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Re: [RFC] automatic apostrophes

From: John Cowan
Subject: Re: [RFC] automatic apostrophes
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 12:12:53 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

Bruce Korb scripsit:

> Formatting text like "a %s went offline" is completely
> adequate for conveying information, even if the thing that was going
> offline went by a name that began with a vowel.  It does not impede
> comprehension.  However, reworking a sentence so the article would not
> be needed might wind up just as stilted and perhaps not as readily
> understood.  Maybe that isn't a good idea either.  So, if apostrophe
> misplacement and article mismatching do not impede comprehension, why
> is this important?

Correct on all counts, which is why we have been seeing messages like
"1 files deleted" for a long time.  However, they lack that professional
touch which might lead customers to see us, and computers in general,
as just the least bit risible.

I do wonder, however, how things like "a %s went offline" or
"You cannot buy a %s without a %s license" ought to be reworded.

John Cowan    address@hidden    http://ccil.org/~cowan
   There was an old man                Said with a laugh, "I
     From Peru, whose lim'ricks all      Cut them in half, the pay is
       Look'd like haiku.  He              Much better for two."
                                             --Emmet O'Brien

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