Really OT: internationalized email addresses (Was: french orthography (Was: BCP47 Appeals process)

Mark Davis mark at
Wed Sep 24 08:13:09 CEST 2008

I would agree that more people would recognize Latin than any other script.
However, that doesn't make it easy for them to use, or
that they would "know how to write their name". You probably are familiar
with Greek letters, yet try to spell out English words with only Greek
letters -- the fit isn't very good, and won't be unique. And Greek is an
easy case.
Part of the problem is that there is often no simple mapping between a
script and ASCII letters; take Arabic for example, with many more
consonants. Or their may be other variations: Путин ↔ Putin, Poutine,
Горбачёв ↔ Gorbachev, Gorbachef, Gorbacev, Gorbatchev, Gorbačëv,
Gorbachov, Gorbatsov, Gorbatschow, ...

Anyway, off topic.


On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 10:03 PM, Mark Crispin <markrcrispin at>wrote:

> >> There is a class of identifiers in which universal literacy is of far
> >> greater value than localization.
> > Well, there is no such thing as "universal literacy" unless we decide
> > that a given script is mandatory to learn for everyone on earth.
> The basic Latin script, unadorned with diacriticals, de facto serves
> that function.
> There are very few nations ("or regions", to use that silly bit of
> political correctness) in which the population is taught to be literate
> in their local script without also being taught to be literate in the
> basic Latin script.
> I say "very few" in the assumption that such places actually exist;
> I do not know of any.  I admit to not making a comprehensive survey,
> but I have yet to meet anyone who does not know the Latin script.
> This does not equate at all to "literacy in the English language."  A
> far greater number of people know how to write their name using
> the Latin script than are able to read an English-language newspaper.
> Similarly, a far greater number of people are able to read text in
> their own language in the Latin script than are able to read text in
> the English language.
> -- Mark --
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