X-IMail-SPAM-Connection Re: [GRASS translations] Re: [GRASS-dev] message standardization on wiki

Brad Douglas rez at touchofmadness.com
Thu Apr 12 16:01:52 EDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-04-12 at 14:41 +0100, Glynn Clements wrote:
> Brad Douglas wrote:
> > > 1. First letter should be capitalized
> > > 2. Use present tense (cannot instead of could not)
> > > 3. No contractions (cannot instead of can't)
> > > 4. Good sentence construction ("Cannot find input map <%s>" instead of "It could not be find input map <%s>")
> > > 5. Be consistent with periods. Either end all phrases with a period or none.
> > 
> > I would prefer not using "Cannot...".  It's bad grammar.  I would much
> > prefer "Unable to..." or something to that effect.
> While I can see your point, that construction is quite common in error
> messages, e.g.:
> 	$ ls -l foo
> 	ls: cannot access foo: No such file or directory
> Neither "cannot ..." nor "unable to ..." form complete sentences.
> If you're concerned about grammar, you can provide an explicit subject
> ("The program cannot ..."), or use the third person (e.g. "The file
> cannot be found").
> Personally, I don't have a problem with just omitting the subject.

Point taken.  I was really referring to the usage of "Cannot".  Some
dictionaries do not recognize it as 'real word', yet others (that are
generally more progressive with slang and contractions) say that it
should replace "can not" in modern English.

It's a non-problem.  In modules I've [re]written, I've used "Unable to",
but I can go back and change them for consistency.

Brad Douglas <rez touchofmadness com>                    KB8UYR/6
Address: 37.493,-121.924 / WGS84    National Map Corps #TNMC-3785

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