Benoit Tessier via Reuters
POLITICS – One consonant and two vowels, this is the pronoun … of discord. Part of the political class has been in turmoil since Le Robert editions decided to add the non-gender pronoun “iel” to the online version of their prestigious dictionary.
A novelty noted by the deputy of the majority François Jolivet, Tuesday, November 16 … and criticized, in the wake, by the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. “I obviously support the protest against the Little Robert. Inclusive writing is not the future of the French language, ”wrote the slayer of“ woke ideology ”on social networks, before the debate took hold on news channels.
But this “protest”, in the words of the minister, is not shared by everyone in government. Guest of franceinfo on the evening of Wednesday November 17, Elisabeth Moreno rather spoke of “progress” for those who wish to use it, while explaining that she did not understand too much the cries of orchard on this subject.
“That we say that potentially ‘we can say iel because it enriches the language and it is a neutral pronoun’, why is it so shocking?”, She replied at first, as you can see it below, before judging that the addition to the dictionary constitutes “a progress for the people who want to recognize themselves in this pronoun. And I don’t see what that takes away from those who don’t want to use it ”.
A frontal opposition to his colleague in the rue de Grenelle? Elisabeth Moreno denies it, despite everything. “If Jean-Michel Blanquer says that we should not use it (the pronoun ‘iel’ Editor’s note), within national education, and that he explains that it is to avoid complicating things, I thinks he’s right, ”she explained, bringing him back, in a way, to his role as Minister of National Education.
the Robert muscle his defense
Beyond the government, the question also stirs the oppositions in a context of pre-presidential campaign. Guest of RTL this Thursday morning, Valérie Pécresse expressed all her anger at the decision of the Robert.
“I am not for deconstructing the language. In the French language, the neutral is the masculine ”, thus decided the president of the Île-de-France region, candidate to represent LR next spring, before attacking, too, the inclusive writing: “The real problem is that this pseudo-inclusive writing, since no one speaks it and no one knows how to master it, in fact, it excludes.”
None of that, for the dictionary editor. In a statement released on Wednesday, the director general of Robert, Charles Bimbenet, confirms the addition “a few weeks ago” of this pronoun, defending himself from any militancy. If he recognizes that the use of this word is “still relatively weak”, he explains that “for a few months, the documentalists” noted that it was used more and more.
And to add, with a touch of irony: “No offense to some, The Robert was not suddenly affected by acute ‘wokism’, a ‘non-transparent’ word whose definition we promise you soon. ”
See also on Le HuffPost: In Le Havre, Édouard Philippe pays for the “woke culture”