French gendarmes bid to outlaw English phrases from their language
In a continuing battle to stop English words violating their mother tongue, French gendarmes have decreed the nation must now refer to the Twitter term hashtag as mot-diese.
Teachers and the media are under orders to adopt it and steer clear of using the English word.
The outlawing of hashtag is the latest in a stream of desperate bids by the nation's stuffy Academie francaise authority to keep the language pure.
Already, the French culture ministry has a huge list of English words on its website which it fears are in danger of slipping into common French usage.
These words include email, blog, supermodel, take-away, parking, weekend and low-cost airline.
The site, which has a blacklist vocabulary of 65 pages, also features obscure terms like detachable motor caravan and multifunctional industrial building.
Scientists are told to no longer refer to "serial analysis of gene expression" and "suppression subtractive hybridization".
Television sports commentators are even urged to stop using the words coach or corner during football matches, despite the fact that all its terms were invented in English by English speakers.
They should instead say entraineur and coup de pied de coin.
"The English term hashtag should wherever possible be replaced with the French term mot-diese," the Mirror quoted The Official Journal, which publishes the French edicts, as saying.