Anne-Marie Beaudoin-Bégin’s linguistic rebuttals: yup, it can all be said
“Bon matin!” (Good morning!) According to some, this expression cannot be used. But linguist Anne-Marie Beaudoin-Bégin wonders: on what grounds? And who gets to make that call? She worries that by policing the language in such a way, erecting such clear divisions between what can and cannot be said, we run the risk of making many people self-conscious… perhaps even prompting them to keep quiet or opt for English instead.
I am incredibly fond of her line of reasoning, which throws the windows wide open, letting light pour into a fairly dusty room. “We’re being asked to speak a French that doesn’t exist,” sums up the author of 2015’s La langue rapaillée : comment combattre l’insécurité linguistique des Québécois (How to Tackle Quebecers’ Linguistic Insecurity), with a foreword by Samuel Archibald. He suggests that the book “restores our desire to write and to make use of speech.”