Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 02:13:08 EST

Alain LaBonté  <> wrote:

> À 10:29 2000-12-20 -0800, Rick McGowan a écrit:
>> In any case, I would have been happier had Alain provided an
>> introduction to say why on earth he posted it to the Unicode list.
> [Alain] Because Unicoders should be happy about it when it speaks
> about DNS internationalization and the like. Simple. But I should have
> wondered that it says things in a frustrative way that a lot of people
> do not want to even hear. Those people should at least be sensitive to
> the frustration expressed.

I don't think it's the frustration that we don't want to hear, but the
whining and the hyperbole that distort the author's point.

As a white, male, middle-class, non-handicapped, English speaker, I know
there are a lot of frustrations and discriminations in life that I have
been lucky not to have to endure. I would like to think I try to see
the other guy's point of view and be sensitive to his frustration at
least some of the time. But it really doesn't help the other guy's
cause if he starts accusing me of being some kind of evil conspirator
because I am white or male or because I speak English.

I speak English and (with variable success) Spanish, and so if (for
example) I need to communicate with Michael Everson, then based on his
formidable repertoire it appears we have two possibilities. If I need
to communicate with someone who speaks English and French, we really
only have one choice. This is my fault for not knowing French as well,
but it is nevertheless the way things are. I did try to read Alain's
all-French response, and I understood perhaps 60% or 70% of it, but I
must say that his (presumably) improved expressiveness in French did not
adequately compensate for my reduced comprehension. This is in contrast
to the Jacques Derrida example.

To get back to the internationalized DNS point, of course we Unicoders
are happy that the author sees Unicode-based solutions as the answer to
the DNS problem. That's not news to us, of course; we knew it all
along. But it's important that the *right* Unicode-based solution be
picked, because if there are problems someone will find a way to blame
them on Unicode. It's also important not to raise expectations to the
point where the general public believes Unicode is the answer to every
possible i18n problem, such as cultural conventions and keyboard input
of Han. You know how the general public can be....

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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