FW: Reference works for UK-US English

Subject: FW: Reference works for UK-US English
From: "Hamilton, Beth" <ELHAM -at- WGPO -dot- DBSOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 12:55:00 PDT

Last week I send the responses I had received to the query on index-l
concerning UK/US English usage and indexes. Today there was another
great response:

One structured, controlled indexing language published in the U.S.
that makes an effort to provide British English equivalencies is the
Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). AAT descriptors are based on
American usage. But to accommodate users in other English-speaking
countries, particularly the United Kingdom and Canada, the AAT began,
as of its second edition, to incorporate British English terms linked
to their American English equivalencies. Included are spelling
variants (e.g., "labour" and "labor") as well as terms that are
entirely different yet refer to the same thing (e.g., "lifts" and
"elevators"). Lead-in terms, or synonyms, for British English
descriptors are also included, terms that have been established as
nonpreferred in British English usage and make a SEE reference to the
record of the preferred American English descriptor, where the
preferred British English descriptor is found (e.g., "trams SEE
streetcars", UK descriptor "tramcars").

Providing British English on a systematic basis only became a regular
part of AAT editorial work in 1993, so British equivalents are not in
place for the entire thesaurus. It's a relatively new development,
and an ongoing process to go back and fill in British English for
American English descriptors published long ago. Research into
British equivalents is now a regular part of work on new
descriptors. Future plans include retrospective infill of British
equivalents, and ways to identify descriptors that are both equally
American and British.

The bottom line here? We've made a beginning and we're getting there.
Submissions of British English terms for inclusion in the thesaurus
are welcome, and can be made through the AAT's candidate term and
comment process. If anyone is interested in participating in this
process, please e-mail the AAT at aat -at- aat -dot- getty -dot- edu to request a copy
of the AAT newsletter "User Friendly" volume 2, no. 1 & 2, which
gives full instructions on candidate term/comment submission.


Alison Chipman, editor
Art & Architecture Thesaurus
achipman -at- aat -dot- getty -dot- edu

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