France is implementing a series of changes to its language in an effort to simplify it, but the move has not gone down well with the French, TheLocal.fr reported. In particular, the decision to drop the "i" from the French “oignon” could well leave the language guardians in a soup. Twitter users have decried the changes, with the hashtag #ReformeOrthographe (“spelling reform”) becoming the top trending topic in the country on Thursday.
The modifications were first suggested by the Académie Française in 1990, but will be implemented in September this year when the school year begins. There are a total of 2,400 changes. The biggest of these involved dropping the circumflex accent from the letters "i" and "u". This prompted many to Tweet solemn black images with the text “Je Suis Circumflex”, in a nod to similar protestations after the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks. Words like week-end will lose their hyphen, while the French word for water-lily will change from nénuphar to nénufar.
While the changes were brought in to make the complex language a bit easier, many said their language was being “dumbed down” and that the decision was “absurd”. This included Vice-President of the National Front party, who said “The French language is our soul”.