which way, Dick?

December 3, 2007 at 5:21 pm | | literature, news, science community

wei-wang_prl.jpgPRL is trying to be all accepting-of-other-cultures. Pfsssh! If you can’t spell your name with normal letters, then you should change your name. If my name were a little drawing of a house or something, I would change it to Fred or George or William or Samuel (!) or Robert or something more … you know … waspy. I wonder how PRL would find another way to bend over if the artist formerly known as Prince decided to write a scientific article. I think PRL has already gone too far allowing accents in names: how am I supposed to remember which way the little hat blows on those crazy names?

In all seriousness, I think that this is a really good idea: inconsistent or degenerate English spellings cause quite a bit of confusion. And English hegemony can’t last forever, and there’s no reason to act like it will! But I wonder if scholarly search engines (ISI, SciFinder, Google Scholar, etc.) will begin to index by the true/original spelling. I know that SciFinder let’s you find alternative spellings of a last name, but what if I just want to search for 汉字 and only 汉字? I dunno, there’s probably a real solution out there somewhere (RFIDs, anyone?). Until then, I think PRL has a good idea.

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  1. I think RFIDs are a pretty good solution for everything. If I had one embedded in my thumb or something, and it could unlock doors and start the car for me…I’d never have to worry about losing my keys ever again! That would be SUPER AWESOME.

    Comment by psi*psi — December 3, 2007 #

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