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Re: [PATCH] more typo/wording fixes

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2006-03-01 19:37:10 CET

Alan Barrett <apb@cequrux.com> writes:
> On Tue, 28 Feb 2006, Michael Sweet wrote:
> > I just know what my editors have told me (repeatedly :) in writing my
> > books, and you're "supposed to" use the pronoun for the spelled-out
> > acronym and not the letters. I'm no English expert, but I'm assuming
> > they are...
>
> You are supposed to use the pronoun for the pronounced form of the
> acronym. If you pronounce "MD5" as "em dee five", then write "an MD5".
> In the unlikely event that you pronounce "MD5" as "mid five" or "message
> digest five", then write "a MD5".
>
> Similary, if you pronounce "URL" as "errll", then write "an URL". If
> you pronounce "URL " as "yoo are ell", then write "a URL".

I should really resist the temptation to post, but I can't...

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescription_and_description
   http://experts.about.com/e/p/pr/Prescription_and_description.htm

The idea of a single "correct" usage in a language that is the
unplanned offspring of a forced union between two long-separated
offshoots of a now-lost language (Indo-European) is... well, a little
bit like arguing about which village's version of a folksong is more
correct.

(I am a descriptivist, of course: whatever Fowler describes in "Modern
English Usage" is correct :-) ).

-Karl

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Received on Wed Mar 1 21:23:53 2006

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