France Announces New Way of Spelling 'Onion'

The French language authority thought the “i” in “onion” was confusing
French onions ognons

Wikimedia/David Adam Kess

The French language authority reminded everyone this week that the word "oignon" or "onion" had lost its "i" and would henceforth be "ognon."

A lot of menus in France could be due for an update soon, because the French language authority announced last week that there is no longer an “i” in the French word for onion.

According to The Local, in an attempt to simplify the French language, the Académie Française ruled that the word oignon, or “onion,” would henceforth be spelled ognon.

The rules were actually announced back in the 90s, but it appears that few people noticed, because this week the Académie Française issued a reminder to schools to note the spelling changes. In addition to changing the spelling of onion, the Académie Française did away with many hyphens in previously hyphenated words and also banished the circumflex accent in many words. 

The reminder caught the attention of Twitter this week, and many politicians and commenters appeared to be disturbed by what they perceived as the “dumbing down” of the French language. Others simply said that these rules were technically announced back in 1990, and if they hadn’t made a difference since then, everyone was probably just going to keep writing “oignon” for as long as it pleased them.