There is no doubt that the entry of the personal pronoun “iel” in the Robert will go down in history. But, it will not be that of the French language. Rather that of marketing. What a steaming blow! In a few days, we talked about Robert in gazettes around the world. Not a village lost in the depths of La Francophonie that has not heard its echo. The case could become a textbook case in business schools.
Because today it is the same with dictionaries as with “tanks”. Each year, its model. It’s been a long time since the dictionary has been advertising the new words admitted in the holy of holies. About a hundred each year and the circle has come full circle. Even if most of them only experience what the flowers experience. It doesn’t matter that languages only evolve over the long term. With each new edition, its new “trends”. This year, the dictionary is in “degenerate” fashion, the “neutral” slung over the shoulder. Next year will be something else. What wouldn’t we do to sell paper.
Let us remind neophytes that “iel” is the fusion of “he” and “she”. Logically, the new pronoun should therefore designate those who recognize themselves in both the masculine and the feminine. But, for reasons that are still mysterious, which mainly stem from this colonized reflex who seeks to copy the neutral English, it would indicate, it is said, those who do not recognize themselves in either one or the other. Understand who can.
Unlike the French Academy, The Robert However, it had always defined itself as “an observatory, not a conservatory”, said its former editor-in-chief Alain Rey. Here he is rallying to a prescriptive conception of the dictionary, not to say downright militant. Because, one wonders where its authors were able to “observe” beings in flesh and blood who spoke and wrote this language. How could they, since even the microscopic militant sects which promote it fail to use this pronoun whose agreements are in no way defined? This is what made the linguist Bernard Cerquiglini say that by discovering what his successors are doing Robert, “Alain Rey would have burst out laughing! “
The use of this artificial pronoun being non-existent, its inclusion in the dictionary can therefore only represent a purely political choice. A choice that the philosopher Robert Redecker identifies with “a neobolchevism who, like its historical predecessor, dreams of making a new man of which” he “would be the embryo”.
But let’s not sulk our pleasure. Because the emergence of this artificial and doctrinaire construction teaches us a lot about the ideology that gave birth to it, that of deconstruction. Nothing like destroying a society judged by essence guilty of all the “systemic” discriminations of the world than to attack its language. The proponents of these theses having been fed on the theories of postmodern relativism according to which everything is only representation, they believe in a kind of inverted Marxism that it is “representation which produces reality”. This is how we come, for example, to deny any biological and material basis for human sexuality and to postulate that everyone can choose their sex and change it as they see fit.
As soon as one professes that “there is nothing outside of language”, it is not surprising that one imagines being able to change the world from the comfort of one’s computer. Forget about strikes and social movements, it would be enough to grind the tongue. It is therefore understandable why this university left attaches so much importance to linguistic inventions as grotesque as so-called “inclusive” writing which generally makes ordinary people laugh, or at best indifferent. It will always be easier to invent new words and play Lego with the rules of grammar than to fight to improve the lot of supermarket cashiers.
We understand at the same time how such reasoning arrives at attitudes as absurd and totalitarian as banning words. As if by banning the word “nigger”, for example, and replacing it with paraphrases, we were doing away with the discrimination it may have conveyed in history. The whole vocabulary of political correctness is based on such a premise. By outlawing the word “old” and replacing it with the jargon that gave us the “elders” and the “golden age”, we would be supposed to fight against discrimination. The horrors committed during the recent epidemic in Quebec CHSLDs, where this jargon dominates, should convince us that it is not. And that these linguistic manipulations are only hypocritical subterfuges intended to hide the disturbing realities, when they are not simply used to give oneself a clear conscience.
All this would only be a useless intellectual debate if, as Camus said, “to name an object incorrectly” did not only “add to the unhappiness of this world”.