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‘Mot-Dièse’
Posted: 24 May 2013 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Always vigilant against English neologisms, the French Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologisme has decided that “hashtag” will not be used by the French public. Instead this odd word which Wired says will never catch on since Dièse actually designates the musical symbol for sharp rather than the hashtag on our English keyboards.

the Atlantic.

[ Edited: 25 May 2013 02:13 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 24 May 2013 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Happily, the French public seems to have decided they couldn’t give a shit.

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Posted: 25 May 2013 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You can lead a cheval to water but you can’t make it boire. There were influential voices in 18th century England urging the institution of a Language Academy, Dean Swift’s not least among them. Fortunately ministerial inertia prevailed and the plans came to nought.

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Posted: 25 May 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Not really related to French, except in that Johnson was especially worried about the “Gallicisms” that were creeping into English, but this is my favorite prescriptivist quote of all time:

When I survey the Plan [for the dictionary] which I have laid before you, I cannot, my Lord but confess, that I am frighted at its extent, and, like the soldiers of Caesar, look on Britain as a new world, which it is almost madness to invade. But I hope, that though I should not complete the conquest, I shall at least discover the coast, civilize part of the inhabitants, and make it easy for some other adventurer to proceed farther, to reduce them wholly to subjection, and settle them under laws.

—Samuel Johnson, 1747

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Posted: 25 May 2013 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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On a related note, my cousin’s twenty-something son wants to know when the recorded voice on company voicemail is going to stop saying “press pound for more options” and instead say “press the hashtag for more options.” He says that nobody in his generation uses the word “pound” for that symbol.

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Posted: 26 May 2013 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Was it ever really a thing in any generation?

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Posted: 26 May 2013 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The company voicemail where I’m currently working in Hong Kong also says “press pound”: it’s an organisation dating way back to the British colonial era which uses British English in all its publications, and employs probably a majority of non-North Americans among its expat staff, of whom I doubt more than a tiny minority know what “pound” means in this context. Many of the Hongkongers who work here have been educated in the US/Canada, but I doubt too many of them know the hash is also known as the pound, either.

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Posted: 26 May 2013 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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As I recall I first learned # as “pound sign” in the Midwestern US, perhaps a bit passed mid-century.

A few years ago I got an urge to find out what the early typesetters called it.  In my search I stumbled across “octothorpe” which I believe may have been telephone manufacturers jargon. I never did find out what the typesetters called it.

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Posted: 26 May 2013 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Just heard this tonight on Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unkown” about Quebec. This probably deserves its own entry but in this new version of WO is not possible to just change the subject line within a line of discussion; but it just seems more appropriate here. If I were to start a new thread it would be ”Pastagate” where the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) sent a letter of warning to an upscale restaurant, Buonanotte, for using Italian words such as “pasta,” “antipasti,” “calamari,” etc. on its menu instead of their French equivalents.

Instead of complying with instructions on the letter he received from the OQLF, the owner of Buonanotte went public and it generated a widespread public outcry across the province, even among francophones, about the Office abusing its powers. The incident also received international attention in newspapers, thus causing an embarrassment to the provincial government. The incident led to the resignation of Louise Marchand, head of the OQLF, on March 8.

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Posted: 27 May 2013 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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thus causing an embarrassment to the provincial government

The phrase “provincial government” is something of a double entendre in this case.

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Posted: 27 May 2013 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The phrase “provincial government” is something of a double entendre in this case.

perzackly!

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Posted: 28 May 2013 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Oecolampadius - 25 May 2013 02:15 PM

On a related note, my cousin’s twenty-something son wants to know when the recorded voice on company voicemail is going to stop saying “press pound for more options” and instead say “press the hashtag for more options.” He says that nobody in his generation uses the word “pound” for that symbol.

Hmmm.  A hashtag is the hash (#) symbol together with the words that form the “tag”.  It sounds like he’s saying that millennials are starting to use the term hashtag to mean the symbol by itself.  I’ll have to ask my daughter about that.

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Posted: 28 May 2013 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Great point! Before hashtag we used to say “hashmark” I believe. So here is his facebook post

I wonder how long it will take for companies to change from “press pound for more options” to “press hashtag for more options”. No kid knows what a pound sign is anymore

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Posted: 28 May 2013 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I had no idea that that symbol was ever called the ‘pound’ sign; for me, ‘pound sign’ always and only signifies ‘£’. And in every British automated dialling message I’ve ever heard, the instruction is ‘press hash’.

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Posted: 28 May 2013 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Here’s a link to an earlier post on hash and hashtag in which Dr Techie (He Who Should Be Listened To) says:

Ah, so the British pound sign (£) replaces the US pound sign (#) as shift-3.

Which is probably why it’s called the “pound” in the States.

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Posted: 28 May 2013 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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isn’t the “hash” in “hashtag” a variant of “hatch”? The symbol is, after all, constructed of hatched lines. Why -"tag" , I wouldn’t know. Is there a rational explanation for “tag”, or it just there for want of something better?

(EDIT) On referring to the earlier thread, i see that Dr. Techie has long, long since beaten me to the post.

[ Edited: 28 May 2013 12:18 PM by lionello ]
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