Re: A language by any other name
On Wed, 26 Sep 2001, Bill Wohler wrote:
> I think English should be an alias for en_US.
Of course you do; you're /from/ the US.
> Having the English think that British English is the lingua franca of
> the computing world is the same as the French thinking that French
> is the lingua franca of the world. It's only wishful thinking.
And believing that not just English, but /American/ English is somehow
universal is the sort of arrogance typical of the provincial mindset for which
Americans are notorious.
> Note that SAP is one of many computing companies who have
> standardized on American English. They have folks from *Great
> Britain* translating the German into American English.
And as a corporation, they're free to slight as many people as they want if it
leads to higher profits.
But Debian is built on consensus, not on profit margins. We already have a
consensus that there can never be a consensus on pointing 'English' to any
particular regional variant of the language, because there is no single
"right" answer to the question of which one is English.
> Similarly, I wish that Debian required that documentation and output
> appear in American English as well. Inconsistent styles reduces the
> professional feel of the product.
I observe here, wryly, that a larger percentage of work done on Debian,
including documentation work, is done by non-native speakers of English than
is done by native speakers of British English.
 And British translators translating German text to American English is a
testament only to the intellectual prowess of the British translators, not to
the natural superiority of the American tongue.