French orthography on the Internet (Was: BCP47 Appeals process

Stephane Bortzmeyer bortzmeyer at
Fri Sep 19 11:24:59 CEST 2008

On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 10:58:35PM -0600,
 Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote 
 a message of 9 lines which said:

> The word "obliged" surprises me; I would not have guessed that
> anyone was actually *required* to type French without accents.

Indeed, noone is required. *Some* people type without accents because
of fears (now largely historic) they will have problems otherwise. I
never do so: I use the regular orthography and, if some program has
problems, I pester their authors.

> a hack to get around character encoding problems or historically
> poor support in e-mail for non-ASCII letters,


> The same would be true for other such hacks, like the use of the
> apostrophe in Italian to replace acute accents.

And the use of digits by many arabic speakers to write in ASCII (see
for instance <>)? It
always looked like a specific orthography to me.

> The name 'internet' would almost certainly be inappropriate for such
> a variant; 


And technically quite wrong: it is not the Internet which has problems
with accents, it is *some* programs.

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