A challenge to the ASCII proponents.

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.net
Wed Jul 23 17:49:14 CEST 2003

Duncan Booth <duncan at NOSPAMrcp.co.uk> wrote in message news:<Xns93C160E9ED2F3duncanrcpcouk at>...
> Christos "TZOTZIOY" Georgiou <tzot at sil-tec.gr> wrote in 
> news:amqqhv0gbdok6dnk6ib9342lejpc4ap5pd at 4ax.com:
> > If I may say it sideways, try searching for google for the french word
> > "càfe", as in "un càfe s'il vous plaît".  Wanna bet my message will be
> > the only one to be found? :)
> Since when is 'càfe' a French word? It doesn't appear in any French 
> dictionary I have tried.

Case closed, as they say in certain circles. I was once told (by a
French speaker) that it was far better, in an ASCII-only situation, to
drop all accents than to use the wrong ones in French texts. For other
Latin-derived alphabets, there are often established rules for the
writing of letters specific to particular languages (and cultures)
using those found in ASCII (eg. å -> aa, æ -> ae, ø -> oe), but it can
be quite tiring for people like me to interpret them quickly in a
large body of text.

As for the "challenge" and its proponents/opponents, I think it's
shameful that even relatively modern computing standards (eg. things
like HTTP, URLs/URIs) haven't gone far enough to appear inclusive to
"non-ASCII cultures", or at least not without convoluted and vague
edge cases which effectively force people to use ASCII anyway because
of misinterpretations of (or insecurity around) those standards.


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