Speaking correctly and French

This blog is primarily concerned with correctness and attitudes to usage in English, but English is not the only language in which correctness in language is an issue – has been an issue for centuries: French is well-known for having an Academy that addresses and decides on usage issues. One of the things the French Academy has been trying to stop is the influence of English, a losing battle it seems.

If you want to know more about this, and especially about the question of whether the French are more puristic or prescriptive than any other nation, you might like to listen to a lecture given by Professor Wendy Bennett from the University of Cambridge at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas two years ago. It is called “Speaking Correctly: Purism and Prescriptivism in France”.

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