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Re: Planet of the New Papers

Mike Taylor writes-

Jerry D. Harris writes:
 > I'm a bit dismayed at some of the voices resounding on the list
 > intimating some inherent superiority of English over any other
 > language.

I don't believe I've seen one single message on this thread that
intimated any such thing.  What has been stated is that "one" has an
inherent advantage over any other number as the number of different
languages in use in scientific discourse.

Exactly. English isn't superior to other languages (or at least, I don't know of any reasons it is*), it's just the most prevelent online and in scientific papers. Also a very common second language for non-native speakers. While there may be more Chinese speakers, less of them are participating in major scientific institutions, the World Wide Web, and technical publications. I think we can all agree that the internet in some form is the communication method of the future. With increasing digitization of scientific papers, and increasing technological power, I doubt this language thing will be an issue in ten years. No doubt translation software will improve enough by then to make it inconsequential what language anything was originally written in. Such software may even make a global language unnecessary if it's integrated properly.

* Considering further, English IS superior to other languages currently for the important reason that keyboards are designed for its use. While you can get other European languages typed up relatively easily, Asian languages are far more difficult.

Mickey Mortimer