questions & comments

Hilmar Schlegel Hilmar Schlegel <>
Wed, 08 Jul 1998 07:49:57 -0400

Thierry Bouche wrote:
> » > if you're writing English is like that too, since English doesn't
> » > have \ss.
> What could be the meaning of `writing in _English_ a proper name'????
> is Han The Thanh the `proper' English spelling of Thành's name??
> BTW, this puzzles me a lot: at eurotex, Southall said that a US phone
> directory has no accents in it. But so many proper names come from
> Europe & elsewhere: how is it possible?

The funny thing is that it is indeed a fact that American phone books
don't provide accents as also the Bell fonts in their original design
didn't contain them. This was at least the answer of Bitstream for the
reason why their Bell fonts are incomplete and unusable for non-English
text. Our phone books here in Germany provide accents which are common
in Europe - possibly the only positive aspect of German phone companies.
I consider simply neglecting accents as ignorance which surely leads to
confusion, that even fonts are delivered incomplete is moreover a sign
of lack of professionality - one can get a complete Bell family from

It would be worth to have a look in British phone books to see what
their attitude is. If they follow the American practice I'd say it is a
bad attitude not to follow the continental usage.

It is the old discussion about proper names and how far one can use
"original" writing and fonts from a foreign alphabet. I think that we
have to become more flexible here to avoid to end up all in plain
English one day. The development in font technology allows this at least
by increasing flexibility.

If proper English requires not to use sz, then please use s-long s-final
instead - or is this forbidden???? ;-)
BTW, exactly according the same dogma the new German spelling reform
implies the revival of the long s and its need in every font...

Hilmar Schlegel
PS: As for the magnets: it depends mainly on the volume of the field,
i.e. there is quite a difference between a small coil and a computer
tomograph into which fits a human body or even the high-field facilities
in Genoble...

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