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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Funny Quotes in Word
by drstorm on Tue 27th Oct 2009 01:07 UTC
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My native language is Serbian, and we use the same kind of „quotes” as the Dutch. The truth is most people don't really care about the matter so the English style quotes go unnoticed in most cases.

Still, most formal documents use traditional quotes. I have written a number of such documents in Word myself and I must say, I had no trouble at all. Word automatically replaced the left high quote with the low one every time. The trick was to set the document language to Serbian.

If it does not work for Dutch, it's probably some kind of misunderstanding of the Dutch orthography on Microsoft's part...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Funny Quotes in Word
by Savior on Tue 27th Oct 2009 07:08 in reply to "Funny Quotes in Word"
Savior Member since:

Same here -- I am Hungarian, and we also place our left double quotes at the bottom. And lo! so does Word and OpenOffice, if you set the language to Hungarian. Which, according to my experience, is how computers of non-geeks are set up most of the time. So I wouldn't blame word processors for that.

I think it's a more recent development, but definitely computer-related. Chat applications, text editors, etc. use only "". That and with all this English text around us, it's no wonder people are more accustomed to the English style double quotes. Too bad.

That's the price you pay for globalization. It's actually a cheap one, compared to some other cultural aspects. One that really blows my mind is when international chains advertize their Christmas sales/menus/etc. with Santa Claus. Who is this Santa Claus guy anyway? And what does he have to do with Christmas? Go back to the US, we don't need you! Dammit! ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Funny Quotes in Word
by drstorm on Tue 27th Oct 2009 11:39 in reply to "RE: Funny Quotes in Word"
drstorm Member since:

First of all, greets to the neighbor. ;)

About the Santa, in Serbia the same looking guy brings presents on New Year's Eve. He has nothing to do with Christmas and we call him Grandpa-Frost (Deda-Mraz in Serbian).

Despite the globalization, Grandpa-Frost prevails and I like it. Christmas should really be about Christ. Besides, members of every religion can appreciate Grandpa-Frost. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3