Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2009 00:37 UTC
Features, Office In the comments on our editorial about language purism and the Psystar case, it became quite clear that language is a subject almost everyone has an opinion on - not odd if you consider that language is at the very centre of what makes us "human". Since this appears to be a popular subject, let's talk about the influence computing has had on two very minor aspects of the Dutch language.
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Lane IJ
by righard on Tue 27th Oct 2009 12:55 UTC
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Another difference computers made to Dutch has to do with our ,lange IJ” (teasing Thom). In Dutch the 'ij' is one character. This character doesn't appear our US Keyboards though (it does on the Dutch layout and old typewriters I belief) so we write it as two characters i and j.

One small consequence is in counting; the word “zijn” has three characters, though computers think there are four. It's clearly one character in written Dutch, we're it is most times written as an y with dots on it. But because nowadays we type more then write most people think “zijn” has four letters.

Alphabetically sorting words containing a IJ is also difficult for computers, because the think the words start we an I. (Though the rules about sorting the IJ differed before computers.)

I heard that in Flemish the ij are two distinct characters, and are there for also capitalized as Ijswinkel (instead of our superior IJswinkel -:)

Edited 2009-10-27 12:55 UTC

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