Re: US vs. UK Enlgish

Subject: Re: US vs. UK Enlgish
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- SOUNDY -dot- ORG>
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 15:55:49 -0700

On Sun, 9 May 1999 17:47:51 -0500, stamankr -at- JMU -dot- EDU wrote:

>I find this discussion very interesting, but I still have one lingering
>questons: are not the differences between UK and US English far deeper
>than spelling?

For the most part, no, I don't think so. There are some terms and phrases
that are different (as I noted, the "bonnet" on a UK car is the "hood" on
a US car; you take a "lift" in a high-rise building in the UK, or an
"elevator" in the US; and so on)...

>Don't both cultures use very different idioms

...and certainly there are different saying, catch-phrases, slang and such
between cultures, but these are the kinds of things that don't typically
find their way into documentation :)

>and even differnet puncutation practices?

Again, not any major differences - an extra comma here and there, perhaps
("this, that and the other" in the UK and Canada, vs. "this, that, and the
other" in the US, for example), but nothing I can think of that would
significantly alter meaning or hamper readability.

>Wouldn't these factors cause far greater "intercultural
>communication problems" than spelling distinctions

Quite frankly, given the way most people write (lots of Unnecessary
Capitalizations, excessive exclamation points!!!!!!, the inability to
differentiate to/too/two, where/wear/ware, there/their/they're, etc.) in
email and internet postings without seeming to cause undue
misunderstandings, I doubt most of them would know the difference between
UK/US if it reached off the page and smacked them upside the head :)

>and are these factors not the reason for which English websites should be
>localized?

And then what are you going to do? Have your webserver detect where
they're browsing from and serve up the proper page? "Select which version
of English you like to continue"? That's a lot of extra work and
resources for such a small "inconvenience".


Your friend and mine,
Matt
<All standard disclaimers apply>
"Reality is in alpha test on protoype hardware."
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From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=




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