Another of those sky-is-falling horrors-of-SMS stories, this time about Polish, “Language experts launch campaign to save the diacritical marcs of Polish, threatened by IT” [sic; I wonder how long that “marcs” will stay up?]:
Polish language experts launched a campaign Thursday to preserve the challenging system of its diacritical marks, saying the tails, dots and strokes are becoming obsolete under the pressure of IT and speed.
The drive, initiated by the state-run Council of the Polish Language, is part of the UNESCO International Mother Language Day. The campaign’s Polish name is complicated for a non-Polish keyboard: “Je,zyk polski jest a,-e,.”
That’s a pun meaning that Polish language needs its tails and is top class. Part of the meaning is lost and the pronunciation sounds wrong if the marks aren’t there.
Computer and phone keyboards require users to punch additional keys for Polish alphabet. To save time, Poles skip the nuances, and sometimes need to guess the meaning of the message that they have received. This is also true for IT equipment users of other languages with diacritical marks, like Russian or Romanian.
Setting aside the odd inclusion of Russian (whose only “diacritical marks,” as far as I know, are those over й and ё, and while the latter is famously under threat, it’s not because of IT), the amusing thing about this story is the unintelligibility of the campaign’s name using a “non-Polish keyboard”—you’re putting the story up on the internet, you can use Unicode! Anybody know what the actual name is? (Thanks, Kobi!)