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Re(2): Announce: Publication of Discussion Document, Luxembourg, July 1997

From: <Iain.URQUHART@LUX.DG13.cec.be>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 21:23:39 +0200
To: <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <WIN2363-970806192339-4E9C*/G=Iain/S=URQUHART/OU=LUX/O=DG13/PRMD=CEC/ADMD=RTT/C=BE/@MHS>
> > Some of you might be interested in this :
> > 
> > Accept-Language: en-EUROSPEAK
> > 
> >       Publication of Discussion Document, Luxembourg, July 1997
> > 
> > ...
> The header in your message is incorrect. "Content-Language", not
> "Accept-Language", is used to describe the language of the content of a
> message. (Accept-Language is a request header.)

Well done, you've spotted the deliberate mistake which we embed in all EC utterances in order to see if anybody reads them. 
> However, I object to "EUROSPEAK" on two grounds. First, it is too kind.
> It is quite possible to engage in speaking about Europe or from a
> European perspective without also engaging in the particular linguistic
> phenomena exhibited by the announcement in your message.

Your objection to the use of the term "EUROSPEAK" is indeed noted and will be forwarded to the Inter-Institutional Committee Pertaining to Language Affairs and Linguistic Phenomena (IICPOLALP) for due consideration by the distinguished members thereof. 

However, and pending the further and official deliberations of the committee, I would respectfully point out that your apparent assumptions on the semantic content of the term "EUROSPEAK" are erroneous. The meaning intended was the "sub-dialect of bureaucratic English as commonly used by officials, and in official documents of, the Institutions of the European Union", reflecting the official definition of the IICPOLALP. 

While the logical possiblility exists to converse or otherwise conduct discourse on the topic of Europe without de jure adoption of the sub-language commonly pertaining thereto,
a substantial body of evidence, both written and spoken, suggests that the sub-language in question is adopted within the aforementioned circles to a near universal degree.

At the same time, "EUROSPEAK" has been considered to exhibit distinctive characteristics and commonly recurring phenomena which differentiate it from Universal Bureaucratic English ("en-bureaucratese"), in that large numbers of its practioners are non native English speakers, leading to statistically significant numbers of  anglicised borrowings from other languages in the areas of vocabulary, grammar and locution.

Morover, it has further been contended that the mental universe inhabited by practioners of Eurospeak is distinct from that of other bureaucratic environments, institutions, and cultures. A paper currently before the IICOAPLLP cites as evidence the existence of the "Joint Working Party on Horizontal Activities", postulating that non-recognition of the implied reference to certain functions of the human, as opposed to organisational, body constitues a distinct pathology in its own right. 

In view of the above considerations, in its draft opinion the IICOAPLLP therefore decided, with one abstention, on a preliminary adoption of the term "Eurospeak" pending further consultation involving a large number of actors from industry, research laboratories and academia. The official pre-report report of the Committee, together with a minority dissenting report from one member entitled 'What is the French for "Give me a Break"?'(sic) have been published in series C of the Official Journal reference OJ-C-012.
Received on Wednesday, 6 August 1997 15:25:07 UTC

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