Unacceptable Behavior in Any L4e

Because there are people that seem to be unclear on the subject:

The reason people type "l10n" and "i18n" instead of "localization" and "internationalization" is because the words’ length makes them difficult to type. Tech communities are willing to put up with this ungainly and opaque shorthand for the sake of our wrists.

In spoken English, "EYE-eighteen-EN" is not easier to say that the expanded form. Pronouncing the keyboard shorthand does not imply that speaker is savvy or in the know. It should not be done.

4 Replies to “Unacceptable Behavior in Any L4e”

  1. Writing ‘l10n’ and ‘i18n’ also nicely side-steps the differences between British and American spelling of the two words (‘localisation’ vs. ‘localization’ and ‘internationalisation’ vs. ‘internationalization’).

  2. But they’re faster to say:

    3 vs 5 syllables for l10n, 4 vs. 8 for i18n.

    Sitting here with laryngitis I can see the benefit :)

    cf. the most notorious ‘anti-abbreviation’, “www” (9 vs 3??).
    (I’ve tried saying ‘wuhwuhwuh’. People stare.)

  3. I had counted to the syllables and realize that the abbreviations are shorter.

    Of course, in spoken language, two extra syllables is a tiny burden (especially in relation to the 16 keystrokes you drop when abbreviating it in type). The fact that a much larger number of people will understand you when you say “localization” instead of the abbreviation is worth the extra two syllables IMHO.

    It’s also not comperable with WWW where both WWW and the expanded form are instantly recognizeable by almost anyone you could usefully communicate a web address to. Additionally, WWW is primarily spoken when people are communicating not the term “World Wide Web” but the actually letters WWW at the beginning of URL. In that case, it is a burden to have to mention the acronym. I usually say “dub-dub-dub” which does not seem to have a high record of being understood ambiguously in my opinion.

  4. I’ve never seen www written 6u, but it meets the same rationale that l10n and i18n do.  Though I suppose it’s hard to misspell www.

    I bet pronouncing “six-you” would be slightly ahead of “dub-dub-dub” in terms of drawing blank stares from the average person, at the economy of only one syllable.

    Mako, how do you understand something ambiguously?  Do you mean “does seem to have a high record of being understood unambiguously in my opinion”?

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