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Re: la nouvelle orthographie

From:Christophe Grandsire <grandsir@...>
Date:Thursday, September 30, 1999, 14:16
Don Blaheta wrote:
> > After the recent discussion about the German spelling reform, now I'm > kind of curious about the French spelling reform of a few years ago. > I've seen in various places now references to it, but it seems not to > have taken hold, at least not in any stunningly obvious way. > Particularly, I continue to see books published in the last few years > (dictionaries and conjugation books, no less!) that use double-consonant > conjugation for -eler and -eter verbs (e.g. "renouvelle" instead of the > new orthography's "renouvhle") and circumflexes everywhere (e.g. > "mantre" instead of the new "maitre", "ao{t" instead of "aout"). Has it > just completely failed to take hold? Larousse concedes "ivinement OU > ivhnement", but that's the best I can find. > > Ref: >
No need to say, most of the proposed reform has just failed, or appeared in so few words that nearly nobody saw it. But let's see the different rules and see what stucked and what did not stuck: - rule 1: Sorry, but I pronounce distinctly /evenma~/, not /evEnma~/, so writing "e've`nement" seems totally wrong for me. On the other hand, I just didn't know that before 1995, the rule was to write "ce'dera" instead of "ce`dera". So I find here a fact that will appear everywhere: the only rules that we accepted were the ones that we already used, even incorrectly, - rule 2: It seems not to be used for most verb, as "appeler" and "jeter" and words of the same family (in which "renouveler" takes place) are not affected by it. Useless rule... - rule 3: Failed. We still use all the circumflex accents, and personnally I prefer it this way. Just esthetics... - rule 4: It is true that the compounded words are a tricky part of French, concerning their plural. But most of us already wrote that way, so they just put in a rule what was already going on. Reform you said, uh? :) - rule 5: Failed. And silly IMHO. It makes just numbers painful to read. Forget it... - rule 6: Makes sense. So much sense that I never used "laisse'" followed by another infinitive in another way. Not really a reform... - rule 7: Don't like it. It would be better if both (the native plural and the French plural) were possible (for example: "des maximums" but also "des maxima". I prefer the second one personally), - rule 8: Don't find it very useful. But if it is the "good" orthography... :) So as you can see, it seems that most of the reform that was accepted was in fact just acceptance by the Academie of what was already in use by everybody. I can't call that a reform.
> -- > -=-Don<>-=- > In a Veterinarian's waiting room: "Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"
-- Christophe Grandsire Philips Research Laboratories -- Building WB 145 Prof. Holstlaan 4 5656 AA Eindhoven The Netherlands Phone: +31-40-27-45006 E-mail: