Re: Mixed up priorities

From: G. Adam Stanislav (
Date: Thu Nov 04 1999 - 15:07:33 EST

At 01:43 24-10-1999 -0700, Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
>Typewriter technology allowed easy modification, even personal key
>Surely, if there was a real need, Slovaks would have them made to suit it.
>There was no need to get permission from the emperor, just a quote from
>your neighborhood typewriter shop.

You've got to be kidding! At about the time typewriter was invented,
Slovaks were officially declared non-people, designated for complete
assimilation, with all schools in Slovakia teaching only in Hungarian, and
things like that. My ancestors certainly had other things to worry about
than modifying typewriters!

After the fall of the Empire, we went through a similar drill with an
ideology of a "Czechoslovakian" language (i.e. Czech for everyone). At that
time, we were officially recognized as people (and a people), but deemed
too stupid to make our own decisions about our own affairs. Otto's
Encyclopedia (the Czech "Brittanica") considered Slovakia a "colony" and
explained why it was OK to treat a part of one's country as a non-foreign
colony (it cited the precedent of Siberia being a Russian colony even
though it was formally within the confines of former Russian Empire).

My father, a linguist of world renown, wrote the first Slovak grammar book,
and was forced to publish it under the title "Czechoslovakian Grammar" and
pretend it was about the Slovak "branch" of "Czechoslovakian language."

When I was a child, all movies and TV were in Czech. I remember the
excitement when they came up with a new 10-crown bill, the first paper
currency in Czechoslovakia with Slovak text on it. This is all history by
now, but not that ancient.

History aside, I have explained already that there are not enough keys on
the typewriter to have a separate one even for all "accented" characters
which take priority over combined ones.


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