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Re: [vox] [OT] ISO's vs ISOs
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Re: [vox] [OT] ISO's vs ISOs



On Mon, 22 Jul 2002, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> begin Henry House <hajhouse@houseag.com> 
> > On Sun, Jul 21, 2002 at 11:08:52PM -0700, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > > consider the following two sentences:
> > > 
> > >    A) Getting Debian ISO's has always been a painful experience.
> > >    B) Getting Debian ISOs has always been a painful experience.
> > > 
> > > sentence B seems more correct, but to my eyes, sentence A looks more
> > > pleasing; it just looks better with the apostrophe.
> > 
> > A is a deplorable modern degeneration. B is the correct choice according to
> > one style guide, and my personal preference as well. The reader can tell that
> > the ess is not part of the acronym by its small case.
>  
> not good enough.  there are acronyms that use both upper and lower case.
> particularly, medical acronyms for chemical names use both upper and
> lower case.
> 
> not all acronyms use all uppercase.  what would you do to make the
> sentence unambiguous in that case?

Context, or re-phrasing.

Context can (and ought to be) made quite formal, by defining the acronym
early in the document.

If you feel there is ambiguity, it is up to you to clarify, and
apostrophes do NOT clarify when misused.

> ps- it's perfectly acceptable for a language to be a living thing. :)

Not at the expense of clarity.  The rules for use of apostrophes are quite
clear in this case, and you would be attempting to introduce an imprecise
usage to supplant a precise one... not likely to be accepted by the rest
of the english-literate population.

It is your perception that apostrophes make this case clearer which needs
to be adapted, because they only confuse the issue for most people.

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