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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Comment by Anon9
by Anon9 on Tue 27th Oct 2009 05:32 UTC
Anon9
Member since:
2008-06-30

I like how English is pretty restricted in the characters it uses. Some weird exceptions are naïve and vis-à-vis.

I wish there was some book somewhere that discussed many different languages and the unique characteristics of them. It wouldn't have to work on vocabulary at all, just grammar and typography. For example, it could teach how to write in Arabic, which I think is right to left and possibly some letters affect how the next is drawn. Such a book would help in developing a text editor that could be designed to support many languages. Maybe such a book exists. Any recommendations?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Anon9
by TasnuArakun on Tue 27th Oct 2009 12:29 in reply to "Comment by Anon9"
TasnuArakun Member since:
2009-05-24

Don't forget façade and crème brûlée. ;) How come only French words are spelt properly? Loan words from any other language usually have the diacritics removed. For example the Swedish word smörgåsbord.

Personally I think English would benefit from having a few more letters since the language contains almost twice as many phonemes as it does letters. Sure, it's convenient when you need to cram the letters into a limited amount of code points but spelling gets so much easier when you employ the principle "one sound – one letter". Take a look at some of the slavic languages like Czech. I think it's time to reintroduce some of the older English letters: þ, ð, æ, œ, ȝ, ƿ. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Anon9
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2009 12:39 in reply to "RE: Comment by Anon9"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't forget façade and crème brûlée. How come only French words are spelt properly? Loan words from any other language usually have the diacritics removed. For example the Swedish word smörgåsbord.


In Dutch, diacritic marks cannot be omitted. They change the pronunciation of words, so if you remove them, pronunciation changes (and maybe meaning, too - I can't think of an example, though).

We use all of them - accent grave, acute, cedilla, circumflex, and even the tilde.

Reply Parent Score: 1