International English

Subject: International English
From: jktan -at- ctlsg -dot- creaf -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 12:47:10 +0800

Hi, everybody,

Thank you very much for answering my previous queries about a suitable reference
book for American grammar.

Reading your answers and upon reflection, I wonder whether it might be better if
my company were to write in International English (if there's such a thing)
instead of American English or British English.

When one of our customers asked us for an International English version of our
documentation, I was rather puzzled. I've heard of American English, British
English or even Australian English; but not International English.

However, using International English might solve a key problem: If we write in
American/British/Australian English, especially if we use phrases native to the
region, those unfamiliar with that version might scratch their head and wonder
what they mean.

For example, an American colleague of mine said the phrase "we'll have to" is
speculative (it means "maybe") and not imperative (it doesn't mean "we must").
According to the English with which I've been brought up (hopefully, that's true
blue British English), "we'll have to" is imperative and certainly not
speculative. Yet another informed us that the word "knowing" implies carnal
knowledge. Again, according to my normal understanding, "knowing" means just
that - "knowing". However, in order to avoid unnecessary confusion, we did
change the headings of parts of our documentation from "Knowing Your Card" to
"About Your Card". 8-)

So, could someone tell me what is International English? And do you use it in
your corporate documentation? What are good references for International

thanks n' regards,
joo khim

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