Letter: The language is français

I hope there were no French-speaking visitors in Baton Rouge who might have seen your headline for the article concerning the use of the French language in a recent Advocate. If there were, I hope they will forgive you for misspelling the name of their language. It’s slightly amusing, but mostly sadly ironic that an article with this as its subject, would get the most important element in that article’s headline wrong. As any elementary school student of French can tell you, the language is “Français,” not “Française”. The latter is the feminine form of an adjective derived from the former, a noun. The two words are not pronounced the same. Everything in the headline was perfect, except, unfortunately, that key word. I applaud your attempt at a headline in another language. Such an attempt, however, requires even more diligence in your efforts at accuracy.

Newspapers have a certain responsibility to lead us on a path toward information and knowledge. Mistakes, inadvertent though they may be, could give a more unforgiving person the impression that you are leading us in the wrong direction on that path.

Neal Blanchard

retired librarian

Baton Rouge