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Pierre Frenkiel 04-03-2012 10:15 AM

correct English usage
 
On Mon, 2 Apr 2012, Paul E Condon wrote:


As far as I know, Squeeze is posterior to Lenny, and the recommended

^^^^^^^^^

This is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
in English.
. .
For named releases of software and to express a relationship in time,

posterior is the wrong word in English.

Since the thread seemed mainly about correct English usage, I thought
it would be helpful to point this out before the word got incorporated
into Debian documentation.


I agree that it is important to have a correct English usage, at least in
the documention, and that I am less qualified than you in that field.
Still, I am really puzzled by what I found in several dictionnaries.
I admit that most of the translation tools found on Internet are
not very reliable, but I thought that it was not the case for dictionnaries.
Here are some results I got for the "posterior" entry:

Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2008 Oxford University Press:
1 chiefly Anatomy further back in position . . .
2 Medicine . . .
3 formal coming after in time or order; later.

WordReference English Thesaurus 2012
Sense: Subsequent, succeeding, next, following
Sense: Behind, at the rear, dorsal, in back o, back

Collinsdictionary.com
1. situated at the back of or behind something
2. coming after or following another in a series
3. coming after in time

Are all these distionnaries wrong?

--
Pierre Frenkiel

Indulekha 04-03-2012 10:29 AM

correct English usage
 
In linux.debian.user, you wrote:
> This message is in MIME format. The first part should be readable text,
> while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.
>
> ---1463809023-1608600801-1333448123=:30347
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8BIT
>
> On Mon, 2 Apr 2012, Paul E Condon wrote:
>
>>> As far as I know, Squeeze is posterior to Lenny, and the recommended
>> ^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> This is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
>> Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
>> in English.
>> . .
>> For named releases of software and to express a relationship in time,
>> posterior is the wrong word in English.
>>
>> Since the thread seemed mainly about correct English usage, I thought
>> it would be helpful to point this out before the word got incorporated
>> into Debian documentation.
>
> I agree that it is important to have a correct English usage, at least in
> the documention, and that I am less qualified than you in that field.
> Still, I am really puzzled by what I found in several dictionnaries.
> I admit that most of the translation tools found on Internet are
> not very reliable, but I thought that it was not the case for dictionnaries.
> Here are some results I got for the "posterior" entry:
>
> Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
> 1 chiefly Anatomy further back in position . . .
> 2 Medicine . . .
> 3 formal coming after in time or order; later.
>
> WordReference English Thesaurus © 2012
> Sense: Subsequent, succeeding, next, following
> Sense: Behind, at the rear, dorsal, in back o, back
>
> Collinsdictionary.com
> 1. situated at the back of or behind something
> 2. coming after or following another in a series
> 3. coming after in time
>
> Are all these distionnaries wrong?
>
> --
> Pierre Frenkiel
> ---1463809023-1608600801-1333448123=:30347--
>
>
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There is nothing wrong with your English or those definitions,
they're just obscure and have fallen out of popular usage. I've
frequently observed that people for whom English is a second
language are more literate that the average American.

--
❤ ♫ ❤ ♫ ❤ ♫ ❤
Indulekha


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Kelly Clowers 04-03-2012 12:44 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 03:15, Pierre Frenkiel <pierre.frenkiel@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 2 Apr 2012, Paul E Condon wrote:
>
>>> *As far as I know, Squeeze is posterior to Lenny, and the recommended
>>
>> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> This is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
>> Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
>> in English.
>> . . For named releases of software and to express a relationship in time,
>> posterior is the wrong word in English.
>>
>> Since the thread seemed mainly about correct English usage, I thought
>> it would be helpful to point this out before the word got incorporated
>> into Debian documentation.
>
>
> *I agree that it is important to have a correct English usage, at least in
> *the documentation, and that I am less qualified than you in that field.
> *Still, I am really puzzled by what I found in several dictionaries.
> *I admit that most of the translation tools found on Internet are
> *not very reliable, but I thought that it was not the case for
> dictionaries.
> *Here are some results I got for the "posterior" entry:
>
> Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
> * *1 chiefly Anatomy further back in position . . .
> * *2 Medicine . . .
> * *3 formal coming after in time or order; later.
>
> WordReference English Thesaurus © 2012
> * *Sense: Subsequent, succeeding, next, following
> * *Sense: Behind, at the rear, dorsal, in back o, *back
>
> Collinsdictionary.com
> * *1. situated at the back of or behind something
> * *2. coming after or following another in a series
> * *3. coming after in time
>
> Are all these dictionaries wrong?

They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
(anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
"chiefly"). If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".

That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
much in practice.

In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.

In conversation at least, people will virtually always say, "Squeeze
came after Lenny". Written work pushes back against that to some
extent, and going overboard can make a text seem aimed at
children or the very uneducated...


Cheers,
Kelly Clowers


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Camalen 04-03-2012 01:39 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tue, 03 Apr 2012 05:29:56 -0500, Indulekha wrote:

> In linux.debian.user, you wrote:

>> On Mon, 2 Apr 2012, Paul E Condon wrote:
>>
>>>> As far as I know, Squeeze is posterior to Lenny, and the
>>>> recommended
>>> ^^^^^^^^^
>>>
>>> This is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
>>> Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
>>> in English.
>>> . .
>>> For named releases of software and to express a relationship in time,
>>> posterior is the wrong word in English.
>>>
>>> Since the thread seemed mainly about correct English usage, I thought
>>> it would be helpful to point this out before the word got incorporated
>>> into Debian documentation.
>>
>> I agree that it is important to have a correct English usage, at
>> least in the documention, and that I am less qualified than you in
>> that field. Still, I am really puzzled by what I found in several
>> dictionnaries. I admit that most of the translation tools found on
>> Internet are not very reliable, but I thought that it was not the
>> case for dictionnaries. Here are some results I got for the
>> "posterior" entry:
>>
>> Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2008 Oxford University Press:
>> 1 chiefly Anatomy further back in position . . . 2 Medicine . . .
>> 3 formal coming after in time or order; later.

(...)

>> Are all these distionnaries wrong?
>
> There is nothing wrong with your English or those definitions, they're
> just obscure and have fallen out of popular usage. I've frequently
> observed that people for whom English is a second language are more
> literate that the average American.

+5

But this also happens in any language mainly because non-native speakers
are doing what native-speakers usually don't: study and learn the proper
usage of their own language :-)

Greetings,

--
Camalen


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Pierre Frenkiel 04-03-2012 02:09 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tue, 3 Apr 2012, Kelly Clowers wrote:


They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
(anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
"chiefly").

Is that specific to American English, or is it also true for
British English, Canadian English, ...?
Paul's statement was much more stronger:
this is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not in
English.


If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".

but in the given sentence, posterior is clearly an adjective?


That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
much in practice.

Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.
Note that the WordReference English Thesaurus 2012 gave the most common
meaning for posterior in second place, and that it was nowhere mentioned that
the time related meaning was deprecated. Is there a dictionnary where this
kind of information would be available?


In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.

Again, is that specific to American English?


--
Pierre Frenkiel

Lisi 04-03-2012 02:38 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tuesday 03 April 2012 15:09:50 Pierre Frenkiel wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2012, Kelly Clowers wrote:
> > They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
> > (anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
> > "chiefly").
>
> Is that specific to American English, or is it also true for
> British English, Canadian English, ...?

It is certainly true for English English. It would simply not be used in teh
way that you used it.



> Paul's statement was much more stronger:
> this is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
> Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
> in English.

I agree with Paul. It is simply not acceptable in practice.

> > If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".
>
> but in the given sentence, posterior is clearly an adjective?

Which yet again, is not a correct usage in modern idiom of that word.

> > That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
> > the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
> > much in practice.
>
> Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
> the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.

Or accept the word of educated native speakers.

> Note that the WordReference English Thesaurus 2012 gave the most
> common meaning for posterior in second place, and that it was nowhere
> mentioned that the time related meaning was deprecated.

It isn't deprecated because no-one would use it in the first place.

> Is there a
> dictionnary where this kind of information would be available?
>
> > In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
> > use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
> > words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.
>
> Again, is that specific to American English?

No. Though the English are a bit prone to being pretentious. I was taught
at school that where an Anglo-Saxon word applied, it should be used in
preference to a Latin one. (In "Latin" I am including French.)

Lisi



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Mihamina Rakotomandimby 04-03-2012 02:42 PM

correct English usage
 
On 04/03/2012 05:38 PM, Lisi wrote:

> Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
> the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.

Or accept the word of educated native speakers.



[I'm non native english]

It's hard to convince someone with "Shut up I'm right you're wrong"
nowadays.



--
RMA.


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Lisi 04-03-2012 02:48 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tuesday 03 April 2012 11:29:56 Indulekha wrote:
> I've
> frequently observed that people for whom English is a second
> language are more literate that the average American.

Yes, but their English is noy as good.

Words that have fallen out of use cannot just be used in their obsolete
meanings willy nilly. For example, if I talk about you preventing me, I mean
obstructing me, not going in front of me, leading me.

If you doubt the correctness of this, stand in any British High Street late on
a Friday night, pick a particularly drunk, macho looking ,man with his arms
round a girl, and tell him loudly that he is gay. I recommend then running
off as fast as you can manage, and hoping that he is not an athlete.

Lisi


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"Russell L. Harris" 04-03-2012 02:50 PM

correct English usage
 
* Camalen <noelamac@gmail.com> [120403 13:51]:
> On Tue, 03 Apr 2012 05:29:56 -0500, Indulekha wrote:
>
> > In linux.debian.user, you wrote:
>
> >> On Mon, 2 Apr 2012, Paul E Condon wrote:
> >>
> >>>> As far as I know, Squeeze is posterior to Lenny, and the
> >>>> recommended

Commonly-used English terms which are apropos to this matter are
"precede", "predecessor", "succeed", "successor", "antecedent", and
"descendant". Thus, one could say:

"Lenny preceded Squeeze."

or

"Squeeze succeeds Lenny."

or

"Lenny is the predecessor of Squeeze."

or

"Squeeze is the successor of Lenny."

or

"Lenny is the antecedent of Squeeze."

or

"Squeeze is the descendant of Lenny."

%%%%%%%

Perhaps the most fundamental rule or concept of communication is that
the meaning of a word is determined by the context in which the word
is used. Accordingly, it is the author of a document -- and not the
lexicographer (that is, the compiler of a dictionary) -- who
determines the meaning of the words within the document.

The lexicographer merely searches through documents of all sort, and
compiles the meanings which, over the years, various authors have
assigned to those words. Accordingly, while a given dictionary or
lexicon may be said to be more COMPREHENSIVE than another, it hardly
is correct to say that one dictionary is more AUTHORITATIVE than
another. Again, the lexicon is but a catalogue of usage.

However, communication in general is facilitated when an author
assigns to a given word the same meaning as other authors assign to
that word. And this is why an author generally ought keep close at
hand a dictionary while he writes.

RLH


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Kelly Clowers 04-03-2012 02:58 PM

correct English usage
 
On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 07:09, Pierre Frenkiel <pierre.frenkiel@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2012, Kelly Clowers wrote:
>
>> They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
>> (anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
>> "chiefly").
>
> *Is that specific to American English, or is it also true for
> *British English, Canadian English, ...?
> *Paul's statement was much more stronger:
>
> * * this is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
> * * Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not in
> * * English.
>
>> * * * * * *If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".
>
> * * but in the given sentence, posterior is clearly an adjective?

Yeah, but that will not change their first thought (at least it
didn't change mine, and I know my parts of speech, and pay
a fair amount of attention to language in general. Maybe I am
just weird, though).

>> That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
>> the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
>> much in practice.
>
> *Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
> *the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.

Likely. It is that same going from English to other languages AFAIK.

> *Note that the WordReference English Thesaurus 2012 gave the most common
> *meaning for posterior in second place, and that it was nowhere mentioned
> that
> *the time related meaning was deprecated. Is there a dictionary where this
> *kind of information would be available?

I am not aware of one, though that doesn't mean it does not exist.
One might be able to use google search for that... searching
"posterior" does shows mostly dictionary sites and anatomy-related
things

>> In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
>> use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
>> words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.
>
> *Again, is that specific to American English?

Good question, I am not sure if the British and others are
picking up this bad (IMO) habit.

Cheers,
Kelly Clowers


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