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As a French person, I am always amused by the usage of the letter é in English.

For instance:

  • fiancé
  • café
  • résumé
  • touché (coulé)
  • Pokémon (yup, that's a good one)

This letter, though very common in French, as it is the 15th most used letter [fr], is not the only diacritic used in French: à, è, ê, ù or even the more rare ï and ë (among others) also exist.

Another very interesting thing is that in Greek, where I believe the acute accent commonly known today originated from, the grave accent has actually disappeared and the monotonic accent, often written as an acute one — although it should logically be more vertical (see picture), is the only one left.

So my question is:

(Optional question: Are there any uses of other diacritics in common English — I think not?)

As native English speakers are not used to such symbols in their language, what difference does it make to them whether you spell it é, ē, ė, è or with a straight vertical line as in the previously shown picture (can't find the unicode for it)? Does it seem wrong when written otherwise?

Also consider than é and è are equally difficult to type on Qwerty keyboard.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by RegDwigнt Feb 6 at 10:33

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Most of this has been covered in previous questions, and the rest is purely opinion-based. I've met enough people who will insist it's extremely wrong, and enough others who don't so much as know there's a difference. Also, é and è are not equally difficult to type on my Qwerty keyboard, as I need two keystrokes for the former, but three for the latter. –  RegDwigнt Feb 6 at 10:33
@RegDwigнt Hmm what keywords should I have looked for? é or eacute return no match. –  Pierre Arlaud Feb 6 at 10:35
We also use it for naïve but accept naive as well. –  virmaior Feb 6 at 10:36
@starplusplus I too tend to disagree on the "primarily opinion-based" part of this question. It's as if we'd ask which sentence is correct out of two solutions and said that it's opinion-based because someone who doesn't speak English might prefer the wrong one. –  Pierre Arlaud Feb 6 at 12:37
@Andrew Leach Thomas à Becket is an unfortunate choice since it first appears hundreds of years after his death, possibly as a result of confusion with Thomas à Kempis. –  user24964 Feb 6 at 14:44

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