What is en_US ?
charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Wed Jun 13 14:56:27 UTC 2007
On Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 02:37:55PM +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> I'd like to enter a small caveat
> about the use of the description "en_US"
> when there is no other version of English on offer,
> eg when installing Fedora.
> First of all, the difference between different variants of English
> is negligible, in my opinion.
> I never heard of anyone misunderstanding something
> because it was in en_US rather than in en_GB.
And what of en_IE? (But what can you say about someone who teaches at
a college founded by Elizabeth I? :-)
As Shaw said, we are divided by a common language.
> Secondly, giving a variant name like this when there is no
> alternative wastes a lot of time going up and down menus to see if
> there is some alternative choice.
A reasonable point.
> I know Americans spell a few words wrongly, but so what?
> Plenty of people make spelling mistakes,
> and it doesn't affect one's understanding in the slightest.
Oh? It isn't just the spelling, it's word usage as well. Tell an
Englishman and an American to take the underground, and they will both
be on their way -- on different modes of transport. See H.L. Mencken's
The American Language. There is an entire chapter devoted to the
differences between American and English usage. Some of it is taken
from a handbook the US Army put out during WWII for the benefit of
American troops stationed in Britain.
> I tested a group of students some years ago,
> to see if they knew whether a book was published in the US or the UK,
> and none of them had the slightest idea.
Which may say more about your students than the differences between
American and English or Irish usages.
Charles Curley /"\ ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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