Linguistic quirks (was: Don't know what to title this...)

Subject: Linguistic quirks (was: Don't know what to title this...)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 09:43:11 -0400

Diane Evans, responding to a camera ad (, wondered: <<What's really interesting is that I googled for "pleriminary" and found 30 hits! Must be a new word I haven't heard of before...>>

This is why even skilled writers for whom English is a second language should still be edited by editors for whom English is their first language. (Same for other languages, of course.) If your job gets outsourced overseas, think of this as an opportunity to sell yourself as a technical editor and subject matter expert eager to help overseas companies fix such problems.

A data point from the field: In 6 years of working intensively with Japanese authors, I've found that reversals of "r" and "l" are very common indeed; seems to be a problem with phonetic misspelling (mispronouncing the word in your head followed by using that mispronunciation as the basis for spelling). Similar problems seem to arise with the use of articles by Japanese and Chinese authors. My recollection is that this is because the Japanese don't have an L sound in their language, and neither Japanese nor Chinese uses articles. Confirmation or refutation of these beliefs gratefully accepted.

I'd be curious to learn about other substitutions or linguistic quirks techwhirlers have encountered in their work with authors, engineers, or developers.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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RE: Don't know what to title this...: From: Diane Evans

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