Sacré bleu! The French government have moved to protect their nation from the sinister Anglicising effect of Twitter by replacing the word “hashtag” with their own Gallic term “mot-dièse”, which translates as “sharp word”.
The Commission Génerale de Terminologie et de Néologie – a government agency solely responsible for the preservation of the French language – has made it a legal requirement that the French equivalent to the English term be used in all official government legislation and correspondence. French Twitter users will also be encouraged to adopt the new word, although any decision to revert to the use of “hashtag” will not be deemed an illegal offence.
Back in 2003, the same agency attempted to replace the word “email” with the French equivalent, “courriel”, with limited success. “Mot dièse” doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue so it remains to be seen whether the French will adopt it into their vernacular. #VivaLaHashtag