Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sat 2nd Aug 2008 14:28 UTC
Humor "Once upon a time there was a printer who lived in the woods. He was a lonely printer, because nobody knew how to configure him. He hoped and hoped for someone to play with." That is an excerpt from the Readme file for gnome-cups-manager. There are more snippets from different programs that might pique your interest.
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RE[7]: Comment by moleskine
by sorpigal on Mon 4th Aug 2008 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by moleskine"
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Pluralization in English is a true art. Sometimes it matters; say Gooses all you like when you mean Geese, who will fail to understand? But if you try Persons when you mean People you may introduce some confusion.

Some sort of standardizing body is certainly necessary. I believe that we need to be more concerned about consistency.


Unfortunately standardizing languages is impossible. Languages, living languages anyway, are always what the speakers say they are--literally--and more specifically what the speakers agree on. You'd be hard pressed to force standard usage on enough people to make a difference.

Dictionaries have helped a lot by constraining the variations in spelling. This is both good and bad: Good because the problem didn't get worse, bad because it didn't get much better. Some words which might have evolved into spellings much more phonetic and logical now don't because it would be 'incorrect'--people have this idea that the dictionary describes the truth, not realizing that it merely documents what the rest of us are doing.

It might be possible to convene some kind of international standards organization to codify some kind of "standard English" and it might be possible to see it *formally* adopted in some places. I am extremely dubious about the probability that it would actually be *used*--think about Esperanto here. Even if officially required in some places I dare say few average people would use the standard form for at least a generation unless forced to do so.

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