Re: UK/US English - What to do?

Subject: Re: UK/US English - What to do?
From: Bob Gembey <bob -at- SUPERNOVA -dot- NL>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:12:45 +0200

Mike Stockman wrote:

<<Not to be too blunt about it, but if your company would make the
questionable decision to ship a product developed using the wrong
language for the intended market, they certainly won't care much one way
or the other which choice you make in the documentation.>>

I agree fully with that -- the language of the documentation _and_ the
language of the product is a marketing decision.
For my 2 cents, they should be the same, but in any case, the decision
should not be the Tech Writer's, unless he carries the responsibility for

<<I suppose you should continue the farce and create the doc with *all*
text written with UK spelling and usage, not just the sections that refer
to user interface elements. That way you can maintain the illusion that
this is a UK product that just happens to be for sale in the US.>>

Or, maybe they are of the opinion that this is an European product designed
for the international market. Most non-Americans have learned British
English in school, and assume that, if English is the lingua franca of
international commerce, it is the British variant. My opinion? How may
"Wimpies" or "fish 'n' chips" shops are there in Peking?
Seriously, folks, though, IMO, the type of English used differs from
industry to industry -- but in computer software, American English
predominates -- I may not be 100% correct on this, but I'm pretty sure I've
even encountered manuals which, use British spelling and usage, but talk
about computer "programs" instead of "programmes" (which are what you see
on TV -- "the telly" -- or a list of events at some sort of public
presentation like a show, or a list or schedule of procedures of some
sort). But, in the end, it is not what is correct, but what sells, that
will make the decision for us all.

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