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Who keeps putting the é in Luberon?

It shouldn't be there, an irate local says...

An infuriated resident has launched a petition to have the accented é that has crept into the daily spelling of his Provençal region's name scrubbed from the records.

Engineer Sébastian Trousse, who lives in rural Cheval-Blanc, Vaucluse, told he was fed up with people using the accented letter, instead of a simple 'e'.

"It might seem pointless but let's say it's close to my heart, like it is for lots of people in the Luberon," he said.

"It's like your child having an exotic name and having to spend all day correcting people. The first time, it makes you smile, the second time, it's a bit annoying, the third time, it gets on your nerves! It's as if we said, 'Parisse' (instead of 'Paris')!"

He said that the accent only started to be added to appease visitors from Paris, or further afield, who expect to see it after hearing the local pronunciation. But, Mr Trousse said, that is merely a dialectal quirk and the accent should not be included in the written form.

The petition, which has more than 500 signatures, is not available online, he explained, because older people living in the area do not always have access to the internet.

He added that he was planning to send dossiers to French dictionary editors explaining why the accent needs to be removed. He said that many current dictionaries include both versions.

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