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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Doc Pain
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The main reason was that PC "code pages" did not contain all the characters needed whereas Macs used the MacRoman charset.

In French we are supposed to use:
- left and right pointing double angle quotation marks: « »
- a couple ligatures: œ æ
- accented capitals: À É Ê…
- apostrophe: ’

All those characters have been present in the 256 byte ASCII set. And I was always able to enter them in Solaris, mostly due to the means of the "Compose" key, so the absence of many non-US characters or at least the easyness to create them seems to be quite PC-specific.

By the way, I seem to recognize the double angle quotation marks from my russian lessons in school, but I think I remember to have learned the form of »pointing to the center« there (Alt-Gr Y X here).

Even nowadays you need cumbersome keystrokes to get access to those on a PC (it's a bit easier on a Mac).

It's easy on a PC running UNIX and X, especially with a Sun USB keyboard, like ÉÀøæßöçéíýôÚ and other typographical attributes. :-)

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