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Bug#516436: 6.2.2: talks nonsense about "appositive clauses"

On 21/02/09 at 12:51 +0000, Justin B Rye wrote:
> Package: developers-reference
> Version: 3.4.1
> Severity: normal
> Tags: patch
> This report has been brewing on debian-l10n-english for years - see
> "http://lists.debian.org/debian-l10n-english/2008/08/msg00004.html";
> The advice in DevRef 6.2.2 about package short descriptions is good,
> but it's undermined by the fact that the rationale given is hogwash.
> For a start:
> #	An appositive clause is defined in WordNet as a grammatical
> #	relation between a word and a noun phrase
> Alas, valid package synopses are _not_ appositive clauses (indeed,
> they're neither appositive nor clauses); clauses are not grammatical
> relations; and what's more, WordNet has no such entry.
> Now, the use of this kind of pseudoscientific gobbledygook in
> justification for a rule may offend me as a linguistics graduate,
> but that doesn't mean I want to see it replaced with an accurate
> version.  Even if every word of it was true, it would still be a bad
> idea to base policy guidelines on a set of formal syntactic
> principles, since most Debian package maintainers have had no
> particular training in English syntactic analysis.
> Besides, the grammatical rules clearly aren't the real reason for
> the rule.  If we're going to justify our advice, we should explain
> it in terms of the real benefits it brings, such as that
> standardising makes it easier for users to browse through a list of
> short descriptions.
> My patch concentrates on providing templates that developers can fit
> their proposed synopses into.  If you're interested in thrashing out
> details of the wording, now would be a good time to bring it back to
> debian-l10n-english@lists.debian.org, since there are more posters
> around than usual.

Hi Justin,

I've just applied your patch. Thank you.
| Lucas Nussbaum
| lucas@lucas-nussbaum.net   http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/ |
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