Tex Texin tex at i18nguy.com
Sun Jun 15 19:42:29 CEST 2003


I am a little surprised, since I thought tags were supposed to identify
existing practices, not be the first step in defining a practice (or practise)
that spell-checkers can follow. Isn't that the argument by which es-americas
died (or is dieing)?

(Btw I am not grinding an axe with es-americas or trying to make a point about
it. But I think the points from that discussion are relevant here.)

Do we have examples that follow OED, other than the OED itself?

There are many other rules differences between british, american, spellings
and probably if we look to canada, south africa, and australia a few more. I
am not sure we need tags to distinguish these. Besides the spellings, there
are usages differences, so the terms need to change as well. I am not sure
that producers of software nor users of software want to select localization
based on a preferred combination of spelling rules alone. I can see that users
might want to select a spell checker on that basis, but I question whether
they need a tag for that. It could just as well be the role of configuring the
checker without requiring a tag at all.

Also, what happens if OED changes its preferrences over time and as the
language evolves?
I am sure some of their preferences must have changed over the 3 editions...
How does that affect the tag?
Which rules preferences are important to the tag, and which not?

Maybe I am just upset that no one got me an OED subscription for Father's

Michael Everson wrote:
> Yes, the OED has citations which include all the possible spellings.
> American dictionaries do too. ("colour, Brit. var. of color"). The
> point is that in the world of tagged English that we live in today,
> one has a choice of "British English" (colour, tyre, civilise) or "US
> English" (color, tire, civilize). While a variety of British English,
> the OED prefers civilize to civilise. This editorial preference is
> explicitly stated and followed in Oxford dictionaries.
> "-ize" and "-ization" are *highly* productive suffixes, and it is a
> real pain to have to choose between two orthographic practices for
> all sorts of other spellings and and have to have a rake of custom
> spelling dictionaries for each application....
> Being able to tag text for Oxford spelling is the first stage of
> getting support for such spell-check dictionaries.
> I would support the provision of tags for other spellings for English
> where necessary, by the way, but I am not aware of significant
> differences in other varieties. Certainly nothing like this "-ize"
> issue.
> --
> Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  * http://www.evertype.com
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Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex at XenCraft.com
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