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Re: English usage bug in bytecomp.el

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: English usage bug in bytecomp.el
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 11:24:14 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Nick Roberts <address@hidden> writes:

>  > [Discussion of "`foo' is an obsolete function since 21.4;"]
>  > 
>  > >> .  This combination of "is" and "since" is incorrect English usage.
>  > 
>  > >I think "is ... since" is pretty common usage actually, and certainly
>  > >makes sense.
>  > 
>  > <Gnashes teeth>
>  > 
>  > Yes, it does make sense and it is regrettably common usage, but it is
>  > WRONG.  It is something that a native English speaker would never say.
>  > In this case, it is just as easy to be correct.
> I don't know if it's correct or not but I think it is effective use of
> English.

"efficient" you mean probably .  Let us just replace every "is not"
and "was not" and "has not" with "ain't".  That is also efficient.

> I think its important to remember that English may not be the first
> language for many Emacs users. "`foo' is an obsolete function since
> 21.4" is concise: it tells the user that foo *is* obsolete and then
> that it became obsolete in version 21.4. He doesn't have to
> understand the many forms of past tense that English can have.

We are not talking about whether it is impossible to make sense out of
what is written.  But I don't see how the non-first language speaker
actively gains anything if we switch to a bastardized version of
English.  We don't require the readers of the manual to write correct
English themselves, we just strive to be understandable even for
non-native speakers.  But I don't see that the correct English usage
here would have any detrimental effects.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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