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Re: [OT] Suggestion for next Debian release

On Monday 18 February 2002 02:44 pm, csj wrote:

> > > > > > > and here is really no interest in ridiculing anyone and
> > > > > > > less someone who would formulate constructively his
> > > > > > > criticism and suggestions ...
> For the life of me, I can't see what's unclear about this
> construction.


> > > >> i really really don't want you to construe this as any kind of
> > > >> xenophobia, but this phrase above just doesn't work in english. i
> > > >> have no idea what you meant to convey by this.
> > > >

this was my response to the original post. where, in the above do you see 
any insistence on a correct way to speak, write, or read english; or, for 
that matter, any imtimation whatsoever that the writer of the original post 
is being charged to bind himself to any dictates, real or imagined?

> > > > I admit, I'm no english man, but the sentence you fail to parse seem
> > > > clear as can be to my foreign eyes:)  Or were you just kidding?

this is carel's response to my post. he is not the original poster. neither 
is he being defensive. from where do you construe that anyone involved in the 
discussion, prior to your contribution, is feeling attacked or defensive, or 
is attacking anyone else?
> No need to be defensive,man. I see nothing wrong with speaking,
> writing or even reading English in a manner foreign to the dictates
> of Hollywood, the BBC or New York Times. To insist on a correct way
> to write or speak English runs contrary to the spirit of the GPL. It
> would be as if the *native* speakers imposed a EULA on the rest of
> the world that limited our rights to modify the language and
> propagate our own "ethnicized" versions, while they could casually
> say, "You ain't seen nuthin' yet" or "Hasta la vista, punk, in space
> no one can hear your scream." Language, like open source, should be a
> matter of using what works, not what some stodgy grammarian, film
> mogul or computer science lecturer says it should be.
what makes you think that the use of mutually comprehendible grammar is a 
consequence of dictates on the part of anyone, much less such inauthoritative 
sources as hollywood, the bbc, and the new york times?

also, which part of the gpl implies that its spirit or any other part of it 
is intended to support the use of obtuse grammatical constructions in any 
language? have you actually read the gpl, lately. apart from the absence of 
any clause that promotes the pidginization of any language, it is also one of 
the most incredibly literate pieces of writing and is actually proof of the 
validity of employing careful diction for the sake of mutual comprehension in 
a very broad audience--except, apparently, for you. 

> > > > To me it says, that we on this list have no interest in ridiculing
> > > > anyone, and especially not someone that formulates his criticism and
> > > > suggestions in a constructive way.
> > >

this is the remainder of carel's post, which is, effectively, a translation 
of the original in that it removes all the ambiguities contained in the 
original, reducing it to the level of coherence that the original poster 
obviously intended to achieve.

> > > As an editor I spend my life trying to understand what a writer is
> > > trying to say.  (That includes writers whose first language is not
> > > English.)
> > >
> > > Despite decades of practice, the lines marked >>>> defeated me.  They
> > > still do.
this, above, is from a subsequent poster. the only complaint by myself or by 
anybody else was that the structure of the original rendered the author's 
intent unclear. that's the issue, not any imaginary imposition of dictates as 
to how he should express himself.

> Anybody who has taken a few weeks of German lessons would have
> understood the original.

wanna bet? had the author of the original also included a german translation, 
i would have had no trouble eliminating the ambiguites his particular usage 
of english raised, in this case. given that you obviously prize a few weeks 
of german lessons as the means to greater understanding, why are you posting 
now, and not back when the clarification of the original was an issue?

und noch dazu, falls es dir lieber waere, das alles hier auf deutsch zu 
lesen, schreib mir doch bescheid.

> Language has meaning only within a given context. And in the context
> of this forum, "And here is" makes easy and perfect sense. But "That
> is a cat!" (as proper as the sentence might be) won't, because I
> don't have the reference to know if you're actually pointing to a cat
> or just a scrappy little dog. To me the only criminals are those who
> insist their Shift key is broken.

so, if i were to say that i have a cat, you would see a grammatical error in 
that contention because you can't see my cat? the given context that the 
language used here requires isn't supported by the proof of the cat's 
existence. the logic of the statement in your example does not depend on the 
existence or non-existence of the cat; it depends on agreement on the implied 
substance of 'that.'

as far as the shift key is concerned, do you really contend that any phrase 
consisting of a misplaced sequence of english words that, by your own 
suggestion, might be rendered apparent in its meaning only through 
foreknowledge of a language other than that of the words used, is actually 
preferable as long as the shift key is employed?


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