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Re: What is the language "British"?

Ed Greshko wrote:

> An example of this can be found even in Chinese.  The character ? (or
> written in simplified Chinese ?) means "chicken" and has had the meaning
> of
> 1) A bird and 2) frightened.  Much like what most of us relate to.
> However, in the PRC a new meaning as been added and can be found in their
> dictionary, 3) Female prostitute.  FWIW, "duck" also was awarded the
> additional definition of Male prostitute, or gigolo.

As a matter of interest, is there a Mandarin equivalent 
of the Acadamie Francaise, to decide which new words (or meanings)
are acceptable in the Republic of China, or elsewhere?

But I think the introduction of new words,
or the addition of new meanings to old words,
is very different from the acceptance of spelling variations,
as Mr Quayle found to his cost.

In practice, I imagine any spelling that does not have the imprimatur
of the OED or Webster will simply be regarded as "wrong".
I don't think "that's how we spell it in Jamaica" (or Minnesota)
would be considered a valid excuse.

I may call a gigolo a "duck" without anyone batting an eyelid,
but if I say I am eating a ducc's eg I'll be universally condemned.

Timothy Murphy  
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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