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Re: "Proper" english [off topic - move to debian-project]

On Jan 02, Dwayne C . Litzenberger wrote:
> Wrong.  Much of English comes from French, German and Latin.  Metre is
> correct (ask any Englishman).  *Americans* are the only ones who spell
> things "the other way". 

Metre is correct, but not for the reason that it's "the way everyone
else does it".  The spelling "metre" is specified by the SI
measurement system.  Incidentally, this means the American "gram" is
correct while the English "gramme" is incorrect, at least when it
comes to the SI measures.  As a suffix to other words
(program/programme), it's debatable.  However, I would say that
American spellings would be slightly more intuitive for non-native
speakers.  But English is so non-intuitive anyway it's splitting hairs

For other words, neither spelling system is truly correct.  Spelling
of the English language was not standardized in any country until the
19th century; up until that point, spelling was highly fluid.  The
signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, for example, pledged
their "sacred honour" because that's the way Jefferson spelled the
word, not because (per se) they were English.  Shakespeare spelled a
lot of words in the current "American" spelling; sometimes he'd spell
the same word different ways in the same play.  Even today, there is
no true arbiter of what is "proper" English (in any English-speaking
country); cfr. France and Germany.

However, anyone who uses a certain three-letter plural for "sock"
should be killed on sight. ;-)

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