Surely, if the argument is to be as inclusive and easy as possible, British English should be used? Things may have changed, but my impression is that the majority of English-second-language (ESL) speakers learn British English, not American. So maybe that should be the switch, if inclusivity and lowering the bar as much as possible is the ideal?
Admittedly, I essentially switch between UK/US/Australian/Eastern European/Geordie/southern US/NZ English/French on a regular basis, so it's not a problem for me (but is something I'm possibly more conscious of than most), nor do I think a huge switch of US to UK spellings achieves much, but the nuances and connotation differences are meaningful. On the whole I agree with fixing on a policy where language style that is clear to the most people is the idea. I'm not sure of the wording that should be used to codify that, but something expressing a preference for clear expression in British English (or whatever dialect), with humility insisted on, and deference to 'the community' as to the clarity of wording. Politics aside, clarity and comprehension for the most is the goal, surely? [is what's already done, more or less with the docs, if I understand correctly?]
An issue is that commit messages are uneditable after merge, so something written somewhere suggesting consideration of this would be a good idea, with authors/mergers bearing this in mind, however unusual a change on this basis would be. This would be additional burden on the core dev team, but if commitment is to be made to inclusivity, it might be what's necessary. The potential for inclusion and mentoring of contributors whose skill set is more toward documentation, and others who in future might contribute to CPython code is an added bonus.
I've been holding this thought a little while, but since the discussion on English dialects has been raised, I think it's a point worth making.
PS The issue with 'they' tends to be that it doesn't adequately convey singular/plural, as I encountered a *lot* writing Communications/Cultural Studies papers when I was at university/in college (see the dialects...). Other languages (say, French) have plural forms of gendered singular, but not an non-gendered form of either. An non-gendered singular, and gendered plurals in English could be useful, but I don't see either becoming accepted soon. The solution, for what it's worth, tended to be a neutral role noun, eg 'the coder', 'the writer', 'the consumer' - which in some cases has an advantage in clarity over they/he/she vis a vis both added role/verb information and gender neutral singular/pluralisation. ------------------------------
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2020 11:58:16 +0200 From: Antoine Pitrou email@example.com Subject: [Python-Dev] Re: Recent PEP-8 change To: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: 20200702115816.77335477@fsol Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 19:38:28 +1000 Chris Angelico email@example.com wrote:
Standardizing on a single language ensures that everyone can read the comments in a single, consistent language.
That was precisely my point. But "language" doesn't stop at the broad category "English" or "French", there are variations thereof, and that's why there can be more precise recommendations to ensure standardizing on a common variant of (for example) "English".
Let's say someone write Python comments or documentation in "William Faulkner English" or "James Joyce English". It's gonna be very difficult to read for people like me.