CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Apr 24 19:09:47 CEST 2007


I can see no real reason to oppose a comment mentioning that
"Some people [that's the key]
refer to this orthography as 'classic'"

unless the name 'classic' turns out to have a history of really offending 
some members of the Belarussian community.

(I think I'd actually prefer  the Taraškievica word for 'classic'--as Frank 
has suggested; his suggestion is reprinted here:

* * *

Frank Ellermann nobody at
>As non-user without objection wrt the comment I'd wonder
>why the users picked an English adjective for their name.

>If that's not the case I hope that it's clear that you
>can use native names with Unicode in a description or
>comment.  You can also use various quote marks when it
>helps, for a German nickname I could use something like
>'so called "klassisch"' in an otherwise English comment.


Like Ciaran O'Duibhin said, I think that mentioning the various names used 
to refer to the orthography make the reference more precise--this is 
however I do not know the history of the debate or why there are bad 
or I would be able to argue more strongly one way or another.

And the mention of the name of the book which calls the orthography 
classical may be sufficient for most users.

Thus, I'm still on the fence but slightly leaning towards the notion that 
mentioning that:

"Some people use" a particular name for the orthography
should not be that offensive to anyone,

but we do need to know if any of the names used for either orthography is 
too offensive to the other group before we register it. . .

So I'd personally need more background on the issue.

* * * NOTES* * *

'classic' is the PRIMARY way the site author refers to this orthography is 
called (but this is not quite a completely neutral reference):
"These disagreements and "original ideas" {on the best version of the 
will most likely disappear after there is published a sufficient amount of 
texts in certain Lacinka version, which will effectively revive Lacinka to 
some wider public use, and hence establish its standard by the virtue of 
practice, like in 1910s. In the meantime, the 'classic' (Naša 
Niva/Taraškievic) version is best to use to stay 'correct'. That is what I 
practically do, at least."

Another site,

simply refers to the two variants as:

"1) narkomaŭka (from the reform of 1933, initiated by Stalin (his 
official position sounded as Narkom (abbreviation from People’s Commissar), 
which is in official use.
2) taraškievica (from Branisłaŭ Taraškievič, the author of 
the first Belarusian grammar)."

But I do not even know if this latter link is completely neutral.

Jaska's survey suggested that most of the users he surveyed supported the 
name classic (which we rejected):

Our objection at the time was because of the generalness of the name 
classic; it seemed to have nothing to do with the politics:

So waiting to hear more from the community of Belarussian speakers, 
including advocates of using both orthographies.

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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