[tex-hyphen] Evolving usage for UK hyphenation patterns

Arthur Reutenauer arthur.reutenauer at normalesup.org
Sat Mar 31 13:35:47 CEST 2018

	Dear Dominik,

>                                    The preface says, "Finally, the
> word-division recommendations follow the tried-and-tested Oxford system."
> It also says that it was, "prepared in consultation with the Society for
> Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)."

  Thanks for pointing that out.

> I think there's little point in contacting the author, Waite, since he
> doesn't have the copyright.  We could try the SfEP, to get some support,
> but in the end we have to approach someone at the Press itself.

  Actually, even if the copyright holder obviously is OUP or some
organisation connected to it, I’m wondering if we wouldn’t get more
useful information from the SfEP.  One of the problems when devising
hyphenation patterns is that the principles of hyphenation are very
poorly documented, whatever the language or orthography, and that it is
hard to even identify those who really have knowledge about that
(although it’s a little easier to single out some who do *not* have very
useful knowledge about it, e. g. phoneticians and general linguists).
It seems, however, that proofreaders and editors are among those in the
know.  If we can’t get a list from OUP, it could be interesting to
devise a revised set of hyphenation patterns with a more rule-based
approach, as has been done for the vast majority of languages in our
repository, for which no list of hyphenated words exists.  Indeed, it’s
my understanding that rules, by themselves, can’t be copyrighted at all,
whatever the jurisdiction, so that knowing the rules we’re free to come
up with our own implementation (the status for a mere list is much more
unclear and may depend on the country).

  On a minor point, we’ll have to say “word division” instead of
“hyphenation” if we talk to proofreaders because hyphenation means
something else, but on this list its use is well-established :-)

> I have put out a brief online query to OUP dictionaries to try to find out
> who to talk to today.

  Thank you; do tell us if you have any success.

> The SfEP is this outfit <https://www.sfep.org.uk/>.  The Hon. Pres. is
> David Crystal and the twelve council members are listed here
> <https://www.sfep.org.uk/about/meet-the-team/>.  Do any of us know any of
> them?

  Sadly no.  But it would be cool to get a comment from David Crystal on
English hyphenation :-)



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