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French government offers up a native version of the word "hashtag" for Twitter users: mot-dièse, which translates into "sharp word."
French Twitter addicts, be forewarned: the word "hashtag" is officially frowned upon in language-proud France, where government officials have decided to purge the 21st-century phrase from the language, replacing it with one of their own.
Concerned about the continued watering-down of France's proud linguistic tradition, the French Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie decided to ban the humble "hashtag" and replace it with a new term: mot-dièses, which translates into "sharp word," according to Fast Company.
Read more from GlobalPost: French students take Twitter to court
The Commission's role, at least in part, is "to encourage the presence of the French language on social media networks" — which may explain the rationale behind the shift, says The Local.
The French decision was met with what can only be described as derision on Twitter this week, as evidenced by these examples:
keep 'em coming MT @jmsark: Finally a global problem ticked off the list. France has come up w/ official translation for word hashtag. Phew.
— Alexandra Lee (@amorousmusings) January 23, 2013
— Melissa Dilber (@mlxa) January 23, 2013
I'll have an order of freedom fries with that...| France Renaming "Hashtag" | buff.ly/Wlv1Nw
— Andrej Suskavcevic (@Andrejls) January 28, 2013
France's fraught relationship with Twitter made the news earlier this month when a group of students sued the micro-blogging website, claiming that the site had to reveal the personal information of users who tweeted anti-Semitic messages.
A French court decreed on January 24 that Twitter had to identify the offending users, or face daily fines of $1,3000 a day, reports Reuters.