Written by Staff Writer
The French language seems to be having a rough time right now.
Just last month, the Italian version of the word “shorthand” dropped the word “facilitate” because it’s seen as homophobic.
And now, the magazine L’Opinion has added an unusual new non-binary pronoun to the English language — nomsadimos — after months of wrangling with local linguists.
L’Opinion magazine says the feminine-sounding way of saying things made a notable difference to their readers. Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images
According to the newspaper La Repubblica , meaning “his” and “her” in French, nomsadimos is a combination of “na” for the pronoun and “te” for the noun noun.
Repubblica said the new slang word has recently arrived in the headlines as some outlets said the original “nommi,” which means “she” or “he,” came with a negative connotation because some see it as binary.
“Journalists … may well find themselves obliged to report on the ‘dominant-male-understanding’ as a legal interpretation, with the risk of being accused of sexism,” the newspaper said.
CNN contacted L’Opinion for comment but a spokeswoman said she had no information regarding the new term.
Why, the magazine wondered, would they keep using the word “she” with masculine connotations?
According to L’Opinion, the “dominant masculine understanding” shouldn’t be used when people end a sentence, but instead, “there are many plausible and respectful ways of expressing the same noun and more than just ‘his’ and ‘her.’ “
The new noun also brings the magazine, which promotes itself as an international voice in French language issues, some understandable controversy.
While it also has supporters, the move also divided the internet, with some writing about how the magazine failed to take into account the nuances of a gender-neutral pronoun.
“Nomadophobia,’ as it would like to be called, would be a serious danger” in Europe, according to AFP columnist Jean-Francois Foloc, who criticized the magazine’s decision, AFP reported.
Jean-Francois Foloc, AFP
Others defended the magazine, arguing that the group had the right to do their research before applying their meaning to English-language English words.
The publisher of France’s second-largest right-wing daily, Le Figaro, wrote: “The group has long shown signs of expertise in the assessment of linguistic evolution and is entitled to say what it decides about the current dialectic, in an enterprise frequently dismissed as silly.”
They added: “Since not many people “know” what the word means, to use such a boy/girl type is questionable, while to use just any other word, like ‘nomadism’ — a word invented to explain a peculiar tourism — would be going too far.”