It is with great sadness that Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, learned of the disappearance of Alain Rey.
A linguist and lexicographer, this lover of words has embodied for half a century «the man of the dictionary» in the eyes of all French people. By becoming the main collaborator of the publisher Paul Robert, Alain Rey has given rise to a vast series of lexicographic works, in particular the Petit Robert, which now accompanies each new generation in learning French. He took part in developing the remarkable panoramas offered by the Dictionnaire historique de la langue française in 1992 and the Dictionnaire culturel en langue française in 2005. The works he contributed to have acquired a prominent place in our libraries and a status of reference for lexicologists.
As a storyteller, Alain Rey knew how to share his passion for the words of the French language. In his many books, in his radio, television and social media columns, he revealed the history and the many meanings and facets of simple or learned words, of outdated words or neologisms, transmitting his knowledge in a spirit of joyful curiosity that the French will remember. Tireless observer of the evolution of the French language, he welcomed with optimism the continuous appearance of new words, which he considered as an enrichment much more than an impoverishment.
Alain Rey was also committed to the development and vitality of the French language in the scientific and technical fields. He thus contributed his valuable contribution to the action taken by the Ministry of Culture to define and create specialized terms in French. Finally, for nearly 20 years, from 1997 to 2015, Alain Rey was a member of the General Committee on Terminology and Neology.
Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin extends her sincere condolences to her family and loved ones.