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Re: Using standardized SI prefixes



On Tuesday 12 June 2007 14:09, Adam Borowski wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 04:21:58PM +0800, Onno Benschop wrote:
> > (Ironically, my spell-checker had never heard of a kibibyte :)
>
> Because it's not a correct word.
> English linguistic is a descriptive science -- what is correct and what is
> not depends on what people use.  This stays in stark contrast to
> prescriptive languages like French where a government agency is entitled to
> ban the use of an established word and enforce using a made-up replacement.

You're arguing that since few people use an otherwise superior concept, Debian 
should not use it either -- a fallacy known as argumentum ad populum 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum). Again, if everybody 
waits for the majority to change first, no change will ever happen.

> And what version is used is trivial to check.  Oh, wait -- in this case not
> that trivial, when using the Google test "kilobyte" is so much over the cap
> that you need tricks like searching for "kibibite foo" and "kilobyte foo",
> using several words to avoid bias caused by a certain term.
>
> The results I got are: "kibibite" has below 0.3% use of "kilobyte".
> With such a crushing defeat, I doubt the whole "kibibyte" crap has much of
> a leg to stand on, regardless whether a self-imposed "Academie Anglaise"
> says.

I get 59 500 hits for "kibibyte" and 1.5 million hits for "kilobyte". That's 
about 4%, not 0.3%. In fact, it's sufficiently widespread to earn a place in 
dictionaries, IMHO.

-- 
Magnus Holmgren        holmgren@lysator.liu.se
                       (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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