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Re: correct English usage

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 10:21, Lisi <lisi.reisz@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wednesday 04 April 2012 14:41:48 you wrote:
>> Colloquial English is liberal to change, but software manuals should
>> not be written in colloquial English. There is a more professional
>> language that should be used in manuals.
> You are being deliberately perverse.

Am I? I just bothered to look up the names of English writing styles.
I do not claim to be an English language expert, but I can identify
problems when they are obvious enough. There exists a writing style
called "technical" and if a manual writer cannot manage that, then he
should err on the side of formal, not casual, in my opinion. That
said, many FOSS manuals and UI elements are written in the casual or
even in street vernacular.

> O.K., let's just accept that you are
> right because you always are, and you know more about English than educated
> native English speakers.

A personal attack! I love that, as Thatcher had observed obviously you
cannot refute my logic so you try to discredit my person. I did not
even realize that this was an argument, rather I thought it was a
discussion. I won't participate in an online argument. If you would
like to discuss, then I value your opinion.

> If your English were as good as you claim, you would understand what I am
> talking about.  I am not talking about colloquial English.

The onus is on me to decipher your hints and allusions? Furthermore, I
recall no claims of my own to any level of English proficiency.

>> > I don't want either slang or hip-hop used in manuals (and was it really
>> > necessary to swear?), but I do want the manual to be comprehensible;
>> > which it is unlikely to be if it contains obsolete or very rare words,
>> > and weird, obsolete, never used, or just plain wrong grammatical
>> > constructions.
>> I agree that obscure meanings should be avoided just as slang should
>> be. But the real problem is grammar.
> No, it's not.  Grammar changes as words do.  I still use the present
> subjunctive when talking English.  I am putting effort into trying to stop
> because the present subjunctive is obsolete, and was almost so when I was
> young.  The imperfect subjunctive is showing signs of disappearing now.

Thank you for the big scary words. I happen to actually understand
them, but as they are an attempt to subvert and filibuster the
discussion (or was it an argument) I'll ignore them. Although I do
agree that a passive tense is preferable to an imperative tense in
regard to technical writing, the specifics of it might as well be at
the author's discretion so long as the writing style does not digress
to casual.

> There is no point in arguing with you.  You are so convinced of your own
> perfection that you do not even bother to read what other people are saying.

Another personal attack, putting words in my mouth (I never said that
I was perfect) and then refuting them. I believe that there is a term
for that. Like your ad hominem attack above, that is a sign of one who
is loosing an argument. I suggest that you keep this a conversation,
not an argument, since despite your impressive knowledge of English
tenses you seem to have ignored the finer points of arguing.

> If you ever get to the stage of considering the possibility that you just
> might be wrong, you might like to consider that your English is far from
> perfect, and it is wrong in the wrong ways.

If I thought that I was right, I would not participate in this
discussion. I happen to enjoy learning. You probably have something to
teach me, but you prefer to insult and attack me. I wonder why that

>> By the way, where did I swear?
> I'm not repeating it.  It is unpleasant and unnecessary.  Your English is,
> after all, perfect.  Why do you need me to tell you what you have said?

I see. Another red herring. I should have recognized it.

> You are insufferable, Dotan.  I think you are the most self-opinionated person
> I have ever come across.  You are talking nonsense where English is
> concerned.  Go and vent your omniscience on someone else.

Will do. I wish to you a peaceful life. Should you ever feel to be
civil towards me, I will happily reengage discussion with you.

Dotan Cohen


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