RE: The importance of combining characters (was: French Justice a gainst Catalan personal names)

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Thu Aug 08 2002 - 05:32:16 EDT

Doug Ewell wrote:
> Marco Cimarosti <marco dot cimarosti at essetre dot it> quoted:
> > Three years later, the lawsuit was still on, and a court in Perpinyŕ
> > reminded the parents that, from 2nd Termidor on, every
> French citizen
> > was bound to use French when addressing to the
> Administration, and in
> > any public act.
> I'm guessing that this is some sort of joke. If a French court is
> really still using the French Republican Calendar, dating edicts from
> the 2nd of T(h)ermidor of whatever year, then it can hardly come as a
> surprise that it forbids little Martí from keeping his acute accent.

I don't think they do use the republican calendar. They just follow the
common usage of Western historiography to express some historical dates in
the calendar which was in effect at that time. E.g. The Paris Commune is
commonly said to have took place during "Germinal" (rather than April), the
Russian revolution is called the "October" Revolution (although it took
place in November), and Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides (rather than on
the 15th) of March.

However, the court's claim (as reported by the informant) doesn't make
sense: the parent did not ask to have the birth certificate in a language
other than French, but just that it bears a correct spelling for the name
they chose.

> This is not about character repertoires or combining characters; it is
> about language bigotry.

Well, no. The fact is that (according to that informant) French vital
statistics records only accepts a limited repertoire of characters needed to
write French words. This seems quite a poor choice, for an institution whose
task is to register proper names.

_ Marco

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