Persons Who Need Persons

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Fri Jul 23 01:36:27 UTC 1999

I pretty much agree with Beverly and wouldn't use diacritics on words I
(completely subjectively) consider naturalized in English like cafe and
facade. But, I would try to include the accent in a phrase like "catalogue
raisonn'e" if I could--which I can't, using this e-mail system--because it
gives seems necessary for pronunciation. I always try if possible to use
the "o with a slash through it" also "the a with the small circle above
it" and umlauts where required in Scandinavian names, since I am enough
Norwegian to know that they are considered separate letters, not letters
with diacritics. (Sorry for the description of the characters--if I could
make this system use them, I would.)

maberry at

On Thu, 22 Jul 1999, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

> At 04:02 PM 7/22/99 -0700, Andrea Vine wrote:
> >When writing English words borrowed from other languages that are written
> using
> >the Latin alphabet plus diacritics, do you write the accent?  For example, if
> >you write the word "café" do you write the acute accent mark?  This includes
> >handwriting as well as typing.  Other words used to "illustrate" this p.a.'s
> >point were "façade" and "résumé".
> >
> >I and other self-confident
> non-apologetic-for-our-culture-vs-European-Americans
> >maintained that Americans in general do not write accents, don't learn how to
> >write the accents, don't learn to spell the words with accents, and in some
> >cases think writing the accents is a bit pretentious.
> >
> >What do y'all think? )
> >
> For me, it depends on how recent or "foreign" the borrowing is (or seems to
> be, since a lot of this is perception and not necessarily fact).  I never
> use an accent with "cafe" but do with "resume," especially when I'm
> referring to a specific one (sorry, I don't know how to do it on the
> computer!).  "Facade" is somewhere in between.  It also depends on how
> formal or scholarly the piece of writing is; I don't think pretentiousness
> is the issue.  In fact, it seems to me British English follows the same
> rule of thumb: old borrowings are completely anglicized, both in
> pronunciation and in spelling (except for -our?); newer ones are betwixt
> and between.

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