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Re: [OT] Doc string grammar [was: [PATCH] Doc string update for (de)translation]

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2005-11-26 18:07:31 CET

Julian Foad <julianfoad@btopenworld.com> writes:
> It was just my assumption, I suppose, coupled with a feeling that I'd
> heard it said before by someone. I think of the doc string as being
> implicitly prefixed by something like "The purpose of this function
> is: [to] " + e.g. "Copy a file".
> But now you mention it, when read from the point of view of the caller
> or the interface designer rather than an onlooker, the imperative
> makes just as much sense in that he/she/it is commanding the function
> to do certain things.
> I think from now on I will sit on the fence and say something like "We
> write in the imperative or infinitive (syntactically identical)".
> In the Subversion mail archives I found no mentions of the infinitive,
> and about two mentions of the imperative, and they were for
> descriptions of Subversion commands in the book. It would be
> interesting to find out which the majority of translators have chosen
> in languages where there is a syntactic difference. (But not
> interesting enough for me to try to find out :-) )

Some people might interpret "infinitive" as including the "to", that is:

   imperative: "Translate TARGET according to KEYWORDS."
   infinitive: "To translate TARGET according to KEYWORDS."
   passive: "TARGET is translated according to KEYWORDS."

To avoid confusion, I usually say either "imperative" or "active
voice" (treating them as synonymous).


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Received on Sat Nov 26 19:29:53 2005

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