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

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: To non-native English writers: expunging the solecism "This allows to do something."
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:18:49 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hello, Rostislav.

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:13:17PM +0100, Rostislav Svoboda wrote:
> > "this allows to do something"
> > Such a sentence formation is NOT ENGLISH.

> Well :)
> Wait for about 30 - 35 years at will be.

That is my fear, which is partly why I'm doing something small to help
prevent it.  ;-)

> Except that I'm not sure if you're aware of it but a large portion of
> readers of your email has difficulties with meaning of:
>   expunging
>   solecism
>   gerund
>   take care to
>   direct object

Most of these terms (and also "passive voice infinitive verb") were used
in contexts where their meanings were illustrated.  "Take care to" is an
everyday English idiom.  It is true that even a lot of English native
speakers won't know what a "solecism" or a "gerund" is, but the
emacs-devel group consists largely of people who enjoy using precise
technical terms.

Also when posting here, I deliberately don't simplify my English, partly
because that would be patronising, and would hinder me in getting my
exact meaning across.  Many, possibly most, of the non-native English
writers on the group have a very good mastery of the language.
(Incidentally, the language spoken where I live is not English.)

> In contrast to that, meaning of both expressions:
>   this allows to do something
>   this allows [...] to do something
> is quite clear. Nobody needs to google for it, even if it is not
> Oxford English from the end of 20th century.

The first of these is incorrect, even if its meaning may be clear.  In
the comments and documentation, we strive to use correct English, not
merely to make our meaning clear.

> Thanks :)

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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