail

The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of the word email in all government ministries, documents, publications or websites, in the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.  They must now use “courriel” – a shortening of “courrier electronique” (literally: electronic mail) – when they are referring to the messages sent via the internet, the ministry said in a statement.

Some Internet industry experts say the decision doesn’t reflect reality.  “The word ‘courriel’ is not at all actively used,” Marie-Christine Levet, president of French Internet service provider Club Internet, said. “E-mail has sunk in to our values.”

It’s probably a lot like trying to get people to stop saying French Toast and French Fries.