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Re: Again: "metapackage", "meta package" or "meta-package" (Was: Accepted cdd 0.5.3 (source all))

Andreas Tille wrote:
>>[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-l10n-english/2008/04/msg00006.html
> Ahh, thanks for the hint.  But IMHO a "voting" between maintainers is
> not really a clever method to find the correct spelling.  Considering
> that I'm probably the author of quite a lot of those descriptions and
> my language skills as non-native speaker are not good enough to decide
> what might be proper English and that this might be the case for other
> authors as well, the voting is done by perhaps a majority of uneducated
> persons (the problem of any "democratic" decision ;-) ).  I tried
> Emacs with ispell dictionary british which did not know metapackage and
> suggested either "meta package" or "meta-package".

That's what it would do with any compound that isn't yet present in
the dictionary as an entry in its own right, but has obvious
subcomponents that are - compare the way it handles "wordless" or

> I'm keeping
> Ben Armstrong in CC who is a native speaker and he used in the Debian
> Junior packages the spelling "meta package".

The problem with this is that "meta" as a freestanding adjective has
a different meaning - online dictionaries say things like:
# Self-referential; referring to itself or its characteristics, esp.
# as a parody; about. Example: "That book is so meta".

> Even if debian-l10n-english might be read by enough native speakers
> to trust them I'm not fully convinced because only a single ("potentially")
> native speaker (I don't know Justin B Rye, but Christian is French and
> you are German) responded.  So I like a unification of the spelling but
> I would like it to be based on a deeper research on this issue.

I'm a native speaker of en_GB, but if my arguments don't convince
anybody, I can't claim to have more than one vote.  If there isn't a
consensus, it's too soon to make it a rule.
JBR	with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
	sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package

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