On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM, "Martin v. Löwis" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
For the benefit of people who are not native-English speakers and who wish to write literate English: The English word 'precise' is only an adjective, and not a verb, so the above does not work as an English sentence.
I find it peculiar that in international forums "literate English" is not always the most effective form of communication. I had no problem understanding what Antoine wrote. In fact, Russian, just as French and German, has a verb form of the word "precise".
I still appreciate Terry's and other native speakers' comments on English usage. As Edsger Dijkstra once wrote, "Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital asset of a competent programmer."
This mistake, which I have seen before, has an understandable reason. 'Precise' is derived (borrowed) from the French "pre'cis" which is at least a verb and noun. "Pre'cis" comes from the Latin 'praecisus' and 'praecidere'. Spanish has the same verb in the form 'precisar'.
FWIW, we have "präzisieren", supposedly imported from the French word in the 19th century. Too bad the Englishmen failed to accept that import :-( The best the dictionaries come up with (besides "to specify") is "to state more precisely", "to render more precisely".
Regards, Martin _______________________________________________ python-committers mailing list email@example.com http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-committers