[Theforum] Re: survey feedback

Madhu Menon webguru at vsnl.net
Sat Nov 24 06:03:17 CST 2001

You're right, Adrian. Let's not get into language debates here. Hence, this 
will be my last post on the topic.

At 11:07 AM 11/24/2001, aardvark opined:

>IMO, it makes the sentence sound awkward... which, by your
>standards, qualifies as a valid case to fix it...

I thought "Where are you from?" was fairly standard usage. To rewrite this 
without the preposition would mean changing it to "From where are you?" or 
something similar, which sounds very contrived.

>and it's not totally artificial... that's the thing about language, it
>depends on which books you read... for instance, many people feel

Strunk and White write that not only is a preposition at the end 
acceptable, sometimes they're necessary.

The ultimate test of acceptability is if it sounds acceptable to people. 
Opponents of the "no split infinitives" rule ask what the famous Star Trek 
line would become if "To boldly go where no man has gone before" were to be 
changed to "To go boldly where no man has gone before". The second 
sentence, while more correct, loses the fire, the life, and the enthusiasm 
of the first.

>that titles for, say, articles should be in sentence case, and they
>claim that other rules are outdated or inappropriate, or they even
>claim readability issues... then they point to its use in different

While the Chicago Manual of Style says you should write titles in title 
case, my design sense tells me better. Sticking caps in the middle makes 
people pause, and obstructs the free flow of words. Like you pointed out - 
readability issues.

>and in the end, "ain't" made it into the dictionary, and i still refuse
>to use it in conversation (unless i'm being ironic, or kitschy, or

That ain't a big deal, really :)

The English language adapts pretty well to new influences, and Indian words 
like "guru", "jungle", "pundit", etc. are now officially part of the 
language. 50-60 years ago, purists would have balked at that.

>just imagine the fights between the MLA and Chicago Style people
>go... i've seen it... it isn't pretty...

That's just snobbish.
I'm not a language snob, I'm a language geek. :D

>[snip grammar flexing]


> > Huh? I'm sorry, but what do hotdogs have to do with the price of fish?
>nothing, thankfully...

No, I really didn't get the hotdog and mayo reference. Is it an American 
thing? (like 9/11)  :(

>any other silly questions?

What, no emoticon? :((


<<<   *   >>>
Madhu Menon
User Experience Consultant
e-mail: webguru at vsnl.net

Weblog: http://madman.weblogs.com

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