Foreign Accents

From time to time I read Ben Hammersley’s blog. It’s literate, interesting — and like having my teeth sandpapered because he’s living in Sweden and he still writes in ascii. So, he lives outside Lidköping — but writes that he lives outside Lidkoping. Ö and O are entirely different vowels. They are pronounced differently (and, in Swedish, they also affect the sound of the preceding consonant). The words in which they appear mean different things. It is like the difference between U and A. You cun’t just ignore it.

What makes this odder is that he’s a programmer, alert in most cases to the significance of silly little dots. Omit a comma and you can crash a spacecraft. So why not pay some tiny fraction of the attention and respect you give computer languages to the ones that are spoken by the human beings you’re living amongst? It’s not as if it’s hard to type Swedish letters on an English keyboard.

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5 Responses to Foreign Accents

  1. And what makes it worse, is that it has sat there staring at me everytime I look at my own blog since I made that template in a hurry and just rushed past the accent without thinking. And I know all about the extra letters, as I live in a house called R

  2. Andrew says:

    Well, we’ve all been guilty of that. R

  3. Rupert says:

    It’s worth remembering what the A in ASCII stands for. In any case all English speakers are innoculated against acute inflection at birth – it lasts to the grave.


  4. Worst pun ever. I swear.

  5. Andrew says:

    Don’t feed him!
    How is winter out there now? This was about the time of year when I always used to go crazy, because all the lights from around Christmas had long gone, and sometimes things would thaw in the day, before refreezing at night. I always minded the thaw worse than the snow. Still, only another three months till May, when you willunderstand that it has all been worth it.

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