Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Question

ESPN (and USG) now use Spanish language accent marks for persons whose names would have such marks if rendered in Spanish.

ESPN, however, in its coverage of the NHL does not use French, Czech, Norwegian, Swedish or Slovakian accent marks for persons whose names would require such marks if rendered in those languages.

Obviously, ESPN has the technology to render such accent marks. Therefore, the decision to use them in the case of Spanish and not use them in the case of French must be conscious.

What is the reason for that decision?


  1. Because Spanish is the official language of the United States?

    1. Or because ESPN is run by idiots.

    2. I think lady red has given the definitive answer.

    3. I thought there might be more to the answer than the obvious.

    4. Idiots and æßhœls.

      [/internationalized lolcat]

  2. Heck, even we humble bloggers here at TCKT have the technology to render international names. But the editorial policy has bigger problems than technology.

    For example, Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen is an Icelandic fütbol star. Or, maybe an Elf from Rivendell.

    But this gets trickier the further afield one goes. Who's going to know NHL player Александр Михайлович Овечкин, or basketball star 姚明?

    If you were going to pick one ethnicity to render "correctly", based on the number of people in the US who could actually recognize and pronounce it correctly, it would be Spanish.

    So Matt is basically correct.

  3. "Or, maybe an Elf from Rivendell.

    lewy, LMAO!!!! Definitely an elf!

  4. ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Company, btw. One could make a decent argument that there is no more decadent, harmful and degenerate media corporation working today than Disney. (You have no idea how much that hurts this old Disneyland employee, but it's the truth).

    Surprising, they have responded. No substantively, but in person. The gist of it was "I agree this is an issue and have kicked it upstairs for a reply."

    1. I dug into this a little more.

      Turns out TCTK actually has more flexible rendering tech than ESPN does.

      TCKT (and Blogger by default) uses UTF-8 which can render approximately any gliph on the planet used by anyone, ever.

      ESPN uses ISO 8859-1 which encodes European languages - but with some limitations/workarounds, including for Czech, Dutch, and French. Russian, Chinese, Israeli, and Arab players are SOL.

      ESPN could adopt UTF-8 but their CMS system would have to support it, and it would result in a small but material increase in their bandwidth costs.

  5. lewy, you're making my head hurt.

    Tom just sent me this...