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I agree that choosing words that are mutually understandable is very important, but I think we might be overlooking a core issue: whose dialect of English is normative: UK, US, Indian, African, other.

I grew up in the US and went to college there. I went to grad school in the UK and currently have family there. Growing up, about half my friends were Indian or Pakistani. My father did work for AID. My step-mother worked at World Bank and UN. My high school was a favorite for the children of foreign diplomats. I was born in Uganda. Though I left as an infant, Africans tend to appreciate that detail, so it has become the basis for friendships with people from various parts of Africa. I spent childhood summers in Southeast Asia (Korea, Thailand). And here in Israel, the "Anglo" community has people from places ranging from Australia to South Africa to the farthest reaches of Alaska. Getting used to all of these different versions (and accents) of English has been hard work for me, but I am loath to say that any of them are "wrong" - they all have large communities of mutual understanding.

If, as a site, we want to publish a convention that Perl Monks uses the American (or UK, or whatever) dialect of English, that is fine by me. That's reasonable for the sake of mutual understandability.

But telling anyone that they aren't speaking English correctly because their dialect isn't ours strikes me a bit well, um, arrogant? English grew and developed in the British Isles, so it has a claim to being the authoritative "source" for English. Yet I doubt many North Americans (myself included) would take kindly to a Brit telling them how to speak English: that "jelly" is the wrong word for the thing they eat with peanut butter; that "while" is a corruption of "whilst"; that they are being inconsistent because they say "in the hospital", but "in school".

If Perl Monks has a standard dialect that is great, but perhaps we could be a bit more respectful to others if we called it a norm for our site rather than the "one right way"?

Best, beth


In reply to Re: "Question" vs "Doubt" by ELISHEVA
in thread Regular Expression Doubt by Anonymous Monk

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