ICANN, the governing body of domain names, says it will test out web addresses using Arabic, Persian, Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, Tamil and both simplified and traditional Chinese. I guess this means that the inevitable collapse of all language into a bloated English hodgepodge is on hold. While it's nice for people to get domain names they can actually read, it pisses me off, because I like navigating non-English sites by their forced use of Roman-alphabet tags. Ironically, as machine translation gets better, the use of more and more languages and alphabets on the web might not really detract from its universality. But I can't help thinking there's something scary in this decision, scary, that is, for monolingual America. [Yahoo/AFP]


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