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Re: What're the proper names for the backspace and delete keys in files.

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: What're the proper names for the backspace and delete keys in files.texi?
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 22:10:53 +0200

> Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:16:59 +0000 (GMT)
> From: Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden
> OK, here are the problems I have with @node Killing in the Emacs manual:
>        Every keyboard has a large key, labeled <DEL>, <BACKSPACE>, <BS> or
>     <DELETE>, which is a short distance above the <RET> or <ENTER> key and
>     is normally used for erasing what you have typed.  Regardless of the
>     actual name on the key, in Emacs it is equivalent to <DEL>--or it
>     should be.
> The above paragraph appears to be an old, unreworked version of the next
> paragraph.
>        Many keyboards (including standard PC keyboards) have a <BACKSPACE>
>     key a short ways above <RET> or <ENTER>, and a <DELETE> key elsewhere.
>     In that case, the <BACKSPACE> key is <DEL>, and the <DELETE> key is
>     equivalent to `C-d'--or it should be.

I actually like the first (older) version better.  I think "a short
distance" will be better understood, in particular by non-native
English speakers, than "a short ways".  And there's no confusing
"<BACKSPACE> key is <DEL>" wording.

> What is the meaning of "equivalent" in "the <DELETE> key is
> equivalent to `C-d'"?

What it always meant--that it produces the same effect.

> Incidentally, is "a short WAYS above" intentionally so (some dialect of
> English I don't know), or should it read "a short WAY above"?

No, it's "short ways", which means nearby.  Like I said: it's not
immediately understandable.

>                                     The @key{DELETE} key, like
> ! @kbd{C-d}, deletes the following character---or it should do.

I don't think ``it should do'' is correct English here.  I think the
correct wording is ``---or it should.''

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