RE: Linguistic precedence

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 06:39:42 EDT

Ar 02:04 -0800 2000-06-16, scríobh

>On such documents (driving licenses, passports, etc.), the matter is
>normally settled solomonically by using all capitals.
>BTW, I see from my passport that this does not fix all problems anyway: the
>Irish Gaelic version of "REPUBLIC OF ITALY" has a lowercase "h" although it
>is all capitals.

I suppose it says POBLACHT NA hIODÁILE, which would be correct, as h- is a
mutation (the nominative is IODÁIL) and the rule in Irish is that this and
other mutations (mB-, gC-, nD-, bhF-, nG-, bP-, tS-, dT-) are not to be
capitalized. Writing POBLACHT NA HIODÁILE would in fact be an error.

Just another amazing feature of human language which automatic algorithms
have trouble with. Important for database entry and things like that:
software that insists that the first letter be capitalized or that all
letters be capitalized is utterly evil. :-)

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