Re: Bug#795158: explain spelling-error-in-description for 'allow to'
On 2015-08-11 09:56, chrysn wrote:
> Package: lintian
> Version: 2.5.34
> Severity: minor
Thanks for reporting this bug.
I am CC'ing debian-l10n-english for a bit of assistance. I got two
"@English" for you. :)
> The spelling-error-in-description correction "Allow to" -> "Allow one
> to" is hard to understand without further explanation.
@English: Do you have a suggestion for how we explain this simpler than
the below? I suspect the long (sentence theoretical) explanation is not
going to help the average reader.
My understanding of it is: Allow (when used with "to") is always a
"transitive verb". That is, it must "apply" to an "object".
Consider the following sentence:
I allow my dog to go outside.
Here "allow" is a "transitive" verb, which is applied to "my dog", which
is the "object" (sentence structure wise). What the correction is
complaining about is that it sees an instance of:
I allow to go outside.
This sentence is "invalid" and is missing something. It could have been
a "passive voice" missing a verb and in wrong tense (e.g. "I am allowed
to go outside") or it could be missing an "object" (a la the previous
Note: In the suggested correction, lintian always uses "one" as the
"object". I am not sure if a place-holder might have been better. E.g.
"allow to -> allow <missing-word> to"
> With openscad, it reports the "Allow to open multiple files" menu line.
Which, to my understanding, grammatically does not make a lot of sense.
If it is a menu line, it might make sense to word it slightly
different. An example could be:
"Open multiple files"
Menu lines tend to "imperative" anyway ("orders" to the computer).
> I've checked with several native speakers and a dictionary, and nothing
> gives me an indication on 'allow to' being wrong; at best, people have
> suggested "Allow opening multiple files", but on a "either would work"
I am not sure there is a general consensus that "either would work" here.
* @English, what is your take on this?
> The report overview shows that the 'allow' case makes up roughly half of
> the spelling-error-in-description cases.
> Could you clarify on this?
Presumably, people are not in a hurry to fix spelling mistakes or/and
(like you) were unsure on how to fix the particular spelling mistake.