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Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:44 am

I seem to be having some trouble getting my point through to you, Bob. Let me quote myself: "All I said was that the OED is entitled to use whatever spelling it wants on its website, and that it has good reason to use the US spelling there because it's the one that is most familiar to its principal market."

That does not mean a child living in Leeds should not be taught the norms of British English spelling in preference to those that govern US spelling. But it does mean that a company that operates in multiple countries is, or ought to be, free to select whatever spelling is most appropriate for its target audience, regardless of where it started life or where it is located geographically. Is that really such a troublesome concept?
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Post by Bobinwales » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am

No Erik, it is not troublesome, but it is a concept I cannot endorse. I think we had better agree to differ.
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Post by tony h » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:38 am

Erik,

I am being rather more conciliatory today. Your point seems to be that if Germany was the market the OED’s website was aiming at the site would be in German - albeit selling an English Dictionary. The fact that the OED’s principal market is the USA it should be in US English.

The point I am still confused about is if License is a noun in the USA why doesn’t the OED say so in the dictionary? I have done a quick check on the few words I know that differ and the OED always seems to say something like : chiefly American usage.

My view is that if the OED is going to admit the US spelling of License then it should put it in the dictionary with the note "chiefly American usage".
regards,
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:41 pm

Bob, I have no doubt that it is there somewhere, but I’ve searched the OED link that you provided above and can’t find your quote:
<“By using this service you agree to be bound by the same terms and conditions of the LICENSE as set out in the legal notice for subscribers.”>
Where the heck is that? At the bottom of the page you provided, there is a link to ‘Privacy Policy and Legal Notice’ which says the following:
<“Under the LICENCE for OED Online signed by a Subscriber to OED Online (which may be you as an individual or an institution to which you are affiliated) you are permitted to: . . . . . .”>
Using two different spellings in two legal notices on the same site would be odd and one could suspect a typo. But on the other hand if it is not a typo and the OED made a conscious decision to use that spelling I would agree with what Erik had said on the subject and that it is a perfectly understandable and justifiable choice which they have a perfect right to make without being maligned but which would, of course, require a future update under LICENCE / LICENSE. And really, deciding to use the ‘s’ instead of the ‘c’ before making the change in their dictionary is not exactly a federal offense and they might have felt that if some were offended by it, so be it. But if it is a ‘blatant error’ as Wiz claims, I would have to see proof of that, which as yet has not been provided. And as far as my view on 'linguistic neocolonialism by the US,’ what balderdash! – I can just see it now, the conspirators meeting at secret locations to discuss strategy (see Erik’s comments above for my views on this one).

And for the big picture. I think that a dictionary of the English language should be just that ‘a dictionary of the English language’ and in my view all this linguistic chauvinism is bullshit. Seems to me that respectable dictionaries, both American and English, ought to provide the alternate spellings. Should the British deny that a large part of the world spells the noun LICENSE, and should the Americans deny that another large segment of the world outside the U.S. spells it LICENCE. What’s the point? And it is my view that with time the inclusion of the alternate spellings will come to pass in all decent dictionaries. It doesn’t take much to provide the alternate ‘U.S. spelling’ or ‘British spellings,’ and the Random House Unabridged Dictionary already provides the alternate British spellings for most of the words that have one (e.g. “especially British” or “chiefly British”: ‘analyse,’ ‘favour,’ ‘honour, ‘jewellery,’ ‘labour,’ ‘manoeuvre,’ ‘metre,’ ‘pyjamas,’ ‘recognise,’ ‘travelled,’ ‘tyre,’ etc., etc.) as does the OED, as Tony points out, for many of the U.S. alternatives. And I also believe the alternate spellings should be right up there in the headword and that you shouldn’t have to hunt for them down in the small print. I don’t think that such a logical step can be far away and I hope we can look forward to a time when such ridiculous, head-in-the-sand, petty, lexicological xenophobic defensiveness, and quibbling will fade into the sunset and the OED or anyone else can use whatever alternate spelling they choose without having some folks getting their knickers in a twist.
____________________

Ken G – April 20, 2006
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Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:37 pm

Ken
Go to OED> OED News> Balderdash and Piffle and try to enter a word to search.
Most likely, then, up comes a welcome screen telling you about the free week, asking you to check a box, and including the "license with an 'S'" word.
Probably, you are being ushered right in, having deposited a cookie on a previous visit.

(Withdrawn a cookie?)

Some would say "defenciveness"?
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:05 am

James, I can't get to it, and I don't know how to erase an individual cookie. But I take your word and that of other site members that it's there.

Thanks,

Ken G - April 20, 2006
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Apr 21, 2006 7:54 am

I checked the OED site after I read the postings of both Ken and gdwdwrkr above. Ken is right that the 'license' spelling does not appear on the main ‘Privacy Policy and Legal Notice’ page, and gdwdwrkr is correct in stating that it does appear the first time you try to access the dictionary through the route he mentions. This is certainly internally inconsistent (and makes rather a nonsense of my assumption that the 'license' spelling was intentionally being used in the course of marketing the OED to an American audience), but it hardly heralds the end of the world (or the word) as we know it: for this, an errant L is required.
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Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:09 pm

Welcome to the OED Online free web site.
Online access to the whole Dictionary, including all the words featured in the BBC's Balderdash and Piffle - The Results Show, will be available here for one week following broadcast of the programme on 16 April.

By using this service you agree to be bound by the same terms and conditions of the license as set out in the legal notice for subscribers. In particular, you are not permitted to copy large numbers of entries in a systematic or automated way; doing so may result in the termination of your session.

Please note: in order to use this service you must be willing to accept cookies.

We hope you enjoy using this free sample version of OED Online. If you'd like continuous access and the full range of search features, unlocking yet more of the story of English, you will find online access available in many libraries in the UK and around the world --- or why not take out a personal subscription, for yourself or a relative or friend? Find out more about personal subscriptions



To continue using OED Online, please check here to ENTER:



Just for the record, I cut-and-pasted the above.
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Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:43 am

.. so much to say so little time .. so much to explain .. but let's try >>
Erik said:

I have yet to see any evidence of a concerted effort by Americans (or by the OED, for that matter) to subvert the English of the rest of the globe so that it conforms to the norms of American English (an enterprise that would be doomed in any case).
.. subversion is by its very nature secretive and so I can but provide one example from many .. listening recently to two teenage Australian lads set to have a fight .. did I hear, Mate I’m gunna givya a smack intha mouth! .. NO .. instead I heard, Bro I iz gunna bitch slap yo! .. now one might ask where a good Aussie WASP would hear, let alone be influenced by such a linguistic change .. now let me guess .. hmmmmmmmm .. I wonder? .. could it be song lyrics accompanied by MTV .. TV, movies, comics you name it ..doomed you say .. far from it Erik it is alive and being brainwashed into the youth of Australia every watching, listening moment .. and to your second point >>
It would be more to the point (though equally futile) for you to tell your fellow-Australians to stop enjoying and watching American TV programmes, in order to prevent them from infecting themselves with American expressions and the influence of American culture.
.. enjoying ?? are we ?? .. do we have any choice ?? .. and since the recently signed and trumpeted (by the Federal Government) Free Trade Agreement the Aussie Entertainment industry and Advertising industry is set to be extinguished because under this agreement there will be open slather for the US to demand that they can flood the Aussie market with more and more Americanised ”culture ?” .. Erik you have to live here to see what I am seeing .. to experience what I am experiencing .. to see and hear the differences from when I was a youth to now is devastating .. to feel the death of ones linguistic culture is sad .. to have it called parochial is to only hear a poorly informed commentator .. to suggest that it is a case of linguistic development and change is to poorly understand such change in Australia.. if these expressions were merely a development of past Aussie expressions then no problem .. if they were a natural extension of the movement of Aussie culture where our broad multicultural linguistic heritage was being insinuated into the language then OK .. but to simply see the imposition of US linguistic culture is both sad and heartbreaking .. our youth are being brainwashed and the sad thing is that they don’t even realise it .. the once colourful and creative Aussie linguistic expression is being killed by mediocre US linguistic neo-colonialism ..

.. and to Ken
And as far as my view on 'linguistic neocolonialism by the US,’ what balderdash!
.. isn’t it wonderful to speak from the position of power ?? .. isn’t it wonderful to see the world through red, white and blue glasses ?? .. and sadly isn’t it wonderful to believe that all the World loves what the US is doing to individual countries .. what they are doing to the smaller linguistic cultures of the World simply by being IN a position of economic superiority to demand that their spellings, their grammar, their linguistic conventions can insidiously undermine the traditions of smaller nations .. see MY comments above to Erik about having to experience the slow death of one’s language heralded as the natural evolution of Australian English .. Ken we do NOT welcome it and yes it is a matter of some economic idea of market forces .. as an example to find that I must accept math instead of the Australian maths in books simply because we do not have a big enough market to have an Australian version of a book is infuriating .. not to mention having to further explain an outdated imperial system in examples just because the US still flogs the dinosaur of imperial measurement ..
Ken said:

"..... and in my view all this linguistic chauvinism is bullshit."
.. yes Ken provided that YOUR side is the alpha language .. provided of course that it is American English that is dominating ..

.. Ken, Erik I do expect you to understand my feelings .. I do not expect you to be able to feel as passionately about Australian English as I do .. I do expect you to know what it is to watch as the sociolinguistic mores of ones language are swamped not by the development of ones own culture but by the imposition of a foreign culture .. I cannot expect it .. and wisely I DO not expect it .. to agree with Bob, I think we must beg to differ in this regard ..

WoZ of Aus 23/04/06
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Post by gdwdwrkr » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:07 pm

red, white and blue glasses

we have a yellow fringe, too.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:56 pm

Wiz, I think that the basic fallacy in your argument is that you are misusing the word NEOCOLONIALISM, which contains the element of purposeful intent (pardon the redundancy):
_________________________

Oxford English Dictionary

NEOCOLONIALISM: The use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence another country; esp. the retention of such influence over a developing country by a former colonial power.
<“The essence of NEO-COLONISM is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.”—‘Neo-colonialism: Last Stage of Imperialism’ by K. Nkrumahm page ix>
_________________________

The words ‘the use to pressure or control’ implies a mindful campaign to achieve a certain end. Do you think that any American or American company (or as you would claim American subverted company) really gives a hoot whether a word is spelled LICENCE or LICENSE, LABOUR or LABOR? What’s to be gained? Do you think that there is a purposeful campaign by Americans, and perhaps subverted Brits, to force Australians to speak American English? That’s what I’m calling BALDERDASH! I don’t deny that some of what you say is happening and that some of it is sad – Australian language and culture being lost – but I do deny there is any purposeful campaign to cause that to happen. And I am in total agreement with Erik when he said the following:
<“Really, though, I think it is ridiculous to accuse the OED of contributing to 'linguistic neo-colonialism by the US'. 'Linguistic neo-colonialism' implies a deliberate policy backed by concrete actions. I have yet to see any evidence of a concerted effort by Americans (or by the OED, for that matter) to subvert the English of the rest of the globe so that it conforms to the norms of American English (an enterprise that would be doomed in any case).

It would be more to the point (though equally futile) for you to tell your fellow-Australians to stop enjoying and watching American TV programmes, in order to prevent them from infecting themselves with American expressions and the influence of American culture. You'll have to forgive me for suggesting that the real problem here appears to be that of one Australian's parochialism.”>
What you see in Australia is the result of Americans speaking American English. What do you propose?—that all American movies, advertising, and products be bawdlerized and shipped out in several versions, one for the U.S. market and the others for Australian, Indian, Jamaican, . . . . . markets to insure that their language and culture will not be subverted.

So don’t just sit there with your endless whining! Let’s hear what you propose be done to correct this 'problem’—perhaps a ban by the Australian government on all U.S. imports, or perhaps a clause that says all U.S. products sent to Australia must be made over in Australian versions, or perhaps a Great-Wall-of-China type of structure built around Australia, and maybe jamming of subversive TV shows. . . . You’re suddenly in power Wiz – what do you propose be done?
__________________

Ken – April 23, 2006
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Post by gdwdwrkr » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:36 pm

turn off the bloody tv
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