You might have read it in your newspaper; there’s been an outcry regarding the “réforme de l’orthographe” mostly coming from the Front National or other reactionaries. Robert Ménard (note this name, you’ll soon see it again in another blog post) tweeted
Ils changent la population, ils changent notre histoire, et maintenant ils changent notre langue. #ReformeOrthographe
forgetting to add that the Education Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem had merely announced the application of a 1990 spelling reform, adding that both spellings, the traditional and the new, would be accepted. A few months ago, the publishers of school textbooks agreed to include the new spellings from the start of the next academic start, next autumn. Contrary to what you can read in some badly researched articles or articles written in bad faith, the “accent circonflexe” is not going to vanish. It will stay where it helps clarify the meaning of a word, for example “Faire le jeûne” is to abstain from eating meat, whereas “Faire le jeune” is to act young, usually younger than one’s age. Note that the pronunciation is also slightly different between the two words.
French people are obsessed with “l’orthographe” and “la grammaire”. In which other country do you have spelling competitions with thousands of participants?
Click HERE if you want to update your French spelling.