The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 December 2002

@ are belong to us

In France, don't be caught calling @ the "at sign". It is the arobase.

They're still looking for a suitably-Gallic replacement for "email", though.

Posted at 8:46 AM to PEBKAC


I suspect that they are particularly annoyed by "email" because "email" with an aigu (acute accent: /) on the E is already a French noun: it means "enamel" (in art or dentistry).

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at 4:56 PM on 10 December 2002

And they say you never learn anything from blogging. :)

Actually, I'm somewhat surprised they use the same word for both meanings of "enamel", and I'm not even sure why. Must be some stereotype lurking in the back of my head.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:53 PM on 10 December 2002

Considering the best they could come up with for "computer" is "l'ordinateur," I wouldn't bank on them finding a good word for "email" any time soon.

Posted by: Vicky at 4:19 PM on 12 December 2002

Never underestimate the French capacity to expend prodigious effort on minor issues. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 4:47 PM on 12 December 2002

The French for "e-mail" is:

Zat hoity-toity 'igh-tech sing where you type ze words and propel zem sroo ze Entre-net to some hoity-toity 'igh-tech type person in anuzzer countree

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 4:51 PM on 13 December 2002

I think P. J. O'Rourke once boiled this down to "Bitez-vous moi". :)

Posted by: CGHill at 4:54 PM on 13 December 2002