Re: Writing British English

Subject: Re: Writing British English
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 10:37:35 GMT

Personally, I have become used to reading American English. Whether
an American feel to the writing is objectionable rather depends on
the market and the product.

I work in England for the International division of a US company,
developing and delivering European products. The differences in how
the software has to work are reasonably small, but significant. The
degree of American-ness in the original product is quite high,
because it was developed with the domestic US market in mind.

Removing the US flavour of the documentation and the terminology
inside the software is important, not just because it would lead to
serious misunderstandings (for example, a 'bank draft' means
something entirely different on either side of the Atlantic) but
also because it undermines the feeling that the product is properly
suited to the special requirements of the relevant market.

I'm surprised that you have found your English English 'translation'
is more verbose, because in general (and therefore suspect as an
assumption) English English tends toward the Anglo-Saxon short,
sharp words, and American English towards the longer Latin roots.
Maybe your translator didn't feel able to extensively rewrite, or is
just writes that way anyway.

Iain
iharrison -at- sct -dot- co -dot- uk
Views expressed are probably mine. They probably aren't my
employer's views!


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