France takes itself too seriously. As silly as the whole "freedom fries" meme was a few months ago (I actually had a chance to buy some at Knott's Berry Farm), the French tend to make up whole new words just to avoid having to borrow from English. The latest lexicological victim is "e-mail", which the French want to replace with "courriel".
The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.Good luck with that.
The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail - a claim some industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.
"Evocative, with a very French sound, the word 'courriel' is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed 'mail' in English," the commission has ruled.