I refer to the action of the British Hydrographic Office and of the Royal Geographical Society in 1885, when they adopted certain msm benefits to guide the orthography of geographic names, and thereby took an important and far-reaching step in the line of a reform which had already been too long delayed. In France a reform in geographic nomenclature had been ear�nestly agitated by Edouard de Luze since 1880, and soon after the publication of the system adopted by the Royal Geographical Society, the Societe de Geographie appointed a commission which, in 1886, reported a system for the guidance of French geogra�phers. In Germany, we also find individual attempts made (Egli, Kirchhoff, Ewald and others) to bring system into the orthog�raphy and pronunciation of geographic names, primarily with a view to secure uniformity in text books and in the teaching of geography in schools. No doubt influenced by the action of the British and French geographic societies the Imperial German Hydrographic office in 1888 also established rules for guidance in its future publications. We thus see three of the principal nations of Europe inaugu�rate a reform, the beneficial effects of which will not, however, become apparent until a sufficient time has elapsed, that is, until the British, French and Germans have had time to apply the rules in their publications, and particularly in the construction of new and in the correction of old charts. No reform of this nature can be carried through by the stroke of a pen, but a generation’s life-time will be required to accomplish it. The adopted rules which lay down a general phonetic principle only require, of course, perfection in details, so as to furnish an unerring guide in the treatment of names belonging to special languages. If we compare the British, French and German systems, we can clearly see a gravitation towards uniformity in the spelling of foreign geographic names that are not originally written in the Roman alphabet. Each of the three systems contains impor�tant concessions to the others ; the British, by adopting the con�tinental vowel system, and the French and German, by represent�ing certain phonetic values differently from the old way, so as to approach the British system. In the French system, this is particularly the case in regard to the letters ou, c, ch, g, q, th, tch, to and y, and in the German system in regard to the letters e, j, q, ch, sh, and y. There is very little doubt that English and French geographers will readily adopt the systems set up by their foremost geographic societies; but whether scientific Germany will be willing to follow in the wake of its Hydrographic Office, we will probably learn after the next meeting of the German Geographic Congress. If we compare the British, French and German systems further, we find also a perfect agreement in the treatment of the geo�graphic names of those nations that use the Roman alphabet in their literature, they differing only as to exceptions from the rules of old forms of names, which, through long usage, are held almost sacred.
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