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People Are Freaking Out Over France's Proposal To Remove The Circumflex

Calm down, s'il vous plaît.

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On Wednesday people started angrily tweeting the hashtag #JeSuisCirconflexe after the French media reported that the circumflex accent (ˆ) might be deleted from the French language.

Le seul fait de lire le mot "ognon" suffira à nous faire pleurer maintenant. #JeSuisCirconflexe

"Merely reading the word "onion" will be enough to make us cry now."

The accent is traditionally placed over vowels to change pronunciation and differentiate between homonyms. The changes will affect new schoolbooks published after September 2016.

Parce que nous avons tous l'âme de résistants, nous disons #JeSuisCirconflexe

"Because we all have the spirit of the resistance, we say #JeSuisCirconflexe"

People took to Twitter to express their outrage at the change, which many felt was the "suppression" of the circumflex.

Abandonner l'accent circonflexe, c'est renoncer à l'exigence de réflexion de notre langue. Le vrai début de l'anarchie. #JeSuisCirconflexe

"To get rid of the circumflex accent, is to give up on the requirement of thought about our language. The true beginning of the anarchy. #JeSuisCirconflexe"

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However, as reported by BBC News, this proposed change to the French language has been in place since 1990 when the French Academy approved the reform, along with the removal of hyphens from some words.

And as one French journalist points out, the change is optional, not enforced.

Lisez ce que disait l'Académie en 1990, l'accent circonflexe ne disparaît pas

"Read what the academy said in 1990, the circumflex will not disappear."

This is heavily stressed in the conclusion of the original report.

"Having discussed this matter with the utmost rigour and at the same time the greatest caution, it appeared to the Supreme Council that it should retain the circumflex accent over the letter a, e and o, but it would not be mandatory on the letters i and u, except in the few cases where it is useful."

France's education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, even said that all of these spelling changes are optional and both forms of the word will be correct.

VIDEO - Najat Vallaud Belkacem: "L'accent circonflexe ne disparaît pas" #ReformeOrthographe https://t.co/0SKE4zpM1X

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

Assma Maad est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.

Contact Assma Maad at assma.maad@buzzfeed.com.

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