John Cowan cowan at
Wed Jul 30 16:52:14 CEST 2008

Mark Davis scripsit:

> To distinguish Chinese content written in Latin characters using the Pinyin
> romanization

Here we have a sticky naming problem with political overtones.  In most
of the world, "Pinyin" means the romanization officially called "Hanyu
Pinyin".  In Taiwan, however, the closely related system Tongyong Pinyin
is officially in use, though not mandatory outside government contexts.
The word "pinyin" by itself just means "alphabet", so both systems
correctly use it in their names.

I really do not want to go to "hypinyin" or the like for what is far
and away the most common system.  But I'd change "Pinyin" in the
Description field and elsewhere to "Hanyu Pinyin", add words like
"as used by the U.N." to bullet point 5, and drop "particularly from
Wade-Giles" altogether.

You annoy me, Rattray!  You disgust me!         John Cowan
You irritate me unspeakably!  Thank Heaven,     cowan at
I am a man of equable temper, or I should
scarcely be able to contain myself before
your mocking visage.            --Stalky imitating Macrea

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