Suggested new spellings for more than 2,000 French words have spurred controversy.

The Academie Francaise proposed changes in 1990, including the removal of the circumflex accent (ˆ) and hyphens in some words, but they were not compulsary. Now publishers say they will incorporate the new spellings in schoolbooks. But although France's education minister has said the changes will not mean the end of the circumflex, and that old and new spellings will both remain correct, the news sparked furious reaction on social media, with users arguing the changes constituted dumbing down. Some tweets even used the hashtag #JeSuisCirconflexe (I am circumflex).

 

'Comment dire?' Some of the new spellings

Oignon

Ognon (onion)

Nénuphar

Nénufar (water lily)

S'entraîner

S'entrainer (to practise)

Maîtresse

Maitresse (mistress, teacher)

Coût

Cout (cost)

Mille-pattes

Millepattes (centipedes)

Porte-monnaie

Portemonnaie (purse, wallet)

 

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