Direction of Fedora desktop manager Gnome, related to complaints in OT morons thread

Andrew Haley aph at
Tue Mar 22 11:26:09 UTC 2011

On 22/03/11 10:55, Alan Cox wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:19:24 +0000
> Andrew Haley <aph at> wrote:
>> On 22/03/11 09:54, Colin Paul Adams wrote:
>>>>>>>> "Andrew" == Andrew Haley <aph at> writes:
>>>     Andrew> On 21/03/11 21:19, Vaclav Mocek wrote:
>>>     >> 
>>>     Andrew> Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary really should warn
>>>     Andrew> learners that the first usage, although common, is
>>>     Andrew> technically incorrect.
>>> There's no such thing as technical correctness when it comes to
>>> (human) languages.
>> Even if I were to agree with that rather extreme non-prescriptivist
>> opinion, the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary should still warn
>> learners about "begging the question".  Whether the first usage is
>> *actually* incorrect is irrelevant as long as some people believe that
>> it is.
> You can find someone on the internet who will believe anything is
> incorrect.

Sure, but that's rather beside the point.  We're not talking about the
opinion of J.Random Nutter here, but about something that Fowler's
Modern English Usage, also published by Oxford, warns about.

> Oxford by the way take bug reports, so you can write them a
> letter giving examples of the problematic usage and suggesting changes -
> but IMHO you have to balance excessive detail against usefulness in
> any learning process.

Indeed so, but the problem arose here because someone, quite
reasonably, tried to use the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary as an
authority.  It's clearly not fit too be used as one.  I think that's
wrong: advanced learners deserve to be treated with a little more
respect.  Even if you believe that anything goes, it's unfair not to
tell an advanced learner that there is a controversy.


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