[texhax] do British LaTeX macros exist?

Philip TAYLOR [PC336/H-XP] P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Tue Jun 17 23:11:46 CEST 2003

I have to say, I disagree with B{HK} on this one :

> WHY would you want to do that?  Its only advantage would be to you as the
> author in not having to remember to write the AmerEnglish version of these
> words.  However, so far as the resultant document is concerned, there would
> not be the slightest discernible difference.  Furthermore, you would lose
> the ability readily to interchange the source TeX file with potential
> collaborators if you ever found the need to create a joint paper, or perhaps
> to publish documentation along with other work of yours.

I don't think that follows at all.  Let us assume that the original
enquirer decides to do the job properly, and writes a standard LaTeX-2e
package called (say) BritishCommands.  Then at the start of his 
document, he need only write

	\usepackage {BritishCommands}

and thereafter he can express himself in his native tongue rather than
an obscure Colonial variant thereof ...  Since he will, of course, contribute
his package to CTAN, his source code becomes no less portable than
any other LaTeX source document which makes use of the \usepackage command.
Furthermore, he can even allow for what the OED terms "individual" usages
by writing his package so as to accept optional parameters, as in

	\usepackage [-ise, -ew-]{BritishCommands}

which would then allow him to use the -ise variant whenever the OED
admitted of both -ise and -ize suffices for a particular root, and
also to use (e.g.) \shew and \shewthe rather than those precocious 
upstarts \show and \showthe.

> One sometimes sees people "making a stand for BrEnglish" in e-mail, having
> set up their mailers to create an "Organisation:" header.  However, since
> RFC-2822 only defines the spelling "Organization", such additional headers
> are merely risible and convey no useful information.

Whether or not this is the case, there are clearly good grounds for
establishing the British equivalent of l'Academie Francaise with
a view to keeping our language pure and unsullied by unwanted and
unnecessary imports.  I am delighted to learn that a pressure group
is currently lobbying Parliament to legislate that all software sold
in this country shall use British English by default.  The use of
"cyclical" with short "y" should be a hanging offence, as should
the wearing of baseball caps rotated through 180 degrees.

Philip Taylor.

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