Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Michael Thomas <> Wed, 24 February 2021 18:20 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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From: Michael Thomas <>
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 10:19:59 -0800
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On 2/24/21 10:05 AM, Fernando Gont wrote:
> I'd ask that participants be aware that a number of us speak English 
> as a second language. So, while at times we might be aware that for 
> some there might be differences (at times subtle) in the meaning of 
> such words, other times we're not simply aware about them, or may 
> overlook them (since English is not our native language).
> For instance, the word "coder" has no equivalent in Spanish (the 
> equivalent would be "codificador", but you'd never use that for coder 
> or programmer). So it shouldn't come as a surprise that a 
> Spanish-speaking person uses "programmer" to refer to "coder", 
> "software developer" or "programmer" (itself), or that somehow mixes 
> up these words.
> The same probably applies to other languages.
> I guess following Postel's advice might be of use here.
Dave Oran once told me that I should be careful of using idioms where 
possible so as not to confuse people for whom English wasn't their first 
language. It's frankly amazing to me how many idioms a lot of 
non-English-as-first-language get. Heck, it can even be confusing 
between American English and UK English. I think the burden should be on 
native English speakers to be more plain and not too clever even though 
it's extremely tempting at times.