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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RE: If it's not on the keyboard
by james_parker on Tue 27th Oct 2009 21:56 UTC in reply to "If it's not on the keyboard"
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Another thing that's been influenced by english and computers is the use of the decimal point versus the decimal comma (and subsequently whether to use commas or spaces as thousands separators). The decimal comma is used in all of Europe (except the UK). However many computer programs expect the input to be using a point. This has led to some younger people (at least that's what I've seen here in Sweden) having started to use the decimal point in other contexts as well and even stating that they prefer it.

Are there any standards, or barring that, reliable guides (preferably in English) as to what the various sets of rules are regarding the separation of digits? I inherited some software that has both "." for fractional separation and "," for digit grouping hard coded, and I would like to ensure that the correct form can be used globally. Our case is complicated because we have cases where we need to parse the local form to convert back to an internally numeric form as well.

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