(It's also important to note that émail is a French word meaning "enamel." It's pronounced [e maj] - nothing like the English "email." So there is a practical reason for choosing a different term.)
A few days later the French Culture Ministry formally banned the word "email" in any government-related documents, despite the objections of some internet experts. And to little avail - most French speakers in France do not use courriel.
By the way, in case you were wondering, the format of this page, called a blog in English, is known as un blogue in French, at least for now.
Source: Wired - France Bids Adieu to 'E-Mail'
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+ French texting abbreviations
More: French in the news, 2000 to 2009