OT: excellent book on information theory

Mikael Olofsson mikael at isy.liu.se
Thu Jan 19 15:04:51 CET 2006

Terry Hancock wrote:
"Tim Peters" <tim.one at comcast.net> wrote:
>>   UK:    Harry smiled vaguely back
>>   US:    Harry smiled back vaguely

Terry Hancock wrote:
> I know you are pointing out the triviality of this, since
> both US and UK English allow either placement -- but is it
> really preferred style in the UK to put the adverb right
> before the verb?  In US English, the end of the clause
> (or the beginning) is probably more common.

I appreciate your desire to put the thread on (Python) topic, but as I 
see this discussion, it really has to do with respect for the author, 
but also respect for the reader. The UK version is most likely the way 
the author intended it to be. Then that is the way the text should be, 
regardless if it is preferred style or not, under the assumption that 
English is English is English.

One question here is: Are US English and UK English different languages 
or not? If they are, a translation is in place. If they are not, the 
text should have been left as is. I guess the answer is:
-Well, sort of...
And that is probably the reason why opinions differ here, and also the 
reason why the American publisher has made some changes, but left most 
parts unchanged.

A related important question is: Does the US version communicate the 
same thing (meaning aswell as feeling) to the American reader as the UK 
version communicates to the British reader? That should always be the 
objective for any translator. It also means that if the author in the UK 
version uses non-standard UK English, then the US version should use 
non-standard US English.


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