Vaccine pass or vaccine pass?

According to French AcademyThe name pass is an Anglicism to be avoided. However, "passe" is feminine in French. So, what's the best way to get your vaccines?

Who will prevail? Will it be pass vaccinal, le passe vaccinal, or la passe vaccinale? Even the Académie seems to be hesitating, betting on the time it has left before tackling this dictionary entry to be in a position to decide and propose a recommendation on which genre to use.

If we think that all options are equal, we also know that it's usage that will dictate. So it's all a question of time and fashion.

Kind of words

As with "COVID-19", there's constant vacillation between the masculine and feminine genders, and the two are mixed together in the same bodies of text, even on the most popular sites. officials. And so we go [!] from one article to the next, without ever reaching a definitive decision on the gender of nouns. And we often hear apologies from those who use this term, saying they don't know what to say, because, well, we hear everything and its opposite. Perhaps it's the Covid effect...

Covide-19 male or female

If confusion of genres is now the rule in this field, it's hardly surprising to see the emergence of a pass culture in May 2021, and is likely to become a "culture pass" in the near future.

Cultural Brexit

Clearly, if there's any hesitation about the sex of the angels, there's very little disagreement about outlawing Anglicisms, even though their use is legion on the Old Continent. Let's face it, this trend towards the francization of new Anglicisms seems to be part of a fierce battle against words borrowed from our neighbors across the Channel.

And yet, some words are frozen in their roots, as if they had been passed down to the past. freezerIn the fridge, I mean... in the fridge! So it is with the week-end, which only Quebecers reject for the "fin de semaine", a French expression that we've been using for years. the rest of us we tend to use to designate all days from Wednesday to Sunday!

But for the pass, it seems the fight has already begun. Out ! "the pass", in ! "the pass! Le Figaro has gone from " pass sanitaire" to "passe sanitaire" in a new masculine version in just a few months, a masculine version duly endorsed by the Robert dictionary, which hastened to include this "sanitary pass". new meaning in his dictionary.

On the other hand, "Covid-19" remains the acronym for Coronavirus Disease 2019 and no one takes offense at the fact that we're still using this anglicism... I guess we'll get used to it in the end!n

Gender confusion, masculine and feminine

The French language is decidedly complicated: we vacillate between masculine and feminine, and call for neutral. But language is not neutral. It's as if, in the name of parity, we wanted to free ourselves from the differences between men and women by using generic gender-neutral nouns. We're also resisting this move, even though we could recognize that, following the feminization of vocabulary for certain professions, there are - in fact - transgender words. What does this mean?

As is the case with epicene adjectives, those that carry no gender marker, some nouns in the French language even change gender depending on whether they are used in the singular or plural (un bel orgue, de belles orgues or un amour fou, des amours folles). Rather than give in to the siren calls of inclusive writing, which is unreadable and unpronounceable by nature, and embark on a war of the sexes, we make neutral words, with neither masculine nor feminine endings - notably the names of functions (un ou une ministre, for example) - despite the protests of the guardians of the French language. And even if we pretend to oppose it, we end up completely eliminating the masculine and feminine genders for certain words like "astronome" (Larousse or the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 9th edition). And yet, behind these French-language sentinels (a feminine word!), most of them are men!

Gender neutrality

It's the end of the generic masculine for the lexical field of professional nouns: a noun is modified by feminizing its determiner, then its ending, thus going from "Monsieur le professeur" to "Madame la professeure"... New nominalisations are therefore being introduced, in defiance of all linguistic rules: excessive substantivation for some, healthy adjustment of the language to today's mores for others. The debates are lively! We can't stand it any longer when the masculine takes precedence over the feminine. Long live the neuter gender! Males have lived long enough... and personal pronouns like "il" or "elles" now welcome their neutral counterparts in the form of "iel" or "eil" (as well as their plural counterparts!). Problems with the agreement of participles will soon pale into insignificance in the face of the grammatical challenge of agreeing these pronouns in gender and number...

Thus, we address "Madame la Maire" rather than "Madame la Mairesse", "la docteure"[!] rather than "la doctoresse"... terms whose existence has long been attested. It makes you wonder whether "resse" has a feminist ring to it, unlike the letter E, which is added to a masculine radical: we now refer to female authors as "auteures" or "autrices", as the feminization of the professions promotes parity. All forms of word neutralization are now used to tackle sexist stereotypes.

A sleight of hand

Thus, as if to move from the pass sanitary" to pass vaccines", by a pirouette, we go from the "vaccine" to the "vaccine". pass The feminine version of the "pass" seems to have been discarded, since it's not a matter of "pass" but of "sesame", "laissez-passer" or "passport", documents whose possession legitimizes your right of access to certain places. The feminine version of la passe seems to have been discarded. While it used to designate the brim of a woman's hat, special circumstances, sporting maneuvers or prestidigitation, the passe, among other definitions, is a common noun designating a sexual relationship for a fee. Neither sanitary nor vaccinal, let's bet that "la passe", a feminine noun, will never be imposed as a permit to travel!

Enjoy this article? Share it! Others tips for writing faultless french are available on the CVsansfaute blog.

Leave a Reply