Thursday, April 12, 2001

The Future of Language?

The computer industry is famed for its overuse of acronyms, but now seems to be embracing haplology too. Two terms which are receiving a lot of attention at the moment are internationalization and localization. These relate to the authoring of software in foreign (i.e. non English) locales. It seems that these words are too much of a mouthful for everyday use in the computer industry. Internationalization is commonly written as �I18N� (pronounced �I eighteen N�), since there are 18 letters between the I and the N. Following a similar logic, localization is written as �L10N� (pronounced �L ten N�). Software that has been internationalized is even said to have been �I18N�d�. Who are the proponents of these terms? Look no further than the World Wide Web Consortium, who by following a slightly different logic, have even condensed their acronym to �W3C�!

I0f t2s t3d c7s, t2n w3e w2l w0e b0e? (If this trend continues, then where will we be?)

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