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Re: webwml://debian-installer/errata

victory wrote:
> about this sentense (webwml://debian-installer/errata):
>  the grub bootloader was installed onto the USB stick instead of the hard disc,
>  where the rest of the system was installed.

(Of course that's "The Grub bootloader".  "Hard disc" is also a
misspelling; for no particularly sane reason, it's conventional to
write "optical disc" but "floppy disk" and "hard disk".)

> and without ",":
>  the grub bootloader was installed onto the USB stick instead of the hard disc
>  where the rest of the system was installed.
> as I said on the IRC below,
>  without ",", it is completely clear that hard disc = the rest,
>  and with "," it become unclear as it separates sentenses at that place purposely:
>   then, the context seems saying hard disc = the rest, so
>   hard disc probably = the rest,
>   but USB stick may be = the rest.
> I needed to think twice or more.

There's a specific rule in the punctuation conventions of English
(unlike other languages) saying that the presence or absence of a
comma determines whether the relative clause is to be interpreted as
"descriptive" or "restrictive".

With a comma, it's merely giving an additional piece of incidental
description: "the hard disk, where (as it happens) stuff was

Without a comma, the relative clause gives information to help
identify the head noun phrase: it's "the same particular hard disk
where stuff was installed".  This is probably the meaning that's
wanted, so it probably shouldn't have a comma.

Other issues like the length of the sentence are rarely important
enough to override the rule; or at any rate, I can't come up with one
that would work.  If you want to make the sentence more manageable, it
would require some reworking - maybe:

   The Grub bootloader was installed onto the USB stick, instead of onto
   the hard disk that was used for installing the rest of the system.

Mind you, I don't know if that has even improved it.
JBR	with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
	sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package

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