[Chuq Von Rospach wrote:]
On Feb 3, 2004, at 8:02 AM, James Craig Burley wrote:
Seriously, dude, get over yourself. English is the "lingua franca" of
Well, it is on English-language mailing lists like this, that's for
sure. Funny about that.
Not funny at all; it's just the way things happened. English also is
the "lingua franca" of the international postage system; of
air-traffic control; and so on.
As an amateur singer, I had to learn various non-English words to
understand music. Words like "presto", "accelerando", "ritard", and
so on, are not necessarily well-understood by English speakers, until
they take up a music career. Well, tough: the fundamental structures
and, therefore, terminology of most Western music happened to derive
from Italian and Germanic cultures, so we have to learn at least the
basics of those languages to get by. (I've sung music in Italian,
German, French, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew [contemporary and an older form
as well], to name the ones I can remember off the top of my head; some
of it simply wouldn't work in any viable translation into English.
It's a heck of a lot easier, all else being equal, to sing German or
Italian without understanding it than to sing English.)
People like yourselves are simply intolerant of those of us who point
out these facts, and the conclusions that are reasonably drawn from
them: that, at some level, *any* system of communication must boil
down to some language that everyone who participates in the
maintenance and promotion of that system can understand and employ
You can whine about these realities all you want; until I see all of
your writings posted on the web in all the various international
languages you care so much about, you'll just be advertising yourself
as a hypocrite.
I'm going to make a wild guess and say that most of the people making
these arguments don't speak an asian-pacific language, have never sent
an e-mail in it, don't know many (if any) people who are native
japanese or chinese speakers, haven't really researched what's going on
over there, and are, basically, shooting from the hip.
That is indeed a wild guess, wildly *inaccurate*, and typical of the
narrow mind-set of those who choose to believe that anyone who does
not bow and scrape before the "internationalization police" must
necessarily be narrow-minded backwater rednecks from the middle of
Louisana. It's the typical knee-jerk reaction of people accustomed to
having their precious world-views seriously challenged, to start
flinging epithets like "xenophobe" around rather than coherently
responding to legitimate concerns; it entirely serves the purposes of
people like yourselves that the result of such behavior is generally
to *stifle*, rather than *encourage*, open and honest communication.
And that is, after all, what you seem to be after: since we don't all
immediately agree with the assertion that everything we do must be
fully comprehendable by every inhabitant of this globe, any of us who
*disagree* with that assertion is to be made to feel so inadequate, so
"hateful" (which is the implication of words like "xenophobic"), that
we leave the discussion, so only the "elites" end up participating in
Or, you could go join those Japanese and Chinese (or other Asian)
mailing lists discussing the NG email *they* are proposing for the
rest of us, and see whether they are seriously considering having
email addresses that a) are intended for an international audience and
b) have no Latin glyphs, thus being unreadable by most sysadmins in
the West for the next few decades.
Anyway, it simply doesn't matter what you *want* at this point. All
that matters is whether you'll follow your own advice and leave this
mailing list because it's in English, or take on the task of providing
simultaneous translations of all incoming and outgoing emails to it
into all the other international languages you care about.
It's your choice: put up or shut up.
In the meantime, I'm just *so* sorry that it offends your delicate
sensibilities that there are those of us who, despite our each not
being fluent in 50 or more different languages, choose to communicate
with each other in matters such as NG email design using English.
(Presumably if your were our Great Revered Leader, you'd outlaw such
insolence, and send people like myself to "international tolerance
education camps" to learn our lessons?)
James Craig Burley
--Fix qmail's qmail-smtpd so it doesn't crash on a big header line:--