News of the demise of the word hashtag in France was revealed on Wednesday on the government website Journal Officiel .
The move comes after the Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie, France’s language police, officially validated the choice of “mot-dièse” as a replacement for the now ubiquitous english version.
One of the commission’s roles is ‘to encourage the presence of the French language on social media networks’.
Defined as a “series of characters preceded by the # symbol”, the word ‘mot-dièse’, literally meaning ‘sharp word’, will now be used in all official documents.
Needless to say the news of the end of hashtag caused a bit of a stir as well as a certain amount of ridicule on Twitter.
Berengere Promerat tweeted: “Ahah French commission says French should not use #hashtag anymore but #motdièse!!! What a joke!!!”
Certain tweeters wondered what the commission would set its sights on next.
“’Hashtag’ becomes 'mot-diese' Facebook will become trombinoscope or Fessebouc,” tweeted Jean-Michel Boudon and on a similar note Golden Moustache tweeted: “We will not say Facebook anymore but ‘Livre des facies’”.
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A tweeter named Capuche said: “SMS =short message service. I propose 'service de messages en Bermuda' to be validated by our minister.”
There also appeared to be a certain amount of resistance among French tweeters.
“I don’t know about you but I will continue to say hashtag and not motdièse,” said Emmenuelle Vallee.