What good is our jargon? was: Re: Historians- what is origin of i18n, l10n, etc.?

From: Barry Caplan (bcaplan@i18n.com)
Date: Thu Oct 10 2002 - 20:40:47 EDT

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: What good is our jargon? was: Re: Historians- what is origin of i18n, l10n, etc.?"

    This is a fair question. Why is jargon useful? It serves to define a group and a concept. the best jargon is memorable, short in name, easy to write, catchy in sound to the ear, and universally able to be written. It helps a lot if the term is not already overridden by another group.

    i18n and l10n both meet all of these criteria, as do "lan" and "yahoo!" and "google". In this respect, jargon can become a brand.

    What is really interesting to me is that the criteria we have as common lore about *why* abbreviations were needed (too long to write and type and too much of a tongue twister) apparently never occurred to other professions that also use "internationalization" and "localization" as key terms.

    I think it is the ability to separate what we mean from what others mean that is an important value of the jargon. Especially since it is not always clear in context which is which, and also especially since "globalization" has extremely negative connotations in the popular collective mind.

    Barry Caplan

    At 05:12 PM 10/10/2002 -0700, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    >> W0e n3r u2d t1e g1d-a3l, g3y a1d o5e a10n "i18n", h5r!
    >What I don't understand, since these a10n's are in such
    >widespread use among programmers and character encoders,
    >is why they don't use h9l, as in i12n, lan, and gbn?
    >BTW, these aan's are not only o5e, they are also o4e, but
    >unfortunately, not o6e in use.

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