Following yesterday's reader rage at Apple's decision to scrap the British-English version of the Mac OS (see "Mac OS 9: UK strikes back"), we publish the latest user responses to the action. Opinion seems more divided on this issue than on Apple's late decision to pull out of its own - and only - UK expo.
Here we cover those readers who think Apple has got it right on an International-English version of the Mac OS.
For readers who disagree with Apple, see "UK Mac OS 9: International outrage"
Speak like Prince Charles?
I never thought I would hear so many British people behaving like the French, protecting the language status quo (Latin), at all costs. I mean, at what point did time stop and freeze the English language for eternity? We are fortunate, in Britain, to speak the 'industry standard' language of IT and this is largely down to the first language of the US being so similar as to be virtually identical. This fact often leads to misunderstandings with visiting Brits and Yanks who assume other cultural aspects to be similarly alike.
Let's keep our eye on the ball here! Will it be an advantage or a disadvantage to have an OS that is up to date and receiving the full attention of its creators? What advantage does the Wastebasket et al (French) offer over the Trash and its friends?
In an increasingly global marketplace an 'International' English will accelerate the spread of the language, make it easier to learn and understand. We should all remember that language is a living thing and the evolution of an International English is just another advantageous development. Do we all want to speak like Chaucer, Shakespeare or Prince Charles?
Things change, and union is better than division. As we enter the 21st century it would be a magnanimous, and very un-French, thing to embrace US spellings as 'correct' alongside our archaic forms. I look forward to a future where we can all communicate easily and fully with other people, regardless of where they live.
- Dave Bancroft (Born Canada, lived in UK, married to an Austrian)
I think it is high time that we started using the more practical version of international English rather than the outdated nonsense British version. It makes more sense to spell 'color' without the 'u' and 'lite' without the 'ght'.
- Robert J Fisher
French anti-Brit... again!
I'm of neither US nor Brit extraction, although I was partly educated in England and worked for over seven years in America. In England I was faced with great difficulties in understanding some of the local patterns of speech and likewise in the US, so this row about Apple deciding to keep to its original US English seems to me rather unimportant and simply a matter of national vanity. Considering that THE WORLD has chosen the English language as an international lingua franca, what does it really matter which English is used as long as it is understood by all of us, and it sure is!
PS: I happen to be French. You might know that we are manic about our language and yet ..... Salut !
- Alain Giraud
I must confess that my first reaction to the announcement that Apple has scrapped the UK version of Mac OS was one of annoyance, but on reflection, it's a product of the US so why shouldn't it use USA-English spelling? I like to think that I'm flexible enough to accommodate change - I get along fine with any product that has USA-English spelling. I only object to products that purport to be local versions, but are not. Let's be realistic: the various flavours of the (written) English language are so similar to each other that it's quite difficult to be confused by spelling alone.
If you're any good at spelling and have only a modicum of awareness of the outside world then you will know that "color" and "colour" are the same word. If you aren't any good at spelling then the US version of Mac OS will neither help nor hinder you: what you need is an education system where the tutors (be they electronic or anthropomorphic) themselves know how to spell. I cannot imagine relying on a non-educational tool (such as the OS) to teach me how to read and write.
If it's just restricted to spelling issues, I see no problems - only mild irritations. However, if it's more than just the spelling (such as how the keyboard is interpreted and how dates or telephone numbers are represented without being able to change the defaults), then I would be concerned about production issues and compatibility with existing software and hardware. In summary, my annoyance is one of principle, not practice, as long as there are tangible benefits such as no longer having to worry about language-specific software updates.
- Graham Phillips, St Neots, Cambridgeshire
The Brits have a flair to exaggerate and this recent tempest in a teapot is no exception. I firmly believe that it is essentially no big deal - and if this is enough to knock a few British Mac users of the bandwagon of Mac Loyalty, so what?
- N Krinis
Give them an inch
I do not think it is such a big deal. Kilometers or Miles, Left side or Right side, Inches or meters, Pounds or Dollars, Lords or Senators, etc. We all live with it, we all deal with so what is the big problem? Ego?
- Don Wheat
Color me good
Having read the letters already sent in, I feel slightly ashamed admitting that I like Apple's idea. The small changes in language wouldn't bother me - I was quite happy with my Color Stylewriter 2400 (as, it appears, were many others!) and we used US versions of software on some of the computers at school. Also, I would welcome a change that lets us get the latest software more quickly. So long as they include UK dictionaries and let us search in English (which they said they would) then I think it's a great thing. And I would still much rather be stuffing files into a Trash can than that patronising Recycling bin!
- Ben Tuppen, Oxford
Slight dig at the English
After reading the UK strikes back mails, I realise that I have lost my faith. Not my faith in Apple, but my faith in Apple users. It seems that all these years I have been kidding myself that Apple users had intelligently chosen the best platform they could. From the emails you received, it seems evident that the type of person that uses the Mac OS only does so because it puts them in the minority. Why else would they defend the British version (or should that be English?). It can only be that their corner in the world quirkiness market is under threat.
Wastebasket instead of Trash. If that is all it takes for you to give up on a computer as good as the Mac, then frankly I'm glad to be rid of you. I quite happily 'suffered' under various regional versions of the OS for many years and I was not stilled, creatively, by the fact that I had Trash or whatever.
And why would I allow my computer to misspell words? Well, who wants to wait a month before installing the new OS just so that you don't feel the influence of Johnny Foreigner? And I begin to realise the answer is British Mac users. This says something about the British mind set. Yet another example of our insular attitudes. What if Apple had never produced a British version of the OS? Would your readers be pleading with Apple to make 'Colourful iMacs' just for them or would they have succumbed to the PC demon long ago? I can only hope.
- Chris Mitchell, a Scottish Mac user on the brink Of despair
Lay off the yanks
Wow, I just finished reading the stinging words of British Mac users upset over the chopping of a "British-English" Mac OS. While I understand their frustration, I was surprised at their unabashed arrogance and elitist stance. Insulting "American-English" accomplishes nothing, and only breeds contempt from your US brethren. If you want your version of the Mac OS, scream and rattle Apple's cage. BUT don't insult and put down American English. There is no need for it and it only illustrates ignorance, rather than an enlightened point of view.
- Paul Howell, West Lafayette, Indiana
When Mac OS 8.1 came out in the US, I couldn't wait to get it, but really wanted the Brit version so duly waited the several months required. However, when I saw the price conversion rate of 1:1 instead of 1:1.7 I balked and bought the US Version. Apart from saving money and time - and yes, I have a trash icon - I can honestly say I have seen no difference at all (and I am very particular about British spelling. $50 extra for a long wait and a wastebasket icon - some of your readers have money to burn!
- Jon Nettlefold
G'day! Just a quick note from Australia. I have to say I find it interesting reading about this whole issue. When Apple Australia stopped doing the Australian version we didn't kick up a stink. There wasn't a whole lot of changes done anyway but it would always delay the local release. I think the only think that still gets me annoyed it the US letter page size, but that's about it.
- Justin Baldock
Please try to understand the truth about this matter. Please give Apple a break. What's wrong with the decision to only release the American version of Mac OS 9? No matter what, you will still be British. The latest version won't neither change your citizenship nor your way of living. In today's business, reducing cost of products is one of company's targets. As you know it, not too long ago Apple was blamed for the fact that a Macintosh computer was too expensive for the average consumer. Let's not give Microsoft another reason to stay above the competition. As far as I am concerned, I am neither American nor English. But I am an African Mac user who lives in USA. With the arrival of new computer technologies people of this world tend to agree on one fact: We are all speaking the same language, "Digital Code Language".
For God's sake, give it a rest!!! As a Canadian, who writes - and speaks - British-English, this is NOT a big issue. Would you rather wait - as you have been - for localization. Or would you like to be in sync with the rest of that planet? Is your ego so big that you cannot accept what is best for you, and best for Apple? Calm down and think this through. I expect you'll come to your senses.
- Douglas Berg, Vancouver, Canada
This is terrible. I've never seen a larger group of self-centred arrogant asses in all of my life. Apple isn't going to fold simply because some poor-weathered island rock in the ocean doesn't agree with their software strategy. If it wasn't for Apple and other American computer companies, the entire Isle of GB would be stuck in Workbench, Amiga-style!
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What do you think? Are you in 'favor' of Apple's decision to scrap the British version of the Mac OS? Or does it send you a funny 'color'? Tell us what you think: [email protected]
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