This week's book giveaways are in the AI and JavaScript forums.
We're giving away four copies each of GANs in Action and WebAssembly in Action and have the authors on-line!
See this thread and this one for details.
Win a copy of GANs in ActionE this week in the AI forum
or WebAssembly in Action in the JavaScript forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Paul Clapham
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Knute Snortum
Sheriffs:
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Tim Cooke
  • Junilu Lacar
Saloon Keepers:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Joe Ess
  • salvin francis
  • fred rosenberger

There is no Flying Spaghetti Monster

 
author and jackaroo
Posts: 12199
280
Mac IntelliJ IDE Firefox Browser Oracle C++ Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey marc,

Was your explanation of "e.g." and "i.e." due to my use of "i.e." in my post above?

If so, I claim that my usage was correct - try placing "that is" instead of my "i.e." in my text: you will see that it still reads correctly (although I accept that "e.g." could have been used).

And, yes, I did know the meanings before I made my posting.

 
Sheriff
Posts: 11343
Mac Safari Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Andrew Monkhouse:
Hey marc,

Was your explanation of "e.g." and "i.e." due to my use of "i.e." in my post above? ...


No, it wasn't. Your usage looks correct.

I just wanted to clarify for anyone wondering.
 
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jim: The idea that a trailing comma should be included within quotations even when not actually part of the quoted text... is perhaps the stupidest grammar rule that I have ever heard of...

The Wikipedia provides some historical background here:

"The American rule is derived from typesetting while the British rule is grammatical (see below for more explanation). As with many such differences, the American rule follows an older British standard. The typesetter's rule was standard in early 19th Century Britain; the grammatical rule was advocated by the extremely influential book The King's English, by Fowler and Fowler. ... Before the advent of mechanical type, the order of quotation marks with periods and commas was not given much consideration. The printing press required that the easily damaged smallest pieces of type for the comma and period be protected behind the more robust quotation marks."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark

I wonder how unprotected commas and periods survived in a majority of sentences, which don't use any quote marks...
[ March 10, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Marshal
Posts: 24935
61
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
The idea that a trailing comma should be included within quotations even when not actually part of the quoted text... is perhaps the stupidest grammar rule that I have ever heard of.

Fortunately I don't write for anybody who enforces that rule, so I don't have to tell them that. And I don't care for the rule that leaves out the last comma that would otherwise separate the last item of a list. Like this:

Apples, bananas, cantaloupes and dates

instead of like this:

Apples, bananas, cantaloupes, and dates

You can tell the comma should be there because (if you listen when you say it) there's a pause just like for the other commas.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Marc: According to my handy reference Essentials of English Grammar (2nd ed.) by L. Sue Baugh (p. 41)...

Is this prescriptional or descriptional grammar?

While I'm on the topic (which is increasingly off the topic)

I am glad this thread has abandoned an unimportant "Is there God?" question and switched to what is really important -- where our commas should be placed.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jim: Quotes should contain the literal text that you're quoting. Anything else is a lie.

I once noticed a piece of pure typographic delight: a quote from a British author in an American book. All the punctuation inside a quote was British, and all the surrounding punctuation was American, naturally. I marveled on this wonder for quite long time. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to copy the quote, and now I forgot where I found it.
 
marc weber
Sheriff
Posts: 11343
Mac Safari Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
...Is this prescriptional or descriptional grammar? ...


It tends towards prescriptive, although it's kind of a mix. For example, with respect to the series comma Paul mentioned above, Baugh notes that "current practice allows the final comma [in a series] to be dropped..."

Interestingly, use of the "Harvard comma" is more a matter of style, but its inclusion tends to be another American variant.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interestingly, use of the "Harvard comma" is more a matter of style, but its inclusion tends to be another American variant.

Yes, in school we were taught that it's Great Grammatical Sin to put comma before "and" in a list. And I believed.
 
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
The idea that a trailing comma should be included within quotations even when not actually part of the quoted text...I simply assume the people who wrote that rule were morons, and ignore it.



Jim, that's interesting: I didn't know your mind worked that way.

I have a bizarre, but not completely unrelated, question: If you were on a jury, and you knew the defendant was guilty, but you also knew that the evidence didn't support that conclusion, which way would you vote?

M
[ March 11, 2007: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hm, I think I would vote not guilty in that case. I understand and approve of the reasons for rules of evidence in a courtroom, and I feel that the price of ignoring them would be too high for society as a whole - even if they sometimes lead to undesirable conclusions. In contrast, the American grammar rule I'm objecting to here makes no sense to me whatsoever, and the price of violating it is minuscule. If I violate it, no loss of meaning occurs. Some grammarians may think I'm "wrong", but so what? The content is clear enough either way... clearer my way, really.
 
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Posts: 12199
280
Mac IntelliJ IDE Firefox Browser Oracle C++ Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Max Habibi:
If you were on a jury, and you knew the defendant was guilty, but you also knew that the evidence didn't support that conclusion, which way would you vote?

But doesn't that question lead you to the opposite conundrum:

If you knew the defendant was innocent, but the evidence showed that they were guilty, which way would you vote?

Note that we are talking knowledge here - not gut feelings or anything else. So my question implies that I either know who the real guilty party was, or I know something that could prove the innocence of the defendant (which then assumes that this evidence is either inadmissible, or that there are very compelling reasons why that evidence cannot be admitted).

I could not, in good conscious, vote guilty on a person whom I knew was innocent.

Given that, it stands to reason that I could not vote innocent on someone whom I have absolute knowledge of their guilt.

Best regards, Andrew
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Andrew: thanks for giving a very thoughtful answer: but, I don't agree with your line of reasoning.

IMO, there is, in effect, and Ossom's Razor effect where guilt and innocence are involved.Because we, as a society, start with a premise of innocent until proven guilty, then I think it's reasonable to assume that we would rather error on the side of innocence, rather then guilt. Which is to say, by voting for innocence, you're actually using the system as designed. It's meant to be fault tolerant in that direction: it's not really designed to be fault tolerant when the innocent are found to be guilty: this is, in effect, why we have a concept of precedence in American[ and Australian?] law.

We designed the system with the assumption that we wouldn't make horrible mistakes, because we tend(by design) to finding people innocent rather then guilty. It's also why we offer defendants free legal council, if they can't afford to buy their own. It really is a beautifully designed system, when you think about it.

Recent directions in jurisprudence not withstanding, I think that's the way to go. And, indeed, the way it was intented to go by our founding fathers.
 
marc weber
Sheriff
Posts: 11343
Mac Safari Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
...the American grammar rule I'm objecting to here makes no sense to me whatsoever, and the price of violating it is minuscule. If I violate it, no loss of meaning occurs. Some grammarians may think I'm "wrong", but so what? The content is clear enough either way... clearer my way, really.


Might the same apply to spelling?
[ March 11, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1241
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd bet that a large number of Britons (me included) did not receive enough grammar education at school to know where to put the punctuation at all.

I did a lot of English Literature at school, but very little English Language (although I did sit an EL exam, but it was very simple). Hmmm, should the full stop have been in those brackets or not?

I wasn't until I started to cover parsing as part of my IT degree that I learnt what subject, object, adverb and pronoun meant. This is pretty basic stuff, but it was not properly covered at school. Given this lack of cover and the spread of text-messaging, the next generation probably won't be able to write properly at all.
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by marc weber:

Might the same apply to spelling?

[ March 11, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]


+1
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
[marc]: Might the same apply to spelling?

It could - though for the most part, US/UK spelling differences simply reflect the lack of standardization that existed back when we split off. I don't see any really compelling reason to favor one over the other; for me it's easiest to just use the system I was educated in.
 
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Posts: 4118
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eye think whot mrc meens iz, buy yoor logik, eye shood jst spill thngs da way eye think eye think is crrkt: riit?
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Only if you truly believe that (a) the rules you're violating there make no sense, and (b) your replacements do not cause loss of meaning or confusion. I would disagree on both counts.

I'm not advocating abandoning all rules just for the heck of it. I'm advocating rejecting one specific rule because it makes no sense, and because rejecting that rule creates no problems that I can see. And also because there's already a sizable number of English-speakers who do not use that rule and get along just fine. In fact when I first came to this conclusion I didn't realize it was a US/UK thing - I just knew I'd seen many educated people punctuating one way, and many punctuating another way. I simply chose the one that made sense to me - even if it wasn't what I was taught in school.

Consider:

Who said "I shall return?"

Who said "I shall return"?

I would argue that both of these are equally easy to understand. But one makes logical sense to me, and the other doesn't. MacArthur wasn't asking a question when he said it.
 
marc weber
Sheriff
Posts: 11343
Mac Safari Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
...Consider:

Who said "I shall return?"

Who said "I shall return"?

I would argue that both of these are equally easy to understand. But one makes logical sense to me, and the other doesn't. MacArthur wasn't asking a question when he said it.


But question marks are handled differently, so even under the American rule, you would place the question mark outside the closing quote.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah, I'd forgotten that - OK, thanks. So one of the more flagrant problems is removed by treating it as a special case. Still it seems the problem remains with periods and commas. Which of the following seems more logical?
  • "Besides, I don't like Pasta," wrote Max.
  • "Besides, I don't like Pasta", wrote Max.
  • (Bearing in mind of course that Max didn't put a comma there.)

    The problem is more significant with something like this:
  • Type "rm -rf *," then press enter.
  • Type "rm -rf *", then press enter.

  • [ March 12, 2007: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
     
    marc weber
    Sheriff
    Posts: 11343
    Mac Safari Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I'm certainly not going to defend the American style as being logical. I don't understand why periods and commas are included within the closing quote (I'm not sure I buy the typesetting explanation), but knowing that's how it is...

    As I mentioned, I do not include commas when quoting code, which I think would also apply to Jim's example of precise keystrokes. According to Wikipedia, "...in subjects such as chemistry and software documentation it is conventional to include only the precise quoted string within the quotes."

    It's hardly surprising that the American approach is littered with special cases. Here's another: If the quote is limited to a letter or number, then the period or comma falls outside the closing quote.

    Actually, I think all of this is putting us back on track, since this thread began, "The assertions of his followers are ludicrous, and based on unreasoned premise."
    [ March 12, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]
     
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Posts: 12199
    280
    Mac IntelliJ IDE Firefox Browser Oracle C++ Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Max Habibi:
    ...Because we, as a society, start with a premise of innocent until proven guilty, then I think it's reasonable to assume that we would rather error on the side of innocence, rather then guilt. Which is to say, by voting for innocence, you're actually using the system as designed.

    While I agree with what you wrote, it doesn't help in the case I suggested. That is, we have a situation where the evidence points to the defendants guilt. So we have had to go a long way to get to the court case:
  • The detectives had to be convinced there was a case
  • The DA had to be convinced there was a case
  • The judge at the arraignment had to be convinced there was a case.
  • Now, my suggestion is that this person would be considered innocent until proven guilty, but all these people have already considered that, and still felt that there is a justifiable case to be presented. And the defendant, for reasons of their own, has decided not to present the evidence that will acquit them.

    Now you are on the jury, and you are being presented with this evidence that the detectives discovered, the DA considered applicable, and the judge allowed. And the evidence is pointing towards the defendants guilt. But you are privy to certain knowledge which you cant get presented that proves to you that they are innocent.

    This is the scenario I am presenting for your edification.

    I will try to give an example. Lets imagine that you are working for the police inside the local mob. The mob has set someone up to take the fall for a burglary. You know it is a setup, and you know who really did it. But you also know that if you say anything your cover will be blown, as will the police investigation into murder. So you cant provide the evidence that the defendant is really innocent. But there you are on the jury, and it is up to you to vote on their guilt or innocence. What do you do?

    While I believe in our system of law, and I believe that the "innocent until proven guilty" system usually protects those who need it, I do not believe there is any such thing as a perfect system. Given that, I believe that it is plausible that an innocent person could end up in front of a jury with all the evidence pointing to their guilt.

    Best regards, Andrew
    [ March 13, 2007: Message edited by: Andrew Monkhouse ]
     
    Ranch Hand
    Posts: 120
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    �PLAY WITH LOGIC all the way�

    Hi Guys,


    May GOD (Spaghetti) bless you all?

    I am really surprised to see this topic in Java Ranch Discussion forum.

    From time in memorial all civilizations attempt to gather an explanation for fundamental question of human existence and
    mostly all these theories were purely manufactured via taught process with little or no experimentations or observations as civilizations progressed these theories were absorbed into a system

    But as time went by we matured and found that the belief system is very much faulty and reality doesn�t depends on human likes and dislikes
    and facts follow well defined laws of nature

    From medieval period on-wards there is a slow decrease in belief systems and slowly rationalism developed.

    The Intelligent design theory is simply another attempt to promote belief system.

    It is an old wine in the new (Logical argument) bottle, and man has started moving in circles.

    I think the Spaghetti meat ball theory is just a pun on ID theory, again this proves that logic is a two edged sword and you can play with it as much as you can without worrying about the actual facts.

    We are unable to explain some natural laws because we need to have a deeper under-standing into the nature of physical factors such as Mass, motion and Space

    We are unable to explain some facts because we are still don�t have the right information; it is like a cave-man trying to understand the working of natural phenomena such as lighting.

    Now the question is as we don�t know certain facts can we run our imagination wild?

    Say suppose there is an Intelligent process or being that created us:-

    What is the guarantee that it is in turn not created by a higher intelligence?

    Now it could end up wheels within wheels (Just like mirrors reflecting mirrors)

    How does such an intelligent being know or understand that it is the last of the design hierarchy.

    In-fact ID does not answer any of our questions of existence; it just pushes the basic questions to a layer up.

    One can ask many such logical paradox questions if we introduce the hypothesis of intelligent design.

    Now on the question of education in schools

    There is a difference between teachings in school

    1.)We are still yet to understand certain natural phenomena�s, and we need to investigate further and refine our theories and understanding.

    (OR)

    2.) As we don�t know what is the actual fact :-
    Thus we teach them
    They are free to run their imagination wild,
    What ever wild idea we get, can be equally true and
    teach them all belief systems in the world,
    So once they finish schools they can end up in lunatic asylum.
    [ March 13, 2007: Message edited by: sivaram vishnukumar ]
     
    Dave Lenton
    Ranch Hand
    Posts: 1241
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
    US/UK spelling differences simply reflect the lack of standardization

    Do you mean standardisation?
     
    marc weber
    Sheriff
    Posts: 11343
    Mac Safari Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Andrew Monkhouse:
    ...we have had to go a long way to get to the court case:

  • The detectives had to be convinced there was a case
  • The DA had to be convinced there was a case
  • The judge at the arraignment had to be convinced there was a case.
  • ...

    Should we believe these people are all acting in good faith? Or might they be driven by other motives, perhaps as simple as closing a case and getting a conviction? Should we anticipate their case has merit even before it's presented? If so, then the defendant's "presumed innocence" becomes nominal at best, under the rationale that there must be compelling reasons for them to be on trial in the first place.

    If a person has inside information regarding a defendant's guilt or innocence, they should not be serving on that jury. I don't see how they could avoid being dismissed without making false statements during the selection process. But should they find themselves seated, their responsibility is to notify the judge.

    It's a human system, so both types of errors are inevitable. Guilty people are acquitted, and innocent people are convicted. We might argue which of these is the greater injustice, but the system was devised to favor one type of error over the other. Presumption of innocence places burden of proof on the prosecution, and the defense is (technically) not required to make any case at all. In most situations, it takes a unanimous jury to convict, but a single juror to cause deadlock without conviction.

    These points become significant if we consider a juror having inside information. Each juror brings their own experiences (and biases) to the deliberations. These things affect their interpretation of the evidence, as well as their standards for "reasonable doubt." If they know that a defendant is not guilty, then they would have reason to doubt the evidence, at least in terms of it being sufficient to convict. On the other hand, if they know a defendant is guilty, then their vote to convict can only cause deadlock (unless all the other jurors agreed, causing us to question whether the evidence was as lacking as originally believed).
     
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Posts: 12199
    280
    Mac IntelliJ IDE Firefox Browser Oracle C++ Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by marc weber:
    If a person has inside information regarding a defendant's guilt or innocence, they should not be serving on that jury. I don't see how they could avoid being dismissed without making false statements during the selection process. But should they find themselves seated, their responsibility is to notify the judge.

    But under my suggestion earlier, you may be forced into making those false statements in order not to blow your cover. Likewise, going to have private conversations with the judge might not go down too well with the mobsters.

    Originally posted by marc weber:
    If they know that a defendant is not guilty, then they would have reason to doubt the evidence, at least in terms of it being sufficient to convict.

    Exposing my ignorance here: does it require 100% of the jury members to vote guilty in order to convict, or would a majority swing it?

    Originally posted by marc weber:
    On the other hand, if they know a defendant is guilty, then their vote to convict can only cause deadlock (unless all the other jurors agreed, causing us to question whether the evidence was as lacking as originally believed).

    Sure. But Max's original question was whether you (actually Jim) would vote guilty. We aren't really talking about what would be the result of the case afterwards.

    Possibly in answer to my earlier question about the requiring 100% guilty votes - I am reminded of the film 12 Angry Men, where "What begins as an open and shut case of murder soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other." (The reason I said this might "possibly" answer my question is that I do not know if this is truely following the law or whether the requirement for 12 guilty or 12 innocent votes was just a plot device. For that matter, even if it was law, I don't know whether the law has changed since 1954).

    I guess the question is - would you be that 12th person - the one who is willing to dissent in the jury room, possibly loosing money from your real job and enduring hostility from the other jurors, trying to convince them of the person's innocence?

    Regards, Andrew
     
    marc weber
    Sheriff
    Posts: 11343
    Mac Safari Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Andrew Monkhouse:
    ...I guess the question is - would you be that 12th person - the one who is willing to dissent in the jury room, possibly loosing money from your real job and enduring hostility from the other jurors, trying to convince them of the person's innocence? ...


    Yes, I would. Absolutely.

    However, it's unlikely I would devote the same passion to arguing comma placement.

    According to Wikipedia - Jury Trial...

    Following the English tradition, U.S. juries have usually been comprised of 12 jurors, and the jury's verdict was usually required to be unanimous. However, in many jurisdictions, the number of jurors is often reduced to a lesser number (such as five or six) by legislative enactment, or by agreement of both sides. Some jurisdictions also permit a verdict to be returned despite the dissent of one, two, or three jurors.


    Note: As a journalist, I covered a trial. In those proceedings, the jury entered and exited the courtroom through a private door by the judge's chambers. My understanding is that the judge also met privately with the jury prior to opening remarks. I don't know what's standard, but in that particular case, it seemed the jury had easy access to the judge.

    PS: I just ordered the DVD, 12 Men.
    [ March 13, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]
     
    marc weber
    Sheriff
    Posts: 11343
    Mac Safari Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Max Habibi:
    ...Besides, I don't like Pasta.


    Max, you're wrong. I submit that you do, in fact, like pasta.
     
    Max Habibi
    town drunk
    ( and author)
    Posts: 4118
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by marc weber:

    Max, you're wrong. I submit that you do, in fact, like pasta.



    I was abused by Pasta as a child: I don't like to talk about it. But yes, it's a complicated relationship.
     
    marc weber
    Sheriff
    Posts: 11343
    Mac Safari Java
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Originally posted by Max Habibi:
    ...I was abused by Pasta as a child...


    Yeah, I was stalked by celery.

    (Celery... Stalk... :roll: )
     
    Mapraputa Is
    Leverager of our synergies
    Posts: 10065
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Max: I was abused by Pasta as a child

    Brother! :hug:
     
    Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible - Zappa. Tiny ad:
    Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
    https://products.aspose.com/total/java
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!