According to this article, the Ministry of Culture in France is banning the word e-mail in all government ministries, documents, publications and Web sites in deference to the term courrier electronique, better expressed as courriel. The Ministry of Culture and the French Academy have been trying for several years to prevent the infiltration of the English language into French in order to preserve the French language as much as possible. But I believe that, inevitably, linguistic evolution will dominate.
Oddly enough, we used courriel in all of my French literature and composition courses at the university, so I never figured that this particular battle over words was too significant. But I guess that is what they are worried about the most - linguistic infiltration is slow and subtle, and before you know it, you have a completely new language! In a French popular culture class that I took, we studied the effect the English language is having on spoken French, particularly among French youth, and it is really extraordinary. Franglais, we called it, is much like the phenomenon of Spanglish out here in Southern California:
Je vais pas filer mon number à un keum quand j'ai un plan girlfriends soir ce!
C'est cool up ici! C'est bien cool!
Je le trust pas, il m'a pas caré de la résoi.
Arrête de me chauffer, tu me laves trop le cerveau avec tes stories de tomi.