French lawmakers are revolting against the inclusion of a “non-binary pronoun” into the French language by the newest edition of the Le Robert online dictionary.
“Inclusive writing is not the future of the French language,” tweeted Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of Education. “Hence, even though our students are consolidating their fundamental knowledge, they cannot have this as a reference.”
The Le Robert dictionary added the word “iel” which is supposed to be a combination of the masculine “il” and the feminine “elle” in French.
The dictionary describes it as a “personal subject pronoun of the third person singular and plural, used to refer to a person regardless of gender.”
The French are famously protective of their language, official changes to which are governed by the French Academy.
French politician Francois Jolivet objected vehemently to the new pronouns in a letter to the French Academy.
“The solitary campaign of Petit Robert is a manifest ideological intrusion which undermines our common language,” wrote Jolivet, “this kind of initiative tarnishes our language and divides users rather than uniting them.”
Jolivet went on to say that this insertion into the French language was a precursor of “woke ideology,” which he said would destroy the values of the French people.
Charles Bimbenet, the director of the dictionary, responded to the outrage by claiming that most of the reactions to the non-binary pronoun were positive.
“Le Robert’s mission is to observe the evolution of a French language in movement, diverse, and to report on it,” read a statement from Bimbenet. “Defining the words that speak of the world is to help understand it better.”
The French Academy had previously voted unanimously in 2017 to call inclusive language an “aberration that poses a mortal threat to the French language and which the nation will need to account for to future generations”
CNN said they reached out to the French Academy about this newest non-binary furor but had not received any comment.