Writing inclusively is a goal for anyone who wants to fairly represent all of the people who make up society in their diversity. But this new form of writing raises many questions. The University of Montreal wanted to provide answers by creating Included: inclusive writing training for everyone, an online training course open to all (CLOT), better known by the English acronym MOOC (Massive online open race).
“There’s a lot of confusion about inclusive writing, especially in France, where it’s commonly associated with the midpoint,” notes Monique Cormier, who until a few weeks ago was vice-rector for French and Francophonie and director of the Office for the Promotion of French Language and Francophonie at the UdeM.
It here refers to a masculine noun to which we add a midpoint and a feminine ending. “The center is a graphic sign that’s missing from French spelling and grammar,” she explains. Because it’s in the middle, not on the line, it’s also absent from the French keyboard, so it’s replaced by the period, which causes as much reading and pronunciation difficulty. The French Minister for National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has also banned its use in education and school administration.
But the controversy has also left its mark in Quebec. “We don’t want the center either,” says Monique Cormier, who is also a full professor at the university’s Department of Linguistics and Translation. It is quite possible to write inclusively while observing the rules of grammar, spelling and typography.
Check your choice of words
The great basic principle that is conveyed in the free 50-minute online training is to make your texts inclusive from the start without losing clarity. “Like instead of talking about it Teacher, we can talk about it faculty or Faculty, points to Mme cormier One has to remember to choose epic words that do not specify a genre. It is certain that the adoption of inclusive writing does not come naturally. It requires some mental gymnastics.”
If we want to use the word teacher or if the context requires it, then we recommend using duplicates, see above professors and professors. “Some would say it’s longer, but language adapts as society changes, and for all the variety of processes available, others are even shorter,” says Ms.me cormier
This training, which follows the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) recommendations regarding epicene writing, aims to get people to develop for this change.
“Training won’t fix everything,” says M.me Cormier, but it’s a very good start to getting used to inclusive writing on a daily basis. It is also accessible to all of Francophonie and is of great interest to me, since some countries do not have these resources.
Responding to certain groups for whom the training does not go far enough, Monique Cormier says that several organizations turn to UdeM for training in the field of inclusive writing precisely because their approach is modest.
“We want our tools to be accessible and to address the concerns of a majority of people, getting them to use French in a coherent, balanced, better-represented and equitable way,” notes Monique Cormier, published elsewhere surprised many Europeans in the 1980s with his professional card on which he was registered teacher while feminization of titles on the other side of the Atlantic was virtually non-existent.
Multiple tools available
For several years, UdeM has received many requests for inclusive writing. In line with UdeM’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy, the Office for the Promotion of the French Language and Francophonie published 2019 Included: Writing guide for everyone. The aim was to help the university staff and its student body apply the principles of this form of writing, both orally and in writing. Eventually, this guide triggered an explosion in demand for internal and external training.
“We didn’t have the resources to respond to that, so the idea of creating a CLOT was born,” says Monique Cormier. We designed it with financial support from the OQLF; it also includes a mnemonic to have on hand after training, a glossary and a list of personal terms.”
The publication of this CLOT represents a tour page for Monique Cormier, who has just left her position as Deputy Vice Rector for French Language and Francophonie and Director of the Office for the Promotion of French Language and Francophonie.
“I am first and foremost a professor and after 13 years of investing in the administration of the university I had a reputation for research again,” she explains with enthusiasm in her voice. Because I have neglected research in recent years due to lack of time.”
The dictionary specialist would like to delve into the work of Abel Boyer The Royal Dictionary. In two pieces. First French and English. Second English and French.
“I have already done a lot of work on this volume and I want to summarize my discoveries and my analyses,” specifies Monique Cormier, who owns several editions of this dictionary, including the first, which dates back to 1699 book that I haven’t been able to study yet and that I want to highlight.