Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:50:27 -0700
From: Andrea Vine
Subject: Re: Writing prescriptions (Was Re: (In)flammable; Re: Other X's Than

}}>At 11:25 PM 4/23/98, "Donald M. Lance" wrote:
}}>>>If I understand your posting, your "other X's other than Y's" is your
}}>>>"correction." I say "other X's than Y's" and consider your construction
}}>>>to have an unnecessary redundancy.
}}>>>As I asked before: Geek grammar rules?
}}I think I'd probably agree on the subject at hand: you can say "other x's
}}than y" or "x's other than y," but why would you need to repeat the "other"?
}}However, to use the phrase "unnecessary redundancy" without explanation or
}}nuance is to be prescriptivist, right? So I'm back to my consistency
}}problem. A claim that usage as it actually happens is the only valid
}}criterion for what language is makes it impossible to talk about errors in
}}usage -- other than inconsistenly.
}}Of course, if enough people all started making this doubled-other "mistake,"
}}we could easily call it yet another example of the status of natural
}}language as not absolutely logical, in any formal, quasi-mathematical sense.
}}Or, more generously, we could call the duplicated "other" emphatic
}}reduplication or the like, as people do with double negatives in English
}}when they become common enough in practice.

One more time - if _I_ had written the standard, I would have put "other" next
to "than". For readability, I need the "other" next to "than" for some reason
(maybe the way the lines are broken, who knows?). The initial "other" is
inconsequential, but I left it there to keep from making too many marks on the
printed page so as not to be able to get through it at all. This is a
by-product of taking a printed page and a blue pen and making changes by hand.

}}>>>By the way, we vets say you've misspelled fubar.
}}See above comments about dealing consistently with prespcriptivism.

And I answered Mr. Lance that I am a vet. 19 years ago, a TA wrote "foobar" on
the blackboard (we didn't have whiteboards in those days), which is the first
time I can remember seeing the term written. Since then, I have very rarely
seen "fubar", but I have seen "foobar" many times. I suggest it might be a
computer regionalism; that is, folks who worked on a particular mainframe
tended to have their own jargon. So IBM 360 folks would say one thing but DEC
TOPS20 folks might say another, while Sperry folks might have had yet another
term. (To say nothing of Raytheon people.)

These days the lingo tends to be divided into Unix, Windows, and Mac.

}}>>(I had intended the msg with single < > to go to ads-l, but Andrea has her
}}>>e-mail set up so that replies go to her rather than to ads-l.)
}}You also mentioned this about another post maybe four days back. You have to
}}look at the to-address before hitting send. As on many many lists, some
}}posters' e-mails will generate a reply to the list, and other posters'
}}e-mails will generate a personal reply. For example, Tom Cresswell's posts
}}to ADS-L also generate personal replies, on my end anyway. I'm not sure if
}}individual posters would even be aware of this issue with regard to their
}}own posts, let alone being able to do something about it themselves. It may
}}have something to do with how their email system interfaces with the ADS
}}listserv program. However, maybe someone on this list has more technically
}}sound advice. In the meanwhile, it's easy enough to check and change the
}}address if necessary. I've seen people who don't check to-addresses send
}}very embarrassing private messages to large lists.

And I also replied that I didn't configure my email in any particular way.
is my best guess as to what's happening. My email is sent by a fairly
sophisticated email server. It probably adds headers to the email which are
frequently added (but allowed by the standard - see RFC 822). The list
redistribution software probably sees no need to eliminate these extra headers,
and so tacks them on to the forwarded message. When Mr. Lance hits "Reply" (or
the equivalent), his email client picks what it thinks is the most likely
address to reply to. This is not dictated by the standard, and so different
email clients behave differently.

Sorry for the tech stuff, but it seems there was a question.
Andrea Vine
Software i18n (and I never seen i14e used!) constultant
Sun Internet Mail Server
bite the wax tadpole