Catalog / protolog versus Catalogue / protologue

Paul L.Th. Beuk beuk at SCIENCE.UVA.NL
Thu Jun 20 15:18:09 CDT 2002

Christian and Richard,

>"American" English is more sucessful that English English because it adapts.
>And this is why French is no longer the "International" language it
>once was as >it refused to adapt. Languages, like species, need to
>adapt, change, etc., to

The analogy with species evolution holds in more ways than the one
you mention: not all evolutionary changes are beneficial to species
but that does necessarily mean they are harmful: Not all evolutionary
novelties are driven by need to change. The same applies in language.

>The English insist on holding to the French which William brought over from
>Normandy a thousand years ago.

Basically, nothing wrong with that, at least we know what we are
talking about. That is the same reason why we generally do not change
species names (even if they are 'biologically wrong').

>*I say "Americans" but really the vast amount of change in the "English" is
>being driven by all non-English users of the English language. But due to
>American dominance in new technologies, communications, etc., we are
>appropriately blamed to the good and bad of that evolution!

The main culprits probably are 'the media'. Most non-American and
non-English users of the English language increase their knowledge of
what they consider to be English by listening to the radio, watching
television, surfing the Internet, etc. All of these are dominated by
content originating from America so it does make sense  that American
English dominates (ask any Dutch teacher trying to teach his or her
students English English).

>So, why hold onto a thousand year old vestigial appendix? drop the terminal
>"ue" It is a matter of evolution and progress, not simply wanting to be

Let's follow the rule: The creator of the terminology decides at
first. If we then let evolution run its course, the Brits (and
French?) will probably reintroduce the -ue as a reversal in language
evolution and use it until it becomes a liability when they drop it



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