Inclusive writing is a goal for anyone who wants to fairly represent all the people who make up society in their diversity. However, this new form of writing raises many questions. The University of Montreal wanted to provide answers by creating Inclusive: inclusive writing training for all, CLOT, better known as MOOC (massively open online races).
“There is a lot of ambiguity about inclusive writing, especially in France, where it is generally associated with the center,” notes Monique Cormier, who was vice-chancellor for French and Francophonie a few weeks ago and director of the Office for the Promotion of French and Francophonie at UM.
It refers here to the masculine noun, to which we add the middle point and the ending of the feminine gender. “The midpoint is a graphic character that is missing in French spelling and grammar,” he explains. It’s not on the line, but in the middle, it’s also missing from the French keyboard, so people replace it with a period that causes as much reading trouble as pronunciation. The French Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has also banned its use in education and school administration.
However, the controversy has left its mark on Quebec. “We don’t want a middle either,” says Monique Cormier, who is also a full professor in the Department of Linguistics and Translation. It is quite possible to write in an inclusive way while respecting the rules of grammar, spelling and typography.
Check your word choice
The great basic principle taught in the free 50-minute online training is to design your texts in an inclusive style from the beginning without losing clarity. “For example, instead of talking about it teachers, we can talk about teaching staff or faculty, denotes Myes Cormier. It is necessary to think about the choice of epic words that do not specify the genre. It is certain that accepting inclusive writing is not natural. It requires mental gymnastics. “
If we want to use the word teachers or if the context requires it, then we recommend using doublets, so-called professors and professors. “Some would say it’s longer, but language is adapting to changes in society and others are even shorter in all available processes,” she said.yes Cormier.
The aim of this training, which follows the recommendations of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) in the field of epicene writing, is to lead people to evolve towards this change.
“Training doesn’t fix everything,” says M.yes Cormier, however, is a very good start to getting used to inclusive writing on a daily basis. It is also accessible to the whole of Francophonie, and in my eyes there is a great deal of interest in it, because some countries do not have these resources.
To some groups who find that the training does not go far enough, Monique Cormier replies that several organizations are asking UdeM for training in inclusive writing precisely because its approach is moderate.
“We want our tools to be accessible and to take into account the concerns of most people by bringing them to use French in a coherent, balanced, better represented and fair way,” recalls Monique Cormier, who has surprised many Europeans elsewhere in the 1980s. with his professional card on which he was enrolled the teacher while the feminisation of titles on the other side of the Atlantic was virtually absent.
Several tools available
UdeM has been receiving many requests for inclusive writing for several years. In order to be in line with the UDEM policy on equality, diversity and inclusion, the Office for the Promotion of the French Language and La Francophonie published in 2019 Including: a writing guide for everyone. The aim was to help the staff of the university and its student community in using the principles of this form of writing in oral and written expression. This handbook eventually caused an explosion in the demand for internal and external training.
“We didn’t have the resources to respond, so the idea of creating a CLOT germinated,” says Monique Cormier. We designed it with the financial support of OQLF; it also contains a checklist that you can have on hand after school, a glossary and a list of personal labels. “
The publication of this CLOT is a landing page for Monique Cormier, who has just left her position as Associate Vice-Rector for French and Francophonie and Director of the French Language and Francophonie Office.
“I am primarily a professor and after 13 years of investing in university administration, I had another call for research,” he says enthusiastically. Because due to lack of time, I have neglected research in recent years. “
This dictionary specialist wants to immerse herself in the work of Abel Boyer Royal dictionary. In two parts. First, French and English. Second, English and French.
“I have worked a lot on this volume and I would like to summarize my discoveries and my analyzes,” says Monique Cormier, who owns several editions of the dictionary, including the first, dating from 1699. I would also like to take the time to focus on certain gray areas in the history of this book that I have not yet been able to study and which I would like to emphasize.