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Re: CHAT: French expressions in English (Re: OT CHAT:Asperger'ssyndrome)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, June 26, 2000, 17:36
"Thomas R. Wier" wrote:

> Really pretensious publications often keep them; > indeed, until just a few years ago, the _New York Times_ insisted on keeping > the only diacritical mark used in modern times in English, the diaeresis, as > in <coöperate>, which has now fallen into complete abeyance.
U.S. newspaper style is generally to drop them, on the grounds that wire services can't transmit them anyhow, and even if they got through the wire, they would be mangled by the typesetter at the other end. Also, in lead-type days many papers didn't spring for the extra money for larger fonts. The _N.Y. Times_ is and has been an honorable exception, possibly due to its self-perception as the U.S. newspaper of record, par excellence (there's one for the French phrases thread). Here's the word from a professional newspaper copy editor at : # Accent marks (and other diacritical marks) # # NO WAY, JOSE # # This is largely a newspaper-specific rant: If you're editing for a book or # possibly a magazine, you may indeed have time to do the research this topic # requires. # # If you don't have that time, however, accent marks are a can of worms, # a Pandora's box and every other cliche (or is it cliché?) that # suggests "Stay away!" Unless your publication does all of its # reporting (that is, it uses no wire-service copy), I strongly advise # making a stylistic decision to eschew accent marks altogether. # # Why? Consistency. Plenty of Francoises and Gunthers in wire copy use # accent marks in their names (and some do not), but accent # marks are not part of the standard character set for wire transmission, # and therefore AP and the others omit them as a matter of # course. So it's fine and dandy if you find out the Renee your # reporter interviewed likes the accent mark, but if you use it, # you'll be using it alongside plenty of other names that should have # it and don't. And you have no way of checking, unless you want to create # an accent-verification desk for precisely that task. Good luck locating # every single Jose in every single wire story. # # You could make an argument for including accent marks in words other # than names -- "resume" when it means "curriculum vitae," # for example, but I prefer to stay consistent and simply maintain # that English is a language without accent marks, even when it's # borrowing words from languages that do have them. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)