November 29, 2021

Blanquer denounces the entry of “iel” in Le Petit Robert

LANGUAGE – Three letters and a lot of noise. The neutral pronoun “iel” made its entry into Le Petit Robertand it is far from pleasing to everyone. Even the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer denounced this dictionary initiative on Tuesday, November 16.

It is the LREM deputy of Indre François Jolivet who sent the first salvo of the day on Twitter, believing that the authors of these “words” were the militants of a cause “which has nothing French”. He also announced that he had sent a letter to the French Academy. Note that the latter cannot act on the decisions taken by Le Petit Robert for its content.

An hour later, Jean-Michel Blanquer said his “support” for the deputy, arguing that inclusive writing is not “the future of language”: “Even though our students are in the process of consolidating their fundamental knowledge, they could not have that for reference ”.

“Iel”, a neo-neutral pronoun, is a contraction of “he” and “she” (it can be written ‘iels’, ‘ielle’ or ‘ielles’). It is a “personal subject pronoun of the third person singular and plural, used to refer to a person of any gender. The use of the pronoun in inclusive communication (sic).“, Explain Le Petit Robert.

“We noticed that this word was gaining momentum and we integrated it”, explains to Figaro Marie-Hélène Drivaud, lexicographer of the said dictionary. “Iel” must go through a probationary period, but according to the daily, the pronoun had to join the columns of the web dictionary before integrating the paper edition of 2022. It was added “during October 2021, at the same time as’ vaccinodrome ‘,’ antivax ‘or even’ sanitary pass’ ”.

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