Vaccination pass or vaccination pass?

According to the Académie françaiseThe name pass is an Anglicism to be avoided". However, "passe" is feminine in French. So what should you choose for your vaccination pass?

Who will come out on top? 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 entry in the dictionary to be able to make a decision and propose a recommendation on the genre to be used.

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

Type of words

As with "COVID-19", there is a constant hesitation between the masculine and feminine genders, and the two are found mixed together in the same bodies of text, even on the most popular sites. officials. So we go from one article to the next without ever reaching a definitive decision on the gender of nouns. And we often hear those who use this term apologise, 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 area, it's hardly surprising to see the emergence of a pass culture in May 2021, and we can expect it to become a "culture pass" before long.

Cultural Brexit

Clearly, if there is any hesitation about the sex of the angels, there is very little disagreement about banning 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 neighbours across the Channel.

However, some words are frozen in their roots, as if they have been passed down to the past. freezerIn the fridge, that is! And so it is with the weekend, which only Quebecers reject in favour of the "week-end", a French expression that we've been using for years. the rest of us we tend to use to refer to all days from Wednesday to Sunday!

But for the pass, it seems that 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 ratified by the Robert dictionary, which hastened to include this term in the new version. new meaning in his dictionary.

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

Confusion of masculine and feminine genders

The French language is decidedly complicated: we vacillate between masculine and feminine, we call for the neutral form. 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. There is also resistance, even though we could recognise that after the feminisation of the vocabulary for certain professions, there are - in fact - transgender words. What does this mean?

As is the case with epicene adjectives, those that are gender-neutral, 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 are making neutral words, with neither masculine nor feminine endings - in particular the names of functions (a minister, 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 such as "astronome" (Larousse or the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 9th edition). However, behind these sentinels (a feminine word!) of the French language, the majority of them are men!

Gender neutrality

The end of the generic masculine for the lexical field of professional nouns: a noun is modified by feminising 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 morality 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 had enough... and personal pronouns such as "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 the gender and number of these pronouns...

So 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 the word "resse" has a feminist ring to it, unlike the letter E added to a masculine radical: we now refer to female authors as "auteures" or "autrices", since the feminisation of the professions would promote parity. All forms of neutralisation of words to tackle sexist stereotypes are now accepted.

A sleight of hand

So, as if to move from the pass health" to pass vaccines", by a pirouette, we go from " pass "We could also remember the existence of other masculine nouns such as "sésame", "laissez-passer" or "passeport", documents whose possession legitimises your right to access certain places. The feminine version of la passe seems to have been ruled out. While it used to refer to the brim of a woman's hat, special circumstances, sporting manoeuvres or prestidigitation, the passe, among other definitions, is a common name for a paid sexual relationship. Neither sanitary nor vaccinal, it's a safe bet that "la passe", a feminine noun, will never be used as a licence to travel!

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