On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 07:38:18PM -0400, Zach Wellstood wrote:
> ======
> i strongly disagree. the point of transliteration is to make things
> convenient and familiar to the users of the target orthography, and
> most (if not all) languages which have the latin script as their
> native script use capitalization, and most of those capitalize the
> things english do (the main exceptions i know capitalize more, not
> less.)
> ========
> I removed all of the capitals from a randomly chosen paragraph to
> demonstrate my opinion that readability has been very very minimally
> affected.

And this is, in fact, how much of today's online generation
communicates: all lowercase. With the advent of self-correcting input on
handheld devices, a few capital letters are making it into the chat
streams, but for the most part it's still mostly in lowercase (very few
people bother to uppercase something when texting, or chatting on
forums, etc., and they still understand each other).

Another data point: my wife always writes emails in all lowercase, even
though she doesn't do that in handwriting. I find it rather jarring, but
OTOH it's not hard to read at all. In fact, it has a more informal feel
to it than a Properly Capitalized message.

It's this informal feel that I wanted to capture when I decided that
Tatari Faran's romanization will be all lowercase. The san faran are the
easy-going type, and don't really care too much about such nitpicky
details, and I thought it would be fitting to convey this in the
romanization of their language.

> If you want to really mess things up, you could remove all punctuation
> as well. THAT would affect readability for me. I think the punctuation
> is more important in this respect than capitalization, so I don't know
> why this is such a huge gripe! Convention is only convention, it
> doesn't mean it's how everything needs to be done.

Punctuation is definitely more important than capitalization.

And while capitalization is only convention, I'd argue that for
*English*, it's preferable. But when it comes to *conlangs*, I think
it's needlessly nitpicky to insist on English-style capitalization. I
mean, even German uses its own capitalization conventions, and it also
uses the Latin script, so why the insistence on English-centric bias?
Reading *any* foreign language (conlang or not) requires some initial
effort to learn the writing anyway, be it romanization or native script.
One can hardly expect to fairly evaluate a conlang if one is unwilling
to put the effort into learning the conventions the author chose to
adopt.  Nitpicking on capitalization conventions in lieu of actually
learning how the conlang works seems to me to be a case of straining out
the gnat and swallowing the camel.


"Holy war is an oxymoron." -- Lazarus Long