The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) is considering including the pronoun “elle” in one of its sections on the website, called the Word Observatory, according to information released in the media on Wednesday.
Although the term has not yet been incorporated into its Spanish Language Dictionary (DLE), the entity that is dedicated to the elaboration of normative rules for the Spanish language reveals in the section that “elle” is a “pronoun of non-generalised use created to allude to those who may not feel identified with either of the two traditionally existing genres”.
The inclusion of this pronoun in the RAE’s Word Observatory has generated great controversy, although the organization clarifies that this space only “offers information on words (or word meanings) and expressions that do not appear in the dictionary at the moment, but that have generated doubts: recent neologisms, foreign words, technical terms, regionalisms, etc.”.
After the many confusions regarding the inclusion of the term, the RAE explained that “the fact that a voice appears in the “Word Observatory” of our website does not imply that its inclusion in the “DLE” is under study or that it has been accepted”, in response to the doubts that a user published on Twitter, following a mispublication by a media outlet
Although the organization reiterates that in the absence of certain voices in the dictionary, it has added words such as “elle” in that space, this action has motivated linguists and gender advocates to express their opinions on the issue.
Among the reactions, the one of the teacher and journalist Norma Loto, who is also a member of the Circle of Feminist Linguists, stands out.
Loto considers that beyond the incorporation of the pronoun to the Observatory of words “we must think about why it is important to enter a dictionary that responds to the interests of the Real Academia Española”.
The professor mentioned the example of the term “femicide”, which beyond its semantic relevance and its use “we did not expect any observatory to incorporate it, we used it without a dictionary”. In this sense, the expert expressed that “inclusive language, non-sexist and non-binary, grows and advances depending on each society and its socio-political advances.