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Re: Final text of GPL v3

Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> writes:
> > Is "I am afraid it cannot" a definite answer?
> > It does not even seem to express certainty...
> (I am not a professor of English)


> The usage of "I am afraid that <assertion>" in English has changed.

Rather, it has gained another, less literal, use, which may not be what
Francesco intended to communicate.

I would interpret it as a fear.  Unless there's some survey data or
something to the contrary, I suspect most other rural Englishmen would.
I'm a bit old-fashioned like that, which is why newspeak like "You're
forcing me to ..." looks silly to me.

More generally, please cut non-native speakers some Slack about English
use when it matters like this.  If a German walks into your restaurant
and says "Please can I become a steak?" then that is not justification
for killing and butchering him.  You know damn well what was meant.

(The only non-native speakers who I won't cut slack are those who start
preaching their interpretation of English as The One True Meaning over
objections from Englishmen. ;-) )

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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