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

Jeff Newmiller writes:
 > 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.

I believe that it is clarity which is being upheld in this case - I
fail to see how defining the acronym disambiguates the plural usage,
in the specific cases Pete cited.

As to being accepted by "the rest of the english-literate [sic]
population", it seems quite clear to me that that is already the case
for a large percentage of said population - unless of course you wish
to take an awfully narrow definition of English-literate.

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

I disagree, as do a great number of others who, quite aware of the
technical requirements, chose to employ the apostrophe method.

Not that there isn't confusion - but the confusion seems to be much
less than that generated by actually following the "correct" rules.

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