l i n u x - u s e r s - g r o u p - o f - d a v i s
L U G O D
 
Next Meeting:
October 7: Social gathering
Next Installfest:
TBD
Latest News:
Aug. 18: Discounts to "Velocity" in NY; come to tonight's "Photography" talk
Page last updated:
2002 Jul 22 09:25

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

Report this post as spam:

(Enter your email address)
Re: [vox] [OT] ISO's vs ISOs
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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



Quoting Peter Jay Salzman (p@dirac.org):

> i think using the apostrophe to mark the end of the acronym makes total
> sense.  to use jim's example, but with nicole's way of writing it:
> 
>    Mind your Ps and Qs.
> 
> what exactly should i be minding?  should i be minding a "P" or should i
> be minding a "Ps"?  nicole's method doesn't say; it's ambiguous.  the
> apostrophe isn't just syntactic sugar.  it serves a purpose.

As editor, I always stripped those apostrophes, considering them to 
create the spurious impression of either possession or a contraction -- 
and _not_ being necessary to clarity.  That is, _given_ the lack of an
apostrophe, context makes it seem (to the reader) extremely probable
that the letter s is there to indicate plurals.  

Rule of thumb:  You're aiming to make as few readers as possible need to
pause and back up, in order to parse the sentence correctly.  Written 
sentences use punctuation largely in order to make up for the absence
of tone, rhythm, and other types of vocal emphasis, that in spoken
language serve to disambiguate.

You can't prevent _every_ reader from stumbling over sentence
punctuation all the time, because people's minds think differently. 
But you can try. 

I don't know how I'd advise a reader to mind the singular-noun entity
"Ps" and its singular-noun cousin "Qs".  Maybe _that_ way.  But it seems
appropriate that the more-common sentence is easier to format clearly.


_______________________________________________
vox mailing list
vox@lists.lugod.org
http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox



LinkedIn
LUGOD Group on LinkedIn
Sign up for LUGOD event announcements
Your email address:
facebook
LUGOD Group on Facebook
'Like' LUGOD on Facebook:

Hosting provided by:
Sunset Systems
Sunset Systems offers preconfigured Linux systems, remote system administration and custom software development.

LUGOD: Linux Users' Group of Davis
PO Box 2082, Davis, CA 95617
Contact Us

LUGOD is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization
based in Davis, California
and serving the Sacramento area.
"Linux" is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Sponsored in part by:
EDGE Tech Corp.
For donating some give-aways for our meetings.