Before this blows up in edit and comment wars (it is already happening), I want to get meta consensus on what to do.
One particular user prefers to use an uncommon variant spelling for certain words: reëntry instead of reentry or re-entry, reüse instead of reuse or re-use, etc.
While there can be some debate whether the words should be written reuse or whether re-use is also an accepted writing (IMHO it is, as hyphenation is an accepted tool in the English language), I think that simply adding diaeresis should not be accepted, as reüse simply is not an English word (albeit recognizable as what it should mean), and SE has an English-only policy.
Fixing grammar and spelling has always been an accepted and encouraged way to edit posts and make them more readable.
Given that my native tongue uses diaeresis, this writing gives me a headache since the sounds of those vowels are completely different then the word would be spoken in English. This is unnecessarily distracting and does actively hinder readability.
How does the Space SE community want to handle this? Allow different spellings? Then what is acceptable and what is not? Only allow proper English? And what is defined as proper English?
For reference, here are the three forms being discussed:
- reëntry The diaeresis (
¨) indicates that that the two vowels are voiced separately. This form is the one being discussed.
- re-entry The dash (
-) indicates that that the two vowels are voiced separately.
- reentry No explicit indication that that the two vowels are voiced separately.
Note that Ngram shows that while "re-entry" and "reentry" are both used, "reëntry" does not appear in published works in the last 300 years, similarly it shows "reüse" and "re-use" (as opposed to "reuse" and "re - use") seem not to be used in English literature.
However, Ngram shows that "cooperate" and "co-operate" are rapidly declining in use while "coöperate", though still rare, appears to be showing a dramatic increase in use. It also shows that "naive" is being rapidly replaced by "naïve", a spelling that it claims was virtually never used before the late 1990s.
This shows the English language appears to be evolving over time with diaeresis becoming favored in some instances and dropped in others but also shows that Ngram might not be a reliable source.
The question remains whether SE should be a place where new spellings that are not yet broadly accepted (or to say it, appear to have been virtually non-existent until the late 1990s and were still rare as of 2008) should be allowed to evolve or if we want to use the commonly accepted forms of the English language.
Similar matters have been discussed before:
- What should the standard spelling be - British or US?
- Is it considered good practice to edit region based spellings? (marked as duplicate of above)