2009/5/13 Jürgen Spitzmüller <j.spitzmuel...@gmx.de>:
> James C. Sutherland wrote:
>> However, I really don't want to have any notion of
>> the "language" my documents are written in.
> This will have the consequence that your text, even if monolingually
> English,
> * will not be hyphenated correctly
> * cannot be spellchecked

Well, babel at least isn't required for spell checking. However, in a
broad picture there are two ways babel can be used:

1) "Old way" User manually adds \foriegnlanguage tags to quoted text,
loan words, etc.
2) "New way" LyX stores language text is in, and outputs tags to
switch between lanuages.

With the (1), if the user puts \foriegnlanguage tags around all quote
etc., producing a UK edition from a US addition is trivial: Switch the
document type to UK, spellcheck (hopefully the author has avoided
ambiguous dates etc.), and 5 minutes later we have a version of the
document in UK English.

With (2) it is not so simple. The obvious way is to switch the
document type to UK English, but then LyX fights your decision by
adding \foriegnlanguage tags around everything. You can fix this by
selecting All and reseting the language. Then however, all the quotes
are now in UK English as well, even e.g. French quotes.

AFAICT, LyX has no way of distinguishing between (a) "This is text is
in UK English because this is a UK English document" and (b) "This
text is in UK English, because it is a quote, name etc.". This
distinction seems to be useful when preparing the same document in
different dialects.

We could add an additional language "Default" to allow us to
distinguish between (a) and (b), if we felt this was important.

John C. McCabe-Dansted
PhD Student
University of Western Australia

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