Re: Who is an ESL writer?
Perhaps a bit tangential to your question, this might be of interest:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Englishes
Note in particular Kachru's Three Circles of English.
Fascinating! I've worked (in the US) with tech writers from India, and so pondered this whole ESL thing a good bit. The Indian-American writers with whom I've worked have all had excellent English and clearly have more formally-schooled grammar knowledge than I do. And at the same time, in almost everything they write they don't sound quite like a "native English" speaker -- in this context, meaning native to the US.
And so long ago I realized/decided that indeed, there is simply an Indian "dialect" of English, just as everyone recognizes and acknowledges that English speakers from the UK, Canada, etc., have a dialect distinct from US English.
One company I worked with actually had the localization goal of producing en_US *and* en_GB (English - Great Britain) docs. I don't think they actually went through with it and generally just put the US versions in the GB portal. But I thought it a noble goal.
So I think this all much more closely related than "tangential" to the thread's question.
Thanks for the reference!
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