less parentheses --> fewer parentheses 
Author Message
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

I can't stand it any longer.  The correct word is "fewer".

Sent via Deja.com http://www.*-*-*.com/
Before you buy.



Sat, 08 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:

> I can't stand it any longer.  The correct word is "fewer".

well, if you went with my original suggestion, find or hack a font to
have small sized and visually less obtrusive parentheses, then perhaps
less is correct.

--
J o h a n  K u l l s t a m

sysengr



Sat, 08 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:

> I can't stand it any longer.  The correct word is "fewer".

Hm please forgive us inferior foreigners for straining your patience
so long.
Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?

Go sit in a corner and think about that!

--
Jochen Schmidt

http://www.dataheaven.de



Sat, 08 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:

> > I can't stand it any longer.  The correct word is "fewer".

> well, if you went with my original suggestion, find or hack a font to have
> small sized and visually less obtrusive parentheses, then perhaps less is
> correct.

Along these lines, I remember someone suggesting the idea of getting emacs
to display them in a colour that is almost the same as your background
colour so that, while they are there, they are almost not there. I thought
that sounded like an interesting idea.

Has anyone hacked any of the emacs lisp modes to do this? It seems that
parens don't have a face in GNU/X emacs so it didn't seem trivial.

--
Take a look in Hagbard's World: |     lbdb.el - LBDB interface.
http://www.hagbard.demon.co.uk/ |  sawfish.el - Sawfish mode.
http://www.acemake.com/hagbard/ |  uptimes.el - Record emacs uptimes.
emacs software, including.......| quickurl.el - Recall lists of URLs.



Sat, 08 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

| Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?
|
| Go sit in a corner and think about that!

  You aren't excused for this argument just because you're German.
  Language skills is not like a disease the better the less afflicted.
  If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
  dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.
  I do, however, speak and write English better than a very large
  fraction of its native speakers.  This is _not_ an accomplishment,
  mind you, and chances are pretty high you wouldn't be impressed with
  a random native speaker of English who spoke German as perfectly as
  he spoke English.  For illumination, _I_ speak Swahili _exactly_ as
  well as I speak Mandarin Chinese.

  The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
  sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
  actually know their stuff.  I find such scorn towards competence to
  be _fantastically_ offensive.  It undermines and ridicules all that
  is human: our ability to learn from those who know more than us, to
  share experiences so we do not have to make them all our own, to be
  able to reason about thus derived knowledge without each one of us
  having to start from first principles.  Ridicule those who have the
  better skills, and you exemplify the anti-humanity that is prevalent
  in "modern" culture, which almost deifies stupidity, because it so
  democratic: _Everyone_ can be stupipd.  Not everyone can be skilled
  in every skill.  How unfair, then, to be supremely skilled when
  others are not skilled at all!  How _arrogant_ to know something so
  much better than your fellow man!  There lies the road to darkness.

  The less/fewer distinction is listed in a small book I got from my
  copy editor years ago: "1001 Pitfalls in English Grammar" -- it
  turned out to be exceptionally valuable.  Of course, without the
  occasional reminder from people who actually _define_ the language,
  it is nigh impossible to improve.  Scorn them, and they will not try
  again with you, and perhaps not with others.  Scorn stupidity and
  lack of skills, instead, but more importantly, listen well to those
  who know something you don't and learn from them, _especially_ if
  they disagree with you in whatever way.  (If you can't learn from
  something or someone that disagrees with you, chances are you can't
  learn from anything.)

  This has the obvious repercussions for Common Lisp usage.

#:Erik
--
  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.



Sat, 08 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

| Along these lines, I remember someone suggesting the idea of getting emacs
| to display them in a colour that is almost the same as your background
| colour so that, while they are there, they are almost not there. I thought
| that sounded like an interesting idea.
|
| Has anyone hacked any of the emacs lisp modes to do this? It seems that
| parens don't have a face in GNU/X emacs so it didn't seem trivial.

Actually it is trivial.  Here's what I posted just a few days ago to
comp.lang.scheme:

(defvar paren-face 'paren-face)
(make-face 'paren-face)
(set-face-background 'paren-face "black")
(set-face-foreground 'paren-face "white")

(add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
          '(lambda ()
             (setq scheme-font-lock-keywords-2
                   (append '(("(\\|)" . paren-face))
                           scheme-font-lock-keywords-2))))

Changing this to lisp-mode-hook and lisp-font-lock-keywords should
work for Lisp-mode and, as far as I could tell, it works in both GNU
and XEmacs.

--

Remember, even if you win the rat race -- you're still a rat.



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 08:10:03 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:


>| Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?
>|
>| Go sit in a corner and think about that!
>  You aren't excused for this argument just because you're German.
>  Language skills is not like a disease the better the less afflicted.
>  If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
>  dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.
>  I do, however, speak and write English better than a very large
>  fraction of its native speakers.

Perhaps.

Quote:
>  This is _not_ an accomplishment,
>  mind you, and chances are pretty high you wouldn't be impressed with
>  a random native speaker of English who spoke German as perfectly as
>  he spoke English.  For illumination, _I_ speak Swahili _exactly_ as
>  well as I speak Mandarin Chinese.
>  The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
>  sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
>  actually know their stuff.  I find such scorn towards competence to
>  be _fantastically_ offensive.  It undermines and ridicules all that
>  is human: our ability to learn from those who know more than us, to
>  share experiences so we do not have to make them all our own, to be
>  able to reason about thus derived knowledge without each one of us
>  having to start from first principles.  Ridicule those who have the
>  better skills, and you exemplify the anti-humanity that is prevalent
>  in "modern" culture, which almost deifies stupidity, because it so
>  democratic:

Wow. In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare
the essence of humanity, while exhibiting extreme
contempt for those promoting, knowingly or not, the
antithesis of your declaration. That exemplifies what
I consider an obstacle to our progress.

Quote:
>  _Everyone_ can be stupipd.  Not everyone can be skilled
>  in every skill.  How unfair, then, to be supremely skilled when
>  others are not skilled at all!  How _arrogant_ to know something so
>  much better than your fellow man!  There lies the road to darkness.

Anotherp brilliant paragraph overshadowed by the lack
of a proper referent. The previous poster impled no
such thing. Arrogance is not necessarily conveyed by
superior knowledge.

Quote:
>  The less/fewer distinction is listed in a small book I got from my
>  copy editor years ago: "1001 Pitfalls in English Grammar" -- it
>  turned out to be exceptionally valuable.  Of course, without the
>  occasional reminder from people who actually _define_ the language,
>  it is nigh impossible to improve.  Scorn them, and they will not try
>  again with you, and perhaps not with others.

So the original poster is such a valuable resource for
learning English that we must revere him while he shows
little tolerance for the misuse of the language by non
native speakers? Hell no, if I was learning Chinese and
if some Chinese punk said that he couldn't stand my
Chinese, I naturally wouldn't trust him to be able to
stand what it takes to teach me. Teaching is often an
art of patience and tolerance and those who lack these
qualities should not be in the practice.

Quote:
>  Scorn stupidity and
>  lack of skills, instead, but more importantly, listen well to those
>  who know something you don't and learn from them, _especially_ if
>  they disagree with you in whatever way.  (If you can't learn from
>  something or someone that disagrees with you, chances are you can't
>  learn from anything.)

There are differences among disagreement, knowledge,
and contempt.


Sun, 09 Feb 2003 09:53:15 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:
> Actually it is trivial. Here's what I posted just a few days ago to
> comp.lang.scheme:

> (defvar paren-face 'paren-face)
> (make-face 'paren-face)
> (set-face-background 'paren-face "black")
> (set-face-foreground 'paren-face "white")

> (add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
>           '(lambda ()
>              (setq scheme-font-lock-keywords-2
>                    (append '(("(\\|)" . paren-face))
>                            scheme-font-lock-keywords-2))))

I read comp.lang.scheme and, for some reason, I missed this (yes, on looking
back it is there). This is just what I was looking for. Time to experiment.
Many thanks.

Quote:
> Changing this to lisp-mode-hook and lisp-font-lock-keywords should work
> for Lisp-mode and, as far as I could tell, it works in both GNU and
> XEmacs.

Yes, it works fine for `lisp-mode'.

--
Take a look in Hagbard's World: |     lbdb.el - LBDB interface.
http://www.hagbard.demon.co.uk/ |  sawfish.el - Sawfish mode.
http://www.acemake.com/hagbard/ |  uptimes.el - Record emacs uptimes.
emacs software, including.......| quickurl.el - Recall lists of URLs.



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

| In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare the essence of
| humanity, while exhibiting extreme contempt for those promoting,
| knowingly or not, the antithesis of your declaration.  That
| exemplifies what I consider an obstacle to our progress.

  Why don't you say that you are much more interested in good
  relations between people than in learning something from others,
  whan that's what you are really arguing for?

  It seems you missed the point entirely, but _learning_ is quite the
  personal responsibility, clearly distinct from the task of teaching.
  I'm saying you should learn from everything and everyone you can,
  _especially_ that which disagrees with you, and that includes style
  and form, while you seem to be saying that if those who know
  something aren't about to spend the time and effort to _teach_
  someone who doesn't want to learn, you should disregard them and
  their knowledge.  This is what I refer to as "arrogant ignorance".
  Of course I have nothing but contempt for that, but you're so
  amazingly mistaken in your opening paragraph that it isn't worth my
  time to "teach" a pig to read.

  The antithesis of my position is: "be stupid, don't learn form
  others, hate the competent".  If this is not what you consider
  furthering the progress of humanity, feel free to elaborate.

| There are differences among disagreement, knowledge, and contempt.

  _Really_?  You might consider spending the few minutes it takes to
  read my web pages.  Start at <URL:http://naggum.no/erik/>.

#:Erik
--
  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses
In an effort to quell the impending flame-war over prescriptive
vs. descriptive linguistics, Mirraim-Webster seems to indicate that
"fewer" is correct, though "less" is more popular.  Fortunately, I
think I'm correct in assuming that neither Strunk nor White read this
newsgroup, so we could always just let this issue slip quietly away.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?less

Thom

Quote:


> > I can't stand it any longer.  The correct word is "fewer".
>  =

> Nonsense; "less" is fine.

> -- =

> And =E6lc =FEara =FEe gehier=F0 =FEas min word, and =FEa ne wyrc=FE, se b=
> i=F0 gelic =FE=E6m
> dysigan menn...

> (setq reply-to


--

Charles River Analytics         (617) 491-3474 x574
Cambridge, MA, USA              http://www.cra.com/


Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses
Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts, or printed
versions of the same font. For example, Monaco's parenthesis take up most of
the glyph "box" and are nearly 180 degree arcs.

In a good quality font, especially when printed, parentheses are quite
shallow, making them closer to vertical bars, and their ends are tapered,
which lightens them.

Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
Lisp.

--
Chris Page
Mac OS Guy
Palm, Inc.




Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:

> Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
> parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts,

This is presumably the reason that the choice of "fewer" vs "less" matters
to some of our readers.  (And, incidentally, it matters to me also, though
probably not to the degree that I would have raised it here.)

A need for fewer parens means fewer parens and is a problem not to be solved
by typography.  On the other hand, narrower parens would seem to resolve in
an overall lessening of the mass of parens (if not their count), and so
would be something that typography can affect. ;-)  So the question isn't
whether one or the other is right, but just which are we meaning to discuss?
;-)

Here's hoping we've all now learned our less'n and that I'm not just
fewling the fire...



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

Quote:


>| In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare the essence of
>| humanity, while exhibiting extreme contempt for those promoting,
>| knowingly or not, the antithesis of your declaration.  That
>| exemplifies what I consider an obstacle to our progress.

>  Why don't you say that you are much more interested in good
>  relations between people than in learning something from others,
>  whan that's what you are really arguing for?

You misunderstood my proposition.

Quote:
>  It seems you missed the point entirely, but _learning_ is quite the
>  personal responsibility, clearly distinct from the task of teaching.
>  I'm saying you should learn from everything and everyone you can,
>  _especially_ that which disagrees with you, and that includes style
>  and form, while you seem to be saying that if those who know
>  something aren't about to spend the time and effort to _teach_
>  someone who doesn't want to learn, you should disregard them and
>  their knowledge.

The world is large enough that one shouldn't have to
learn from each and every know-all one faces. The
chance is that, the more one acts like an arrogant
bastard, the less knowledge he has to offer you.
Besides, you did clearly imply teaching in your
previous post, stating (something to the effect of)
that if you condemn those who try to teach or
correct you, they won't try again to other people.
Quite frankly, I often take the task of learning
quite seriously myself, but I never found the grave
need to learn from those I consider {*filter*}s.

Quote:
>  This is what I refer to as "arrogant ignorance".
>  Of course I have nothing but contempt for that, but you're so
>  amazingly mistaken in your opening paragraph that it isn't worth my
>  time to "teach" a pig to read.

>  The antithesis of my position is: "be stupid, don't learn form
>  others, hate the competent".  If this is not what you consider
>  furthering the progress of humanity, feel free to elaborate.

I won't try to elaborate everything here, but there's
a bit more to that. The guy you replied to didn't per
se "hate" or condemn the competence, just an arrogant
display of such.

Quote:
>  _Really_?  You might consider spending the few minutes it takes to
>  read my web pages.  Start at <URL: http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;.

I must say that I agree with most of the things
on your pages, though I don't get as annoyed by
incompetence as you do.


Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses


Quote:
>In an effort to quell the impending flame-war over prescriptive
>vs. descriptive linguistics, Mirraim-Webster seems to indicate that
>"fewer" is correct, though "less" is more popular.  Fortunately, I
>think I'm correct in assuming that neither Strunk nor White read this
>newsgroup, so we could always just let this issue slip quietly away.

Whatever is officially correct, Usenet is not the appropriate place to
worry about it.  This is not a writing class, where we're graded on our
proper use of the language.  It's an informal discussion group, where
people can write as they're likely to speak in ordinary conversation.
People don't ordinarily speak with perfect grammar, and no one but an {*filter*}
retentive would expect such in casual email or posts.

BTW, the netiquette guide specifically recommends *against* spelling and
grammar flames.  Precisely for the reason that they result in these
off-topic threads that go on and on.

BTW, I suggest that Erik proofread his posts better.  I don't ordinarily
post spelling/grammar corrections, but I feel that spelling/grammar
correction posts are fair game -- if you dish it out, you'd better be able
to take it.

--

Genuity, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 less parentheses --> fewer parentheses


Quote:
>Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
>parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts, or printed
>versions of the same font. For example, Monaco's parenthesis take up most of
>the glyph "box" and are nearly 180 degree arcs.

>In a good quality font, especially when printed, parentheses are quite
>shallow, making them closer to vertical bars, and their ends are tapered,
>which lightens them.

>Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
>Lisp.

Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp
code rely on the fact that the font is monospace.
Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.

--d



Sun, 09 Feb 2003 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 123 post ]  Go to page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

 Relevant Pages 

1. less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

2. Dangling Closing Parentheses vs. Stacked Closing Parentheses

3. PUBKAR - parentheses not always first

4. Howto get round parenthesis literally

5. Using parentheses in an SQL query

6. Use of parentheses in an SQLSelect query

7. Whitespace, parentheses, methods, and arrays (was: Multiple file types in open dialog)

8. Awk and the open Parenthesis

9. ABC Code : Return without parenthesis

10. Parenthesis in formula node

11. Parenthesis Balancing

12. random pencolor and parentheses

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software