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French language discovers email

But when will they eat snail mail?

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It's official-'email' is now a legitimate word in French, following its inclusion in the latest edition of the Robert dictionary, France's equivalent to the language-defining Oxford English Dictionary. 'Surfer' too is now acceptable to French speakers describing Web users. Well known for their disapproval of the inclusion of English words, particularly those of American English etymology, French linguists have often attempted to terminate the use of US-derived IT terminology. However, the global Internet seems to be ultimately frustrating their efforts, with Francophone Net users-les internautes-increasingly picking up and using English IT argot. Still, they aren't giving up the fight easily. The Robert dictionary lists 'courriel' as an alternative to 'email' for those who prefer something sounding a little more Gallic. Ironically, the word used in English to descrive such terminology, 'jargon', is itself a French word, used to describe words which mimic the sounds, such as a bird's 'cheep' or a dog's 'woof'.®

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