Diacritics objectively suck. I am proud of English, because of the thing we got right — an alphabet with no diacretics.

So why is it that people still write loanwords with diacritics — like déjà vu instead of deja vu — or even worse, adding diacritics to native english words.

That second bit actually happened — I was reading The New Yorker’s article on personalized learning, and found this gem: deëmphasized. Yeah, what the fuck?

Explanation: Those two dots above the second e are diaeresis, and they are used in languages such as spanish and french to indicate two vowels next to each other are pronounced seperately. For instance, the french word for Christmas — Noël — is pronounced in two syllables. If it were spelled Noel instead, it would be pronounced in one syllable. The author decided to write deëmphasized, rather than deemphasized. Maybe they did it to make extra sure the reader says /diːˈɛm.fə.saɪz/ rather than the incorrect /ˈdiːm.fə.saɪz/,

English is very non-phonetic, which means it doesn’t sound at all like it’s written. This is what allows it to be the international language — It’s vocabulary is the ideal of the melting-pot. All the languages have a great number of loanwords in English. English is Lady Liberty, welcoming huddled masses, except in this case, they are not tired and poor, but spicy and rich.

And guess what? English, the international language, can be encoded losslessly in ASCII! Wow!

So in all, lose the diacritics.

English is beautiful, but more tawdry than beautiful. Let’s keep it that way.


Also sidenote, it would be nice if people stopped dotting their i’s and j’s so we would have no ugly little tittles anywhere, but I guess that’s too much to ask.