[Python-Dev] PEP: Consolidating names and classes in the `unittest` module (updated 2008-07-15)

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jul 16 12:21:21 CEST 2008

Ben Finney writes:

 > This "fail is a negative word" has already been rebutted, by native
 > speakers of English.

Not successfully, it hasn't.  Steven d'Aprano describes one style of
testing as "the test passes if it fails to fail in each of a sequence
of cases."  That is perfectly good English, which makes no sense if
"fail" completely lacks the semantics of negation.  The intuition that
"fail" is a negative word is thus well-founded in standard usage.

By the way, a native speaker is a person who has no need to understand
how his language works; he just uses it.  Being a native speaker
doesn't qualify one as an authority on her language.

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