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Re: Language X within scope of language Y

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 16:55:51 -0500
To: David Clarke <w3c@dragonthoughts.co.uk>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050120215551.GB13782@skunk.reutershealth.com>

David Clarke scripsit:

> However the word "the" in French , carries the meaning of tea; this 
> suggests it should not be omitted from an index. Were it to be embedded 
> within a predominantly English text, embedded language marking would 
> make a significant difference to processing.

>From H.L. Mencken's _The American Language_ (4th ed.):

    [Charles Fitzhugh Talman, in the Dec. 1915 issue of the _Atlantic
    Monthly_] gives an amusing account of the struggles of American
    newspapers with *thè dansant*.  He says:
 
        Put this through the hopper of the typesetting machine, and it
        comes form "the the dansant" -- which even Oshkosh finds
        intolerable.  The thing was, however, often attempted when *thes
        dansants* came into fashion, and with various results.  Generally
        the proof-reader eliminates one of the *the*s, making *dansant*
        a quasi-noun, and to this day one reads of people giving or
        attending *dansants*.  Latterly the public taste seems to favor
        *dansante*, which doubtless has a Frenchier appearance, provided
        you are sufficiently ignorant of the Gallic tongue.  Two other
        solutions of the difficulty may be noted:
 
            Among those present at the "the dansant";
            Among those present at the the-dansant;

        that is, either a hyphen or quotation marks set off the exotic
        phrase.

And indeed a Google search shows that while Oshkosh, Wisconsin has come
up in the world, all these alternatives to *thè dansant* are still with
us ninety years later.

-- 
"Take two turkeys, one goose, four              John Cowan
cabbages, but no duck, and mix them             http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
together. After one taste, you'll duck          jcowan@reutershealth.com
soup the rest of your life."                    http://www.reutershealth.com
        --Groucho
Received on Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:56:19 GMT

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