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International English, American English, etc...

Discussion in 'Mac Guides' started by TMA, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. TMA
    macrumors 6502a


    I know there's no easy answer, as there's no such thing as standardised international English, but what are people's thoughts on what we should use?

    Is it best to pick one way of doing it and stick to it across all articles for continuity or should users create articles in their preferred English?

    I've noticed a few of my articles have had words like colour changed to color for example. I prefer colour and using s inplace of z in words like rubberised. I would class this as British English and that it's debatably International English. However, if the majority of people would prefer a more Americanised version I would happily try and create my articles that way as I would prefer the continuity.

    Is it worth laying down a standard?
  2. Administrator


    Staff Member

    Much to my dislike, I tend to write articles in American English, primarily because most of the site's target audience is from the US. Plus, users of International English are probably used to incorrect, er, American spelling more than Americans are used to International English, since American English dominates the internet.

    I'd vote to lay down a standard, for consistency, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) it should probably be for American English.
  3. TMA
    macrumors 6502a


    That's what I was afraid other people would say :(
  4. macrumors G3


    Over at Wikipedia they use a compromise:
    • If a given page is written consistently using one kind of English, leave it alone. Don't change consistent Commonwealth usage and spelling to US, or vice versa. It's pointless and only serves to upset people.
    • If a page mixes the two, go with the one that is used the most on that page.
    • Proper names go with their native spellings. (No MacRumours and so on).
    Could we live with that here?
  5. TMA
    macrumors 6502a


    Sounds good to me :)
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Erm... well when it comes to postings, it is less effort for me to write with British spellings. I don't mind US spellings as such, but dropped "u"s and the like do jar slightly on the eye!
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Well, since only one American has posted in this thread, let's just use real English throughout the whole thing :p

    The moderator has spoken :D

    I should ban you for saying that! :eek: :p
  8. macrumors newbie

    This makes sense to me. I am guilty of changing an "s" or two to "z" today, but I *think* it was inconsistently used (i.e., the same word was spelled two different ways on the same page). I definitely defaulted to U.S. English because that's what I'm used to, but I didn't even really think about it. I apologise to our Commonwealth friends.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Does that apply to date formats, too? I actually prefer a more international date format like 3 Nov., 2005.
  10. mpw


  11. Administrator


    Staff Member

    :eek: Sorry, won't happen again!

    [​IMG] *Bows to Nermal* [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, Wikipedia's way of doing it sounds fine.

    Intentional or a Freudian slip? :p
  12. macrumors G3


    Probably the only thing to really avoid is an all-numeric date like 3/11/2005 (3 November or March 11?). As long as months are named, readers should be fine.
  13. macrumors 603


    Wikipedia seems to follow the #Date Month #Year format. The # symbol denotes it being a number. It works well enough, I think.

    And I don't care about color vs. colour. If something is wrong to my editorial eye, I will fix it. If someone makes a page like:
    "the macintosh xxxxxx was a vrey fast computor for its time, iwth a lot of knew features like pci but this particular model dosnt support OS X unless you hack it but it also included up to 1 and a 1/2 gigs of ram and a hard drive that was around 130 gigabyytes however as of yet knowbody has tried installing a x800 radeon in one"
    I will bad that person. Permanently. You want to write articles? Write them. Don't press the keyboard and see what comes out. A couple misspellings, fine, don't remember you grammar too well, fine, but don't just slap stuff up there and expect someone to clean it up!
  14. macrumors 6502

    It's just up to the writer of the article I suppose - the Wikipedia policy sounds good.

    I've stuck to using American English in the titles (such as iPod (4G Color)), but maybe it'd be a good thing to set up a redirect with the Int. English spelling?
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Generally "International English" is something of a homogenised mix of various Englishes - so it will use "analyze", (I think) "colour", but would say "he said on Friday" instead of the US English "he said Friday".

    I don't think there's going to be too many problems with it though to be honest - as long as the writer of the article is sensible and doesn't use too much local dialect, it's not going to be a problem.

    Also to be considered is the presentation, and if you like "style guide" for the writings. For example, abbreviations - is it "UN" or "U.N."? Is it "Mr." or "Mr"? Numbers - 10000 or 10,000? GHz or Ghz? Times - 4:00 pm, 4:00 p.m., 16:00, 1600, etc?

    It doesn't really matter which is used, as long as there's some consistency.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Yeah, at some point, someone should probably put together a style guide for this wiki —*proper abbreviations, if it's PowerBook, Powerbook, or Power Book (it's the first one), Mac OSX or Mac OS X (the latter), that sort of thing. Does Wikipedia have this?
  17. macrumors G3


    They cheat :) Bracketed dates are converted to user prefs.

    There is one, but it doesn't get into that level of detail. The Apple trademark list might be more useful for settling questions about names.
  18. macrumors newbie

    There is one, but it doesn't get into that level of detail. The Apple trademark list might be more useful for settling questions about names.[/QUOTE]

    Hey, cool. Guess I should have just looked for that, huh? I think you're right, though, the trademark page is probably even more useful.
  19. DJY
    macrumors 6502a


    I just don't think I could ever bring myself to use anything but proper english. The realisation that this perspective might not be everyone's is ok, but I hope I'm allowed my own viewpoint. Hopefully no one will call the Dept of Defence and sic the commandos on me, or nab be on a footpath, throw me in the boot of my car, and flush my head down the toilet (yeah there are differences there too!).

    [Sorry if my lame attempts to use Aussie / Proper English spelling and words annoys.]
  20. macrumors 603


    Cheaters! If the MacGuides needs a styleguide, I wouldn't mind creating one. Already have to enforce one for Yearbook, what's one more? ;)
  21. macrumors 603


    U.N. because it is an abbreviation, Mr. for the same reasons, numbers are personal and national however in your example the 'more readable' would be 10,000, GHz is the correct form and not Ghz, and time is a whole 'nother big mess of an issue.
  22. Administrator


    Staff Member

    You're one step behind me. ;)
  23. Moderator


    Staff Member

    "10000" would be better, as in some countries "10,000" means "ten".
  24. macrumors member

    Personally, I'm just going to use English. You know, the real one.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    True, but this isn't the case in any English speaking countries is it? I know ten thousand becomes "10.000" in several continental European nations, but not in any English native ones as far as I know. What's the correct standard in English is all that matters IMHO.

    For abbreviations my preference is for dropping full stops altogether - they don't help clarity in any way. IBM isn't going to be anything other than the IT company, the UN isn't going to be anything other than the international organisation, and don't even get me started on the horrendousness of writing U.N.E.S.C.O. :)

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