France Bans Twitter Term 'Hashtag'; ‘Mot-Dièse' Is The New French Hashtag

By Binu Paul email: b.paul@mobilenapps.com | Jan 28, 2013 06:36 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

In a bid to protect its national language, France has introduced a list of words and terms that the administrations demand should be avoided by public figures and teachers. Interestingly, the Twitter term 'hashtag' has been named as one of those terms that can allegedly undermine the country's 'linguistic purity.'

Follow us

Académie Française, the body responsible for maintaining the standards of French, decreed that henceforth the French word 'mot-dièse' to be used in reference to the symbol used to tag your micro-blogging posts as a 'hashtag.'

The decision was announced on the government-run Web site Journal Officiel and The Local reports that 'mot-dièse' literally means 'Sharp Word' which the French authorities define as a 'series of characters preceded by the # symbol.'

France's official language police, Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie seeks to find French alternatives for anglicisms and the decision to replace hashtag came after the commission validated the choice of 'mot-dièse' as a replacement for the famous Twitter term.

The commission looks to encourage the presence of French language on social media networks and as part of its initiatives, many English words such as 'email', 'blog', 'chewing gum', 'weekend', 'take-away', 'supermodel', 'parking', and 'low-cost airline' are banned by the French officials.

However, according to a Daily Mail report, "critics swiftly pointed out that the two words are technically different, with the English hashtag symbol leaning to the right and denoting an abbreviation for 'number', equivalent to 'no'."

The French move is hardly unusual as it has a long history of aggressive approach in policing its language to prevent it from the invasion of English words. However, the decision to replace hashtag is viewed as an action with greater significance than just purifying the French language. The French government had directed the micro-blogging social media to identify the hands behind anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic tweets. It gave examples of offensive hashtags such as #UnBonJuif (a good Jew), #SiMaFilleRamèneUnNoir (if my daughter brings home a black guy) and #SiMonFilsEstGay (if my son is gay) that sparked outrage across the country. The government wants to book the authors of such tweets under the country's hate-speech laws.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

© 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join Our Conversation

Smartphones
2014 Google Nexus familyNexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player on Google Play: Available models, prices & shipping estimates
Sony Smartwatch 3 pops up on Google Play, sports $249.99 price tag
New Moto X (2014) on Verizon $49.99 this weekend only
Apple unveils whopping 27-inch Retina 5K iMac: Specs, features, pricing & availability
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Gadgets
Amazon LogoAmazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC LogoHTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google DowntimeGoogle blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
Flipboard for Windows PhoneFlipboard for Windows Phone finally available, but requires 1GB of RAM (VIDEO)
Vine gets major update, lets you upload previously-shot videos & more (VIDEO)
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) finally hits Windows Phone – Available as a free download now
Instagram releases Bolt ephemeral messaging app in select markets to challenge Snapchat
Copyright © 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. mobilenapps
Real Time Analytics