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Re: Debian Project News 2011/06 frozen. Please review and translate

Justin B Rye writes:

 > >> appointed to the post of FTP Assistant; congratulations, Ansgar!

 > > but I never heard the word "post" that way in English.

Executive summary: "Post," as used by Justin, is perfectly good
English, at least in the US.  

 > I'm the one who put it there, so I don't count as confirmation.  To
 > me it's valid but has the possible disadvantage that it tends to
 > imply uniqueness (there's only one FTP Assistant, and that's the post
 > Ansgar was appointed to).  Maybe I should have gone for "position"?
 > "Role"?  Or (with a minor reshuffle) "duties"?  None of these seem
 > like clear improvements, though.

My understanding is that by definition a *post* is an assignment of
title, responsibilities, and authority to carry out those
responsibilities.  To me it connotes an administrative assignment of
indeterminate length but nonpermanent, with no contractual
renegotiation: the change in duties is in some sense already part of
the "contract" the individual has with the organization.  I think it's
a perfectly good word to use for the case where a Debian Developer is
formally assigned certain responsibilities, along with a title.

My dialect does not include the connotation of uniqueness Justin
mentions.  That may just be me, though.  In a related issue, to me the
word "position" is inappropriate, as a person generally has a unique
position, both in space and in an organization.

There is a title assigned, so "duties" is not as precise.  One can
carry out the duties without the title.

"Role" might be a better word in the context of Debian, where the
organization is relatively informal and flexible.  I would tend to go
with "post" here, though.  Recently "role" has come to connote
assignment of responsibility as well as specific tasks, but that
connotation is stronger in the case of "post".  It also seems that
here the assignment is rather formal, but one can "assume a role"
unilaterally, without a formal appointment.

Sorry for the long post, but discussing language is inherently wordy.


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