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12 Oktober 2008 @ 12:32
Stop spamming me, René.  

A message with the following subject line showed up in two of my inboxen this morning:

FELICITATION VOUS AVEZ GAGNE LA SOMME DE 150.000 EURO (ceci n'est pas un spam)

Now, I would really prefer it if René Magritte would stop sending me this kind of message altogether. L'Office québécois de la langue française, on the other hand, would simply like him to use their 1997 coinage pourriel instead of the English spam. Pourriel has the distinction of being a blend (mot-valise, or portmanteau word, sensu Dumpty) formed from another blend: pourriel is a blend of poubelle and courriel, the latter being itself a contracted form of courrier électronique. The OQLF further instructs us, in the relevant entries in the Grand dictionnaire terminologique, that courriel, unlike électronique, is to be spelled with no acute accent on the e (because French words just aren't supposed to end in -iél, you see), and that the source of pourriel is poubelle, not pourri or pourriture, "comme certains le laissent croire." Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 13. Oktober, 2008 19:47 (UTC)

I don't really communicate in French often enough to have a good sense of how generally courriel is used. Certainly lots of organizations use it in official communications, but I'm not sure about more colloquial usage.