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RE: `set-variable' should use :set

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: `set-variable' should use :set
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 06:40:20 -0700

> >  ("Obsolete" is not a verb BTW (e.g. "obsoleted"),
> It is, according at least to
> - Free Merriam-Webster: http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/obsoleted
> - Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:
> http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource=Webster%27s&word=obsolete

Oh, fun.

The first of those URLs claims that as a verb it is (only) transitive ("You
obsoleted the bike"). The second of those claims that as a verb it is (only)
intransitive ("You obsoleted, but the bike obsoleted first").

It is not an intransitive verb according to the first URL, and it is not a
transitive verb according to the second.  Abracadabra, by Web dictionary
addition it is neither transitive nor intransitive - call it "interesting". ;-)

Anyway, if you're happy with "obsoleted" in the doc it's A OK by me.  My remark
was parenthetical and qualified with a "BTW".  IOW, it's beside the point.

And as I said (quite earnestly), you _can_ verb any noun.  There is no Academie
Anglaise[*]; we take a different view of language (and dictionaries).

So please, manual any words you like, whether or not they can be successfully
dictionaried.  A dictionary does not a word make - we make em.
w, etc.

Most important is clarity, and I find "However, this feature is largely
obsoleted by `defcustom'" quite clear as far as it goes (it doesn't say why or

My objection to it was a disagreement with what it claims, not how it makes the
claim.  And I was clear that even that objection is minor - I find it only "a
bit" presumptuous to pretend that Customize replaces `set-variable'.

Customize obsoletes `set-variable' the same way stalking and killing your own
deer, cleaning it, transporting it, and stewing it obsoletes just grabbing a
bowl of venison stew at the hunting lodge.  Customize is an adventure;
`set-variable' is sans drama.

But at least we've escaped the proposal, and without ever needing to proposal
the escape. ;-)

[* At least there was not an Acadamie Anglaise until this summer.
http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/lacademie-anglaise.  Leave it to the
royals to stand up straight for such silliness - Rule Britannia!  On n'arrete
pas le progres.]

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