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Re: [OT] The stigma of schemas

On Sun, 01 Jul 2001, Nik O wrote:
[filet vs fillet]
> I suspect that this is due to the much larger per centage of
> Francophones in the USA, hence the "respect shown the original
> language" (a very important recent reminder from Uche Ogbuji on
> this thread). 

Could certainly be. I wonder did the word travel as "fill-it"
from the UK originally but get modified back to the French
pronounciation later. I look for the day when XML gets used for
a chronic lexicon so that we can trace mutation through time
(maybe one already exists).

> As a cheeky Yank, i have always though the English
> deliberately mis-pronounced "foreign" languages as an
> expression of imperialism (true of most languages to one extent
> or another, yes?). 

They certainly tended to do this in times past. One thinks of
the aristocratic mother cited in Jilly Cooper's _Class_ who
remonstrated with her school-age son, "Speak French well, dear,
but not like _them_."  And both Brits and Yanks suffer from the
delusion that repeating oneself louder is a guarantee than the
foreigner will understand :-)

> Because the USA is such a mutt of a nation, it seems that we
> are more likely to have contact with the original
> pronunciation, and use a reasonable facsimile thereof. Even us
> cowboys in Wyoming say GRO-vawnt for "Gros Ventre" (named by
> les trappeurs Quebecois). Otoh, the nearby town named "Dubois"
> is pronounced "DOO-boyz" instead of "duBWA" -- go figure! 

To say nuthin' of Des Moines...

> I can only agree with this in a narrow sense. Just because we
> have added a wonderful new specialized lexicon of many words,
> doesn't mean that the language as a whole has been enriched. 

I was thinking more of those words and usages which ooze out into
the mainstream, like "debug".

> How many early adopters of PCs wish they had never learned
> the word "DOS"? 

Or late adopters Windows :-)

> Agreed -- i say "schemas", you say "schemata", can't we just
> call this little thing off? 

Happily, so long as no-one uses schema as a plural :-)

> P.S. The lack of diacritics is an intentionally provocative
> reminder that much of the Net still remains based upon
> text/plain ASCII, alas. 

I don't think it's intentional, it's that British and American
manufacturers still regard diacritics as an optional extra, not
an essential. Hopefully XML's grounding in Unicode is changing