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FAO: Site designers... spelling?

Travel Forums System Talk FAO: Site designers... spelling?

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1. Posted by Windmill (Full Member 125 posts) 10y

Hi there. First of all, congratulations on the new site. I like the look and feel of it, along with the easy navigation. The colour schemes are very pleasant too. I just wanted to ask, is this site run by Americans? The only reason I ask is because my message centre is spelt message "center" which is the American way of spelling it and not the way that the english and those learning the english language spell it.

[ Edit: Edited at May 1, 2006 2:23 AM by Windmill ]

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

We are half American, half Dutch. I generally go for the English spelling, not American spelling. ie, Travellerspoint, not Travelerspoint. But then, I suppose I grew up learning a mixture of spellings from both 'versions'.

To change that graphic is unfortunately a hideously time-consuming task (thanks to my crazy idea to have a seperate graphic for each time the message count increases - up to 100)

Does it really bother you?

3. Posted by Windmill (Full Member 125 posts) 10y

I'm sad to say it does. I'm against the Americanisation of English words like Traveler, color and center. However the main reason why I think you should change it is for those whose native language is not English. If they have learnt or are learning English and come to this website I think it could be confusing to some people. I know if I were Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, etc, then I certainly would be at a loss as to why some words are not written the way I had learned them, even thought the site purports to be written in English. Finally, as you mention above, it's also inconsistent with the spelling of words from the rest of the site - it's travellerspoint, not travelerspoint. Centre, not center.

This isn't meant to be offensive to anyone but I feel quite strongly about this. If there is a reason why it shouldn't be changed then that's fine, but I see no reason for it not to be written properly.

[ Edit: Edited at May 1, 2006 3:56 AM by Windmill ]

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Well yes, there is a reason and that is that it will take me a long time to do it. I'll bear your comment in mind.

Though you should also bear in mind that the US is our single largest membership group. So I don't see it as such an issue. I would like to hear more people's opinions on this before spending time making the change.

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 10y

Actually, I do feel strongly about the different versions of spelling being used since I first joined two years back, although obviously not as strong as Peet [Windmill]. ;)

I've always wanted to bring this up, but never did. Mostly due to laziness and also because I thought maybe it was just me who have this issue. But then again, if it is not impossible to fix, why not do it? It's just a matter of time. Or we could think of other ways to solve the problem of time.

For one, I think we could fix the spelling and do away with the number of new messages and just have a simple big red star bubble with the word "New Message" in it.

Another idea is to have just a few sets of images. Fix and maintain the first 10, then for members who have more than 10 new messages, we have only one logo with the message "CHECK YOUR MESSAGE!!!" or "I'M EXPLODING!!!" or both.

Quoting Peter

To change that graphic is unfortunately a hideously time-consuming task (thanks to my crazy idea to have a seperate graphic for each time the message count increases - up to 100)

WHAT?! You did a hundred of them!? I thought that red circle with a number was autogenerated from the plain message centre logo. Can that actually be done with ColdFusion, Pete? If it's possible, it saves you a lot of trouble changing a hundred of images. If ColdFusion can't do that, and you don't want to have a single image for new messages, you may send those images to me. I'll fix them when I'm free. ;)

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I prefer the English spellings - mostly because that's the way I was taught - but I can't say it bothers me one way or the other on TP. It's an international site, so it doesn't seem odd or offensive to me that you use different spellings. In fact, compared to the vast majority of Web sites out there, TP is beautifully and carefully written.

From a writer's standpoint, consistency is key. As long as you always write Travellerspoint with two ls, and end 'center' with an 'er', it seems fair. Everything else just goes to show the richness and diversity of the language.

Great new look, BTW! That shade of blue is the most wonderful colour in the world.

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Quoting Hien

WHAT?! You did a hundred of them!? I thought that red circle with a number was autogenerated from the plain message centre logo. Can that actually be done with ColdFusion, Pete?

I told you it was crazy! But I like the way it looks :) And yes, I believe I could autogenerate it using Coldfusion, but frankly, I would then have to figure out exactly how to do that and that would likely have taken much longer than just doing it the easy way.

Is this the only word that is an issue? I must admit I do actually feel like we're splitting hairs over nothing here.

Language has always been an evolving thing and considering the international nature of this community, I think it is kind of a non-issue. But again, if this feeling is widespread my arm could be twisted

8. Posted by Windmill (Full Member 125 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

From a writer's standpoint, consistency is key. As long as you always write Travellerspoint with two ls, and end 'center' with an 'er', it seems fair. Everything else just goes to show the richness and diversity of the language.

I agree with Tway, consistency is key. But Travellerspoint with two L's and center with 'er' is not consistent. Either have this as an American written site or an English site. What Tway describes above is inconsistent.

I am obviously thinking from my standpoint, being English, but as I mentioned before, it is worth considering people whose mother tongue is not English and might be confused by these anomalies. Sorry to take this issue so far, but I do feel strongly about it.

P.S. I'm half English, half Dutch.

[ Edit: Edited at May 1, 2006 6:59 AM by Windmill ]

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Quoting Windmill

I agree with Tway, consistency is key. But Travellerspoint with two L's and center with 'er' is not consistent. Either have this as an American written site or an English site. What Tway describes above is inconsistent.

In any other circumstance, I'd have my red pens out blazing. But this being an international site (that is, neither American nor English, per se), I think the grammatical rules (and I'm a grammatical tyrant) can be more flexible. If the strategy is to appeal to English-speaking people around the world, a flexible approach to English grammar could well be the way to go.

I wonder if there are any guidelines wrtten about this sort of thing. Is there an international style guide somewhere?

[ Edit: Edited at May 1, 2006 7:07 AM by tway ]

10. Posted by Windmill (Full Member 125 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

In any other circumstance, I'd have my red pens out blazing. But this being an international site (that is, neither American nor English, per se), I think the gramatical rules (and I'm a gramatical tyrant) can be more flexible. If the strategy is to appeal to English-speaking people around the world, a flexible approach to English grammer could well be the way to go.

I don't know if that was intentional, but I rest my case.

[ Edit: Edited at May 1, 2006 7:04 AM by Windmill - Ed: Fixed Quote ]