Tech writer lifts burden from programmers 
Author Message
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers

Quote:

> Hi-I'm a technical writer that can help you with your online help
> systems and end-user documentation needs.

Great! The Perl docs are available online, and the documentation is a
neverending task. Please submit your documentation patches using the
perlbug program which comes with Perl. Thanks!

--
Tom Phoenix           http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~rootbeer/

Randal Schwartz Case:   http://www.*-*-*.com/
              Ask me about Perl trainings!



Sat, 17 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers

[mailed, posted]



<Hi-I'm a technical writer that can help you with your online help systems and

I'd be pretty reluctant to engage a writer who can't differentiate
between "that" and "who."

One style guide I've got lying around says, "who refers to people, and
that and which refer to animals and things.  That may also be used to
refer to an anonymous group of people."

--
Eric D. Friedman



Sun, 18 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers


Quote:


> <Hi-I'm a technical writer that can help you with your online help systems and

> I'd be pretty reluctant to engage a writer who can't differentiate
> between "that" and "who."

> One style guide I've got lying around says, "who refers to people, and
> that and which refer to animals and things.  That may also be used to
> refer to an anonymous group of people."

maybe he's using the same style guide and making a statement about his
estimation of himself.

--
brian d foy                                 <http://computerdog.com>
uses 'who' for animals - even dogs.



Sun, 18 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers


Quote:
> I'd be pretty reluctant to engage a writer who can't differentiate
> between "that" and "who."
> One style guide I've got lying around says, "who refers to people, and
> that and which refer to animals and things.  That may also be used to
> refer to an anonymous group of people."

This issue, like the command not to ever split infinitives, is mostly
something invented by style guide writers that wanted more stuff to pad
out their books. There's no particular reason for it. "That" can
apply to people as well, and often sounds more natural.

Scott
--
Look at Softbase Systems' client/server tools, www.softbase.com
Check out the Essential 97 package for Windows 95 www.skwc.com/essent
All my other cool web pages are available from that site too!
My demo tape, artwork, poetry, The Windows 95 Book FAQ, and more.



Sat, 24 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers


Quote:


>> I'd be pretty reluctant to engage a writer who can't differentiate
>> between "that" and "who."

>> One style guide I've got lying around says, "who refers to people, and
>> that and which refer to animals and things.  That may also be used to
>> refer to an anonymous group of people."

>This issue, like the command not to ever split infinitives, is mostly
>something invented by style guide writers that wanted more stuff to pad
>out their books. There's no particular reason for it. "That" can
>apply to people as well, and often sounds more natural.

>Scott
>--

Bullshit. That is not used in refering to people or other 'personified'
elements
within the writing. Your simplistic view that the that use rules originate
with style
guide authors betrays a lack of understanding of the grammar of the english
language.
That attitude (please note that we are not elevating the attitude to the state
of
humanity) also shows little understanding of the derivation of language and
the
influences upon it.

Much of the grammar of the English language was influenced by the german and
french
from which it is crafted. As these languages often had the heavy hand of
religious
authoities shaping their development we find that (note that we are
discovering a
thing not a person) the view prevailing in the language is that anything (note
that
anything is a thing, in abstract) thought to have a 'soul' or to be possessed
of
'anima' which is to say, life,  cannot properly be referenced with 'that'.
Those
things thought to be without such can quite properly be called, 'that'.

Of course, any Thing, regardless of abstraction or questions of anima, which
is
personified, which is to say, any Thing, raised to the level of human or
considered to
be alive, even conceptually or completely abstracted from its natual place no
matter
how low, must be referred to as who.

Of course my judgement of your knowledge of the English language as being
truely abysmal might be misplaced. All indications are that it is not your
mother tongue. If the clues of professed ignorance are correct, then I
apologize. English possesses a terrible learning curve for the new initiate.
Welcome to America.
Cliff
Tenax Software Engineering

360.866.1686

ultimate http reference at: http://www.manning.com/Hethmon/311.html

Vortex is at http://www.halcyon.com/chigh/vortex.html
Cornix can be found at http://www.halcyon.com/chigh/cornix.html
Another Cornix demo is available at http://www.halcyon.com/chigh/corndemo.html

Screwy Ideas and other press releases are at:
http://www.halcyon.com/chigh/press.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
One must learn by doing the thing;
for though you think that you know it
you have no certainty, until you try.

        Sophocles, c. 496-406 b.c.
        Greek playwright and thinker
                Trachiniae
------------------------------------------------------------------------



Sun, 25 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers

Quote:

> Bullshit.

Touched a nerve, did we?

Quote:
> That is not used in refering to people or other 'personified'...
> Your simplistic view that the that use rules originate with...

Tsk. You should have placed the word "that" in quotes, to avoid
confustion.

Quote:
> Your simplistic view that the that use rules originate with
> style guide authors betrays a lack of
> understanding of the grammar of the english language.

False.  Go back to Logic 101.

Quote:
> That attitude (please note that we are not elevating the attitude
> to the state of humanity) also shows little understanding of the
> derivation of language and the influences upon it.

Perhaps.  But why should we trust someone (you) who can't even parse
this simple sentence?

"That attitude also shows little understanding . . ."
You seem to think that this occurence of "that" is illustrative
of your argument, when in fact it is completely unrelated.  
No one would suggest (no one proficient in English, that is) that
"who" could have been substituted for "that" here.  
Suppose we choose a different, more human noun:
"That author shows little understanding . . ." is still correct.

I notice you make a similar error later:
"We find that the view prevailing in the language . . ."
for you say "we are discovering a thing, not a person."
Clearly, in this case, "that" is the only valid word.  "This", "who",
and "which" are right out.  If were discovering a person, how
would you have changed the sentence?
"We find who the candidate prevailing in the elections . . ."?

And again:
". . . the view prevailing in the language is that anything thought
 to have a 'soul' . . ."
"That" is the only appropriate word, despite your scholarly
interlineation: "note that 'anything' is a thing, in abstract".

Quote:
> Much of the grammar of the English language was influenced by the
> german and french from which it is crafted.

Cut the bombast. English was not crafted, as I'm sure you know;
it evolved.  Maybe *your* knowledge of the history isn't so good
either.
Furthermore, the failure to capitalize the names of languages little
becomes one of such estimable linguistic fastidiousness.

Quote:
> As these languages
> often had the heavy hand of religious autho[r]ities shaping their
> development

An unsubstantiated claim, and if true, supports your opponent's
"rule by style guide" argument.

Quote:
> . . . the view prevailing in the language is that anything thought
> to have a 'soul' or to be possessed of 'anima' which is to say,
> life, cannot properly be referenced with 'that'. Those things
> thought to be without such can quite properly be called, 'that'.

Put this in the past tense, and I might not bother arguing with you.

More to the point, you are regurgitating Style Guide rhetoric,
whether you realize it or not.

Quote:
> Of course my judgement of your knowledge of the English language as
> being truely abysmal might be misplaced.

Indeed.

And it's "truly", not "truely".

Quote:
> All indications are that it is not your mother tongue.

And yet you still couldn't resist the urge to jump down his throat.

Quote:
> If the clues of professed ignorance are correct, then I apologize.

A bit late, eh?

Quote:
> English possesses a terrible learning curve for the new initiate.

FOG alert.

Quote:
> Welcome to America.

"More pedantic {*filter*}s per household than most industrialized nations."

Quote:
> Cliff
> Tenax Software Engineering

> 360.866.1686

I did a search on the texts of various Bible translations for
occurences of any of the pronouns
  he, they, him, them, she, her, you, ye, thou, thee
immediately followed by "that" or "who".

        that    who    year
KJV     2198     74    1611
ASV     2402    110    1901
Webster 2189    322    1833
Darby   1828    306    1890
Young    337    807    1898
RSV      327    904    1952

Clearly, the trend over the centuries has been away from "he that"
and toward "he who".  I believe this change was driven by pedants
who sought to regularize English.  King James' Bible committee had
no style guide; they wrote in a way that was natural to them.
Even with style guides, modern writers

Some samples from the KJV:

[Job 40:2] Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?
 he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

[Isa 40:31] But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their
 strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall
 run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

[Mat 2:2] Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?
 for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

[Luke 1:45] And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a
 performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

[Rom 8:11] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the
 dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall
 also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

[Rev 21:5-6] And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make
 all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are
 true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and
 Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is
 athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Credit goes to The Christian Center
( http://www.*-*-*.com/ )
for their Bible Translations browsing engine.

John Porter



Mon, 26 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers


Quote:

> confustion.

Typo.  I meant "confustation".

Quote:
> Even with style guides, modern writers

Whoops -- guess my stream of consciousness ran dry.


Tue, 27 Jun 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Tech writer lifts burden from programmers


: >
: >This issue, like the command not to ever split infinitives, is mostly
: >something invented by style guide writers that wanted more stuff to pad
: >out their books. There's no particular reason for it. "That" can
: >apply to people as well, and often sounds more natural.

: Bullshit. That is not used in refering to people or other 'personified'
: elements
: within the writing. Your simplistic view that the that use rules originate
: with style
: guide authors betrays a lack of understanding of the grammar of the english
: language.
: That attitude (please note that we are not elevating the attitude to the state

Learn to keep your ramblings within 80 columns and THEN start a pointless
argument on usenet with an honest person trying to help the free software
movement.

I'm out,

M.

Michael Jastremski



Sat, 22 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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