Soyez sympas !

Petit billet sur le pluriel de l'adjectif sympa.

La variante familière de sympathique, sympa, est très fréquemment utilisée dans le langage courant. On la retrouve souvent sur Internet, et il est probable que vous l'ayez vous-même utilisée. Et un jour, vous avez peut-être voulu l'écrire au pluriel. C'est ce qui m'est arrivé : comment accorder cet adjectif ? Si l'on parle de filles, dit-on qu'« elles sont sympas » ? Ou « elles sont sympa » ? Le bon sens nous déconseille de mettre un e au féminin (« elles sont sympaes »). Instinctivement, j'écrivais sympa, croyant ce mot invariable. Parfois, par facilité, il m'est arrivé de reformuler ma phrase.

J'ai cherché la réponse à cette question sur Internet et dans des dictionnaires. J'ai trouvé un débat, mais pas de conclusion satisfaisante. Le Grevisse indique : « Certains adjectifs de formation expressive sont laissés invariables. Baba, cracra, crado, cucul. On peut y adjoindre les réductions appartenant à la langue familière ou très familière, voire argotique, bath, pop, porno, sympa, etc. »

Le Wiktionnaire indique que c'est un adjectif invariable. Et Wordreference aussi. Le TLF ne dit pas que l'adjectif est invariable et donne même un exemple où il est marqué "sympas", le Petit Larousse 2008 donne aussi un exemple où il est accordé, le Hachette encyclopédique 2002 n'indique pas l'invariabilité. Le dictionnaire de l'Académie ne mentionne pas ce mot (la 9e édition en cours d'écriture n'étant pas arrivée jusque là). Le dictionnaire français-anglais Larousse dit que c'est invariable.

On trouve également un corrigé d'une dictée des Dicos d'Or qui affirme : « météo : cet adjectif est l'abréviation de météorologique. Il est invariable. Attention ! On rencontre d'autres abréviations, comme sympa, qui s'accordent. »

Alors, qui croire ? Devant tant de contradictions, j'ai décidé de contacter l'Académie française, afin de connaitre sa position. L'on m'a répondu par courriel : « Si l'on tient absolument à utiliser la forme sympa, on doit la considérer comme un adjectif invariable en genre et écrire elles sont sympas. » Certaines personnes contestent parfois les avis de l'Académie mais, moi, j'ai l'habitude de les suivre. La prochaine que j'écrirai ce mot, je n'hésiterai plus. Soyez sympas !


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