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Re: To non-native English writers: expunging the solecism "This allows t

From: Stephen Berman
Subject: Re: To non-native English writers: expunging the solecism "This allows to do something."
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2016 23:54:04 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Sun, 24 Jan 2016 21:06:02 +0000 Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> wrote:

> For some time I have been irritated by sentences of the form "This
> allows to do something" in our source and documentation.
> Such a sentence formation is NOT ENGLISH.  The verb "allow" absolutely
> requires a direct object, not an infinitive verb.  This direct object
> can be one of various things:
> The same considerations also apply to "permit", "enable", and "prevent"
> (although the preposition after "prevent" is always "from", never "to").
> I have done my best to expunge these solecisms from our source and
> documentation files (including NEWS).  PLEASE take care to avoid adding
> any new ones!

You missed some instances, which I found by running rgrep on the Emacs
source tree with this regexp (without the quotes):

"[^-]\(allow\|enable\|permit\|prevent\|require\)[^-de ]* to "

This does, however, also return several false positives, most of them
with "require" (one is written as `require' and one or two of the others
should probably be quoted like that).  I don't have time in the next few
days to commit a fix for these, so if you do, please go ahead.

Steve Berman

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