[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Flamewars & Why pedantic spelling is good.

On Sat, Dec 22, 2001 at 08:15:40PM +1100, Craig Sanders wrote:
> any search on google or other search engines will reveal many thousands
> of uses of the word 'zonefile'.  like i said, it's in common usage in
> the field and has been for years.  but that couldn't possibly be
> evidence, could it?  after all, that would mean i was right and that
> would be embarrassing to admit to, wouldn't it?

Google says on zonefile: about 2460 hits.
Wading through the first 100 hits shows a good amount of mailing list
archives and sites with a top level domain that indicates a country with a
language different from English as the native language (jp, nl, de, ...).

Google says on "zone file": about 28,000 hits.
The first 100 hits contain almost no references to mailing list archives and
few sites with a top level domain as above.

In some languages, proper nouns are often contracted to build up a new noun.
German is famous for that (for example "Brustwarze" is the contraction of
breast and wart, its meaning is nipple).  A german is more likely to write
zonefile than somebody whose mother tongue does not have this feature.
In mailing lists, spelling is less important than in proper, maintained
documentation.  Getting the message across is more important then, and
zonefile fits this purpose as good as zone file.  People are lazy, too,
and often don't pay much attention to spelling in emails.  I am confident
that a real analysis of the search data on google would point out a strong
difference in how zone file and zonefile are used.

But the world is not black and white.  zone file and zonefile both exist (so
do depricate [580 hits] and the lamented authoratative [4730 hits!][1]).

The above indicates that zone file is the dominant spelling, esp in
technical documentation.  Debian can decide to apply this spelling in all
content it produces.[2]  Why you try to argue it on the level of correctness
rather than policy I don't understand.  Maybe because you know that the
majority is happy with using zone file everywhere.


[1] Of course the correct spelling has 591.000 hits.
[2] So could Debian decide to apply "zonefile" or use both variants.

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

Reply to: