Re: Help to improve new package (djmount)
MJ Ray wrote:
> Was the original standardisation's justification of following
> a 1997 FOLDOC entry solid enough? That lists both as alternatives.
Do we know for sure that the one-word variant is getting commoner?
People were writing it as one word on comp.os.vms more than twenty
years ago, so if it hasn't taken off yet, maybe it never will.
Compare "harddrive", which has been around as a sporadic variant for
about as long.
>>> I'm asking for evidence that "filesystem" is seen by the general
>>> public as more obscure and intimidating than "file system".
>> This is a strange thing to be skeptical about. You do at least
>> recognise that they see it as a jargonism? [...]
> Yes, but the jargonicity is independent of spelling.
They don't know that. When users read "file system", that's a
phrase made up of two familiar words. People encounter novel
phrases all the time; they may not even recognise this one as being
a fixed idiom. On the other hand, when they see "filesystem" they
know they've run into an unfamiliar vocabulary item. Maybe it means
the same thing as the phrasal version; maybe (like "usernames") it
Once you're familiar with the word, it has advantages - for instance
it stacks better in phrases like "regular filesystem backups". This
helps the technical specialists express themselves more compactly...
but that's not always appropriate in documentation.
>>>> - She answered the king's question foolishly.
>>>> - She foolishly answered the king's question.
>>> The second one is ambiguous.
>> All sentences are ambiguous if you look for ambiguity hard enough.
>> Nonetheless, both of these have clear default interpretations. I
>> can give plenty of other examples if you don't like that one - for
>> instance, what would you do with "she barely answered"?
> Express it differently because the ambguity in that one is too amusing
> to concentrate!
To me, there is no ambiguity - there's a degree adverb and there's a
manner adverb, and the word order always tells me which is intended
(besides, the only verbs I would ever modify with manner-adverb
"barely" are ones like "furnish").
Throwing out all pre-modifying adverbs is a bad idea, but I suppose
it provides a handy guideline if you've got a paragraph with too
many adverbs in it - it'll be the ones before verbs that are easiest
to get rid of.
>> [...] I'd be interested to know where you got this rule
>> against pre-head modifying adverbs - can you point at a style guide
>> that mentions it? Is it some sort of generalisation of the old
>> taboo against split infinitives?
> It's not a rule. It's a preference because it's easier to understand
> a phrase if you see the verb before the adverb that modifies it.
Why would you expect that to be true of verbs and adverbs when it's
obviously untrue of nouns and adjectives? If things were this
simple, we'd all speak verb-initial languages.
"Yrch!" said Legolas, falling into his own tongue. - JRRT, LotR