Why add complexity and instability to a language that children already have a hard time learning? This is the question that underlies a circular, published Thursday, May 6 in the official bulletin of national education, and which formally prohibits the use of the midpoint, a form of inclusive writing.
This text recalls that, in the context of teaching, ” conformity grammatical and syntactic rules is required “. Consequently, “Recourse to so-called“ inclusive ”writing should be prohibited, which notably uses the midpoint to simultaneously reveal the feminine and masculine forms of a word used in the masculine when it is used in a generic sense”. There is therefore no question, for example, of writing “the friends” or “the deputies”.
An obstacle to reading
Inclusive writing would have the effect of modifying “Respect for the rules of customary agreements expected within the framework of the programs “, can we read in the circular signed by Jean-Michel Blanquer. ” In addition, this writing, which results in the fragmentation of words and agreements, constitutes an obstacle to reading and understanding the written word. “
It interferes with reading aloud as well as pronunciation, continues the minister. For him, this writing is only “inclusive” in the name because it singularly complicates the task of children with disabilities or learning disabilities.
The circular nevertheless calls for the feminization of positions when they are occupied by women: “The title of the functions held by a woman must be systematically feminized according to the rules set out in the guide to help feminize the names of professions, titles, ranks and functions drawn up by the National Center for Scientific Research and the Institute national of the French language “, she says. For example, an author, a doctor, a pastor and of course a doctor are admitted.
In 2017, Hatier was proud to publish the first textbook – a CE2 history and geography book – written using inclusive writing, taking into account the recommendations of the High Council for Equality. But since then, the use of this writing in textbooks has been rather ” attempt “ that tidal wave, assures an editor.
A still very marginal practice
The practice of inclusive writing within the school institution obviously remains very marginal. “I have never heard of a colleague from elementary or secondary school who would systematically use this writing”, assures Jean-Rémi Girard, president of the National Union of high schools and colleges.
The flyer falls, he says ironically, ” timely “, at a time when Jean-Michel Blanquer is facing criticism concerning his management of the health crisis and the arrangements for the ferry. “There is undoubtedly the will to create a diversion. However, this balanced circular is not devoid of meaning because there are actors in society who fervently campaign for the normalization of the practice of the midpoint. “
Beyond school, the issue of inclusive writing indeed divides a lot, as a recent debate in the Senate has shown. A discussion that promises to continue since an LREM deputy, François Jolivet, has tabled a bill to ban the use of inclusive writing to people in charge of a public service mission.