Last week there was a lengthy discussion going on over at a photography messageboard I frequent in the 'off topic' section on the way that the word 'math' is gradually creeping into English usage replacing the more familiar 'maths'.
Of course the starting point for such an argument was to blame the Americans, stating that they'd, once again, taken the English language and abused it for their own ends. Somebody actually suggested that maths was correct because it is an abbreviation of mathematics whereas as math couldn't be. I'm afraid I killed the thread stone dead when I pointed out that maths and math are actually both colloquialisms not abbreviations and therefore there is no right or wrong just a difference of opinion.
France as a nation have taken to guarding their language and culture over the last fifty years almost in direct response to the disappearance of their colonial legacy and the increasing onslaught of Americanisms into most European languages. I've said for many years that overseas students coming to England to learn English are actually learning American English and in one of life's strange twists if you travel on the Paris Metro you will see advertisements for language schools offering courses in 'American English'.
Well it seems that in one respect enough is enough and the French have 'ad it up to e're' with this fancy dan language from the new world and have banned the use of the hashtag in documents. I think this is an admirable move and I'd like to see a campaign in this country to stop the use of the word hashtag in everyday language - after all I've never had a conversation with somebody that went "so I was on the bus comma when this bloke dropped his trousers exclamation mark," so why is it suddenly cool to hear people ending sentences with 'hashtag ---------'.