Je 05.36 ptm 2006.10.16, Dave MacLEOD skribis

>It's a pretty bold statement to say that the two examples I've
>mentioned have never, ever turned off a potential new user.

Though I don't immediately notice any such discussion in the message 
you quote below, I don't believe that, in the message in question, I 
used the term "never, ever" -- I'm usually a bit more hesitant than that.

>potential users I speak of are the ones we never hear about, the ones
>that do a Google search, give it a cursory glance, see something they
>don't like and lose interest right away.

So you don't, in fact, know that any such people actually exist, 
since you've never heard about them.

Again, people learn (or fail to learn) languages for reasons other 
than their grammatical details (or, pace Dana, their Eurocentricity, 
as witness the current popularity of Eurocentric English outside the 
Eurocentric world). I would _almost_ feel comfortable in having used 
the term "never, ever" -- but there are always the few thousand IAL 
aficionados in the world who _do_ let themselves be aroused by such details.

>2006/10/17, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]>:
>>Je 10.31 atm 2006.10.16, Dave MacLEOD skribis
>> >Let's talk about dealbreakers between the two, certain things that you
>> >believe the language simply must have and others that are nice, but
>> >not necessary. For example, my dealbreakers are:
>> >-o on proper nouns, place names and other names. I can't accept that.
>> >It takes an originally recognizable noun and morphs it into something
>> >else.
>>Even for country names, this is a custom and not a linguistic rule.
>>In fact, if you send a letter abroad in Esperanto, I recommend that
>>you write the country name in the address not in Esperanto but in the
>>language of the country from which you're mailing the letter (the
>>United States Postal Service can get very upset if you don't write
>>such names in English -- even, of course, where the name in English
>>differs from the true name of the country to which you're mailing the
>>letter; I think they'd have an easier time decrypting the Esperanto
>>"Hungario" than they would the more correct "Magyarorszag").
>> >-diacritics. The reason for that is I believe there should only be one
>> >writing system
>>Although Esperanto has _two_ official writing systems, one without
>>diacritics (the H-system), the one _with_ diacritics is the standard;
>>for some inexplicable reason, just about nobody uses the H-system in
>>writing, printing, etc.
>> >if an IAL is to seriously be used for programming and
>> >serious endeavors such as space exploration (I don't want to see $500
>> >million probes getting lost because someone forgot to program it to
>> >accept the h-sistemo along with the x one)
>>You have _got_ to be kidding.
>>Last evening my wife and I went to see Robin Williams's new movie
>>"Man of the Year" in which one of the basic plot elements was a
>>computer glitch that allowed Williams's character to win the
>>presidential election. It seems that in deciding what name to add a
>>vote tally to, the computer for some reason looked at the double
>>letters in the candidate's name and gave priority to earlier letters
>>in the alphabet; specifically, "Kellogg" took priority over "Mills"
>>(because of the double-g) and "Dobbs" (Williams's role) trumped them
>>both. After the movie, as we were driving home, I told my wife that
>>this was the most ridiculous part of the movie. The only way the
>>spelling of the characters' names in the voting machine would make a
>>difference was if somebody deliberately wrote the software that way
>>(and it was quite evident from the plot that this was not the case).
>>I have heard of two space probes that failed because of problems such
>>as you mention. One early American Venus probe (or, more precisely,
>>its launch vehicle) blew up shortly after takeoff because of an
>>incorrect sign in an arithmetical expression. I presume that you are
>>referring, more specifically, to the Mars probe that tried to land
>>either fifty miles high or fifty miles underground because there was
>>a confusion in programming between Anglo-American and metric
>>measurements. None of these have anything to do with _text_. I doubt
>>whether NASA bothers to insist that programmers use "flavor" instead
>>of "flavour", for instance, since this will have nothing to do with
>>the calculations on which a successful mission depends.
>>The one exception might be in the case of a GUI, but even here I'm
>>not convinced. GUIs are intended for people, and I have yet to see
>>anybody reading an Esperanto message on the net who gets when a
>>slightly different writing system is used (I've seen as many as
>>_four_ different systems used in the same message, by somebody who
>>was trying to prove something; he proved it; nobody noticed, or at
>>least nobody commented). (GUIs come to mind because, some years back,
>>I saw a really awful SF film, whose name I have mercifully forgotten,
>>about a group of astronauts marooned on Mars; they find an old
>>Russian probe and use its computer's GUI, which a real probe would
>>likely not have, to reprogram the computer and get off the planet or

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