A Slice Of Elastic Loaf

If this doesn’t make you laugh then you’re just not having enough fun in your life…

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as “pizzas” which will now be known as “elastic loaves,” state media reported Saturday.

The presidential decree, issued earlier this week, orders all governmental agencies, newspapers and publications to use words deemed more appropriate by the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, or Persian Academy, the Irna official news agency reported.

The academy has introduced more than 2,000 words as alternatives for some of the foreign words that have become commonly used in
Iran, mostly from Western languages. The government is less sensitive about Arabic words, because the Quran is written in Arabic.

Among other changes, a “chat” will become a “short talk” and a “cabin” will be renamed a “small room,” according to official Web site of the academy. [source]

I suppose the upside of all this is that they didn’t issue a fatwa making any reference to English words punishable by death. Or perhaps I’m just looking too hard for an upside.


  • shaden, lol i suppose the name change is really just more of a discription of the actual thing

    Hamzeh, lol i dunno…the cheese perhaps?


  • Salaams:

    Is this any whackier than when the French do it? I understand that some people feel their culture, way of life, language is threatened by the seemingly omnipresent American English. But all of these languages contain myriad words borrowed from others. “Shai” for tea is but one example. These attempts to protect a “pure language,” then, are ultimately going to fail, IMO.

    I’m guessing elastic b/c of the process by which the crust is made out of the dough.

  • ummzaid, well the syrians did the same thing during the young turks movement in an attempt to preserve arabic from the turkification of syria, which to their credit was an actual policy as opposed to today’s casual integration of modern languages and cultures in a globalized world.

    but the waters of sanity become a little murky when we start talking about government decrees and federal legislation.

    you cant stop these sort of things with decrees or laws.

  • Well, it sounds whacky, but I can justify it. Rather than viewing this as an attempt to keep the language of Iranians ‘pure’, it is an effort in preserving Iranian self-determination against the cultural hegemony of English. Good one, ah?

Your Two Piasters: