Fedora 9 updates-testing report

Patrick O'Callaghan pocallaghan at gmail.com
Wed May 21 13:24:40 UTC 2008

On Wed, 2008-05-21 at 05:11 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 11:43:50PM -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> > preposition. The fact is that that this happens all the time (as does
> > the split infinitive: to boldly go) and the "rule" is an invention by
> > early grammarians who were fixated on Latin, in which these things are
> > impossible. English is different, and neither of the usages you mention
> > are particular by any means to American English.
> American and English are very different in many many ways. We have an en_gb
> translation for good reasons.
> One thing all translation work does is to find errors in the original language
> and it is useful to file bugs against them and get them fixed. We shipped
> several version of RH7-9, for example with "I have detected a sound card on
> your system" - quite how and why it was useful to detect sound cards sat
> on top of the computer remains a mystery ;)
> For en_gb (I don't know about en_us) grammar does have some relevance. People
> will judge a product or person on their language usage. Phrases such as 
> "the person to whom I refer" indicate very different things to "the man who
> did it" or the often heard but guaranteed to make people think poorly
> educated, layabout.. (insert stereotype to taste)  "the man what done it".
> Hence en_gb would prefer phrasing like "The server to which I will connect",
> which I suspect probably sounds quite *silly* in en_us, and is slowly dying
> out here.
> For en_gb we need to care. For Welsh it turns out to be even more important.

Alan, you're Welsh, I'm Irish, and we both need to keep the English
speaking proper :-) I agree with most of your points, but my post was
specifically about split infinitives and terminal prepositions, and I
don't think these are even controversial any more, in British or
American English.

However I would take issue with you on the "sound card on your system"
point. "On" has a multitude of meanings (in fact I just used another one
in the previous sentence) and this instance is consistent with common
usage in the computer industry. I'm all for clarity in expression, but
anyone who doesn't understand this meaning of "on" is going to have real
problems reading documentation.



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