[tz] WSJ follows AP to Kyiv
jhawk at alum.mit.edu
Fri Oct 4 22:46:21 UTC 2019
Brian Inglis <Brian.Inglis at SystematicSw.ab.ca> wrote on Fri, 4 Oct 2019
at 16:44:48 EDT in <660107a6-a439-7dd1-5586-9d53e2ae1257 at SystematicSw.ab.ca>:
> On 2019-10-03 14:01, Paul Eggert wrote:
> > It still may be a bit early to change. For what it's worth, news sources I read
> > (New York Times, the Economist, the BBC) mostly use "Kiev". I lack time to do a
> > survey and there's no rush, anyway.
> Most of the English speaking world is unaware of the AP, NYT, WSJ, or what those
> initials stand for, and the NYT and others are paywalled.
I apologize for writing my email in a way that may not have been clearly understood by non-US residents. Although I think of tz as a US-authored project and generally imagine my audience is Paul Eggert, your implicit criticism that the message should be easily understood by all (especially, say, Ukranian or Russian speakers in this context) carries a lot of weight.
(I also think that anyone who is seriously concerned with English lexicography would be familiar with the abbreviations used, and that was really the audience of that email. But again, it should be understandable by all, without having to Google.)
The AP is the Associated Press (although that was made clear in the first quoted sentence of my Oct. 3 email). I didn't actually use the NYT or WSJ abbreviations for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (although you did).
Although I have have since early childhood been somewhat of an OED (Oxford English Dictionary) fanboy, it's a horrible choice for questions of contemporary usage. Because of its mammoth scope, it is generally the last to gain modern words and usage, at least out of the major dictionaries used in the US.
I wouldn't generally have raised dictionaries at all, and don't think we should bind ourselves to any of their choices, but because the WSJ blog post I quoted referenced Webster’s New World College Dictionary, I thought it was important to be clear about what that meant (and what it did not). I expect the dictionaries will fairly longly lag major news organizations; they are generally descriptive not prescriptive (at least in this kind of analysis).
(I don't think the paywall status of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal have much to do with the conversation at hand. When the New York Times switches, it will be a significant moment for the American English writing and speaking world, independent of whether or not one is a subscriber.)
I would be wary of statements about what other should feel free to do. It has the danger of being read as condescension, although I'm sure you meant it humorously. Best not to go there, I think.
jhawk at alum.mit.edu
+1 617 797 0250
> US Dictionaries have little distribution except as US references, lacking
> British spellings used around the world: Collins is the usual inexpensive
> standard elsewhere, Chambers the alternative: both Scottish publishers until
> recently, and both unabridged have been the *global* Scrabble standard; Oxford
> is the major English and more expensive option; Cambridge also publishes some.
> OTOH the BBC is free and open, the OED is paywalled, but both have global reach
> and authority: the latter appears to define /Kyiv/ as the *Ukrainian* name for
> /Kiev/; so Ukrainians should feel free to use it. ;^>
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