Improving genitive. Or not.... (part 5): You can't make it sexier by giving it a Latin twist...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/01/05 07:01 -05:00, original URI:

Previous blogs in this series:

You may be wondering where this serie is going to go next, huh?

Well, I thought I give another example of an "off label" usage, one that almost could have been....

It starts with Spanish, a language with a bunch of different locales.

And it has Long Date formats like

dddd, dd' de 'MMMM' de 'yyyy
ddd, dd' de 'MMM' de 'yyyy

for example.

Also, there are no genitive months.

So they looked at special parts of the formats:

dddd, dd' de 'MMMM' de 'yyyy
ddd, dd' de 'MMM' de 'yyyy

And the [somewhat reasonable] question was asked.

What if we took the months

Full Abbreviated
enero ene
febero feb
marzo mar
abril abr
mayo may
junio jun
julio jul
agosto ago
septiembre sep
octubre oct
noviembre nov
diciembre dic

and "genitized" them?

That term sounds a lot dirtier than was intended!

de enero de ene
de febero de feb
de marzo de mar
de abril de abr
de mayo de may
de junio de jun
de julio de jul
de agosto de ago
de septiembre de sep
de octubre de oct
de noviembre de nov
de diciembre de dic

with some slightly modified formats:

dddd, dd MMMM' de 'yyyy
ddd, dd MMM' de 'yyyy

 and since the code will detect those formats as needing the genitive months, you'll get the same results!

 Great, right?


Not really.

I mean, great for these specific formats, I guess.

I'll admit it reminfdfs me of a weird language thing Cathy and I used to do where we'd add "de la" in front of random nouns in a sentence, which similarly random results.

But it isn't like you've saved all that much. Or gained all that much.

And the code itself is pretty messy in its detection, as I've mentioned.

I wonder how often one could end up with sentences that make less sense to Spanish users?

This seems less of a smart solution, and more of a clever one, if you know what I mean...

Maybe we need to just say enough, and let this feature go. Or at least not try to be ambitious about it.

We have problems enough if some language that needs a non-Gregorian calendar like Hijri but that also would like genitive month names as well!

Is it disrespectful to be glad at the lak\ck of overlap? Oops! :-)

We really need to overhaul calendars one of these days....

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