“Eet eez, how you say — zee dumb law.”

Reuters reports (“French lawmaker proposes bill to outlaw mockery of accents”) that lawmaker Laetitia Avia of Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party intends to introduce a bill adding discrimination based on accent or pronunciation (“glottophobia”) to the list of banned discrimination categories. This came after an exchange between leftist party leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon and journalist Véronique Gaurel, born in Toulouse, in which he appeared to make fun of Gaurel’s southwestern accent and then called for the next question to be in “comprehensible French.”

I thought of researching whether France has enacted other vaguely framed laws aimed at soothing the sensibilities of the Toulouse region. But since there is no way to search for vague laws as a category in themselves, I soon realized that might set me off on — if you will excuse the expression — a Too-Loose-Law Trek.

[cross-posted from Cato at Liberty]


  • A right-wing party invoking political correctness to score political points off a left-wing politician. It reminds me somewhat of right-wing efforts in the USA to give cops and veterans privileged victim status in hate-speech regulations.

    Will we have a crime of auto-prophora-phobia? Should Mel Brooks face a ban for making fun of Brooklyn accents?

  • Pepe LePew did not return calls asking for comments.


  • …and on your next trip to N’Awlins thou shall be pelted mightly upon thy head and ears with stale ben-yeahs.

  • So, no re-boot of the Pink Panther movies az zis tyme.

  • Hugo, President Macron’s party is in no way a right wing party. It’s a vaguely centrist party of the elites. Just the sort of people as in this country that lead the way in controlling the speech of others.