The decision to adopt an English slogan for Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics was likened on Thursday to a pizza promotion by the body charged with preserving the purity of the French language, and also resulted in a lawsuit.
But the Académie française said it "disapproved" of the slogan, claiming "it has already been used in other publicity campaigns...notably for pizzas to share".
"Even though the bid committee provided a second version of this slogan, in French – 'Venez partager' – the Académie française unanimously expresses its disapproval of the decision to give priority to the English language to promote the Paris Olympic bid," it said in a statement.
Lawyer Emmanuel Ludot said Friday that he has submitted a request to the government's rights defence authority to suspend use of the slogan "Made for Sharing." He also submitted a warning to the bid committee that the slogan could violate a law on protecting the French language.
The academy, founded in 1639 and which closely tracks the creeping of English words into the French language, also pointed out that in the Olympic Charter "the official languages of the International Olympic Committee are French and English – in that order."
There are 40 members of the academy, elected by their peers and who hold the position for life. Becoming one of the “immortals”, as its members are known, is considered one of France’s highest intellectual honours
Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are vying to host the 2024 Olympics with a decision to be made by the IOC in Lima on September 13.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)