Friday, July 18, 2003

When will they ban the word 'ban'? 

In response to the French adding "e-mail" to the official government list of banned words Eugene Volokh has this insight:
A bit more on "e-mail": My New Shorter Oxford tells me that "mail" originates from . . . old French ("male," a variant of "malle," which means bag or trunk). True, the "e" is from Greek, but French borrows such words from Greek, too; I believe that "electron," for instance, is the same in French and in English.

So they invade jolly old England, conquer the place, foist their lingo on the locals, and then when they get one of their own words back (and with a jaunty Greek combo), say "Ew! Tainted! It's got those English cooties!" Greg Goelzhauser has a suggestion that will teach them: Expunge all French-origin words from English. It's only 28% of the language, he points out, shouldn't be too hard.

On a totally unrelated note, every time I review my résumé it feels like déja vu all over again. It's hard to believe my raison d'etre to this point in life has been turning channels and installing chandeliers. Now excuse me, I must retire to the commode.
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