[Tagging] Why do we use British English? (Was: Cartpath RFC)

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Sun Jan 3 05:19:41 UTC 2021

On Jan 2, 2021, at 8:43 PM, Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com> wrote:
> But I agree that it sometimes makes the most sense to use"the most popular term in general globally", for example when South Asia, Australia, North America and Continental Europe all use a different term than what is common in England, or in the cases when the British term is ambiguous.
> This is already true for "sidewalks". These are usually called "pavements" in England, but since that key would be ambiguous and the term "sidewalk" is well-known in many countries, the key in OpenStreetMap is sidewalk=* - see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:sidewalk

I'll complete my trio of "tradition, inertia..." with "consensus."  I agree with Joseph that consensus does sometimes diverge from British English, and that doing so can be a good idea (emphasis on "can be").  So it's partly British English as tradition and inertia, partly the "sausage making" of establishing newer tags as we discuss and vet them here and elsewhere, eventually establishing consensus.  It can seem like slow work, but it is good work, isn't it?

I do wish this list has what we might call a more "fully international" flavor.  I don't see as many voices from Asia, Africa (as I said, nice to hear from Dolly) and South / Central America as we might.  Welcome one and all, if tagging is your subject.  Yes, a fast, rather advanced English is the language, and while they are not ideal, there are translators available (some built-in to web browsers).  Speaking for myself, I strive to offer respect with non-native speakers — I believe the list does, too.

Golf carts.  Yeah.

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