Le Tutoiement des Blogs

Even former French finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a blog. Socialisme et democratie à gauche, hoorah! But of course the most immediately interesting thing is the complete indecision over formalities in the comment sections:

Il serait intéressant pour toi (on se tutoie sur les blogs Dominique) que tu rencontre d’autres personnes que Mr Loc Le Meur pour t’aider à comprendre le fonctionnement de cette nouvelle génération d’outils dont font partie les “blogs”.

[It would be interesting for you (one uses the informal “you” in blogs, Dominique) to meet persons other than M L-le-M to help you understand the workings of this new generation of tools, to which blogs belong.]


J’utilise le vous, mais si un jour, vos réponses utilisent le tutoiement, je me permettrai de vous tutoyer, selon la tradition des blogs.

[I use the formal, but if one day your responses are informal, I will allow myself to use “tu” as is the tradition with blogs.]

The rest of the comments are all over the map, using either “vous” or “tu” without explanation. DSK himself has not weighed in on the matter, and continues to use the obviously-plural “vous” for his audience. I don’t read enough (i.e., any) French blogs to know how it normally works, but the addition of an old and highly distinguished person to the (presumably) intimate bloggy-culture seems to have thrown the French for a loop. Not my problem, as I have nothing to add to the discussion anyway.

Surely someone has already written a comprehensive, cross-cultural discussion of (in)formal modes of address on blogs? And surely a clued-in reader can point me to it?


  1. des wrote:

    On se tutoie en l’hierarchie fr.* sur l’USENET. Je ne sais pas s’il y a une Emily Posteur-des-Nouveaux l as.

  2. yami wrote:

    Mmm, “aberration incompr nsible”, eh? I knew you’d come through with something, Des, so hoorah for that! But now what about the Germans?

  3. des wrote:

    For German I can find opinions, but not an authoritative one. Practice seems to be mixed.

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