Python education survey

Dominic Binks dbinks at
Sun Jan 1 00:12:04 EST 2012

On 12/27/2011 6:42 PM, Rick Johnson wrote:
> On Dec 27, 8:21 pm, Tim Chase<python.l... at>  wrote:
>> I'm glad you're open to learning more about English as "used to"
>> is perfectly acceptable according to the World English Dictionary[1]
>> [...]
>> May you be found better for learning and come to give others the
>> benefit of the doubt.
> I don't care what ANY dictionary says. Much less a "world" dictionary.
(Shouldn't this be |||world|||?)
> I don't validate or invalidate a word based on some phony baloney
I doubt you could validate or invalidate a word.  A word is, there is no 
validation necessary.  You could potentially try to validate it's use 
but again that's not in your power.
> group of pseudo intellectuals who decided one to day that writing a
> dictionary "might be cool".
I think you need to go back to school to understand what a dictionary 
is.  (FYI, a dictionary codifies usage, not the other way around.)

  I am against these words and phrases
I think you mean these words and phrases being used in this way - the 
words and phrases themselves are just that.  They imply no meaning 
unless used in some kind of context.
> because we already have words that work just fine. Why rock the boat?
Perhaps you mean, because more precise words or phrases for these uses 
exist?  By your token 'work' should refer to physical activity which is 
not appropriate in this context and probably 'fine' should refer to a 
payment that is made having broken some rule or regulation thus leading 
to monetary reparation.

I think, herein lies the problem - abject denial of all evidence to the 
contrary simply because it disagrees with your limited point of view.

> Why would you use a word like "hard" (which describes the physical
> properties of a tangible object),

Because many words have more than one meaning and their context 
describes the meaning.  For example 'Time flies like an arrow, fruit 
flies like a banana'.  I know you can parse and understand that but the 
sentences are precisely alike, yet completely different.

   to describe how "difficult" a task
> may be?

Because it's a perfectly legitimate thing to do.  Many problems are 
described as 'HARD' in technical documentation when examining their 
complexity.  I don't always like the terms used for things, but at least 
let's be consistent in our usage.

  If you insist on this lunacy, then why not use "soft" to
> describe how easy a task may be? Seems ridiculous now, huh?

Soft is used in this context - as in choosing the soft option - i.e. the 
easy way out.  And your problem is, precisely?
> Garbage Verbiage Translator:
For Garbage Verbiage, read 'common English'
>   Used to ->  previously|before
Though used to is perfect acceptable in any English speaking country.
>   Supposed to ->  required|expected
probably 'intended' would be better here since 'supposed to' indicates 
that you should do this, but it is not required (pretty much the 
opposite for your given translation).
>   Use to ->  accustomed|acquainted
Sorry to be picky, but "use to" refers to application as in "When I say 
'idiot', in this context 'idiot' I use to mean 'person who cannot speak 
English as it is commonly used'.", not accustomed|acquainted.  In the 
example you give, it's probably mistyped, maybe by a non-native English 
speaker.  (oh bother, I just used " and ' to denote separate spoken 
phrases, maybe I should use ||| instead.)

For what it's worth in English (i.e. British, the language I was brought 
up to speak) we say, for example:

* get on/off a bus
* get up in the morning
* get down to some music
* get around an obstacle
* get over a broken relationship
* get back to our previous place in a story
* get through a difficult time/bush
* get into a really good book
* get about town
* put up our Christmas lights
and put down an idiot that doesn't understand that English has lots of 
compound verbs that are not poorly written, just commonly used and 

>   Right (OOC) ->  Correct
While I agree 'right' can be annoying it's usage as in 'you are correct' 
can be traced back to 1588, I think we're going to have to allow for 
it's usage in 2011 (very nearly 2012 for me and definitely 2012 for 
anyone east of New York City).

>   Hard (OOC) ->  Difficult
Phrases to mean 'difficult' or 'tough' come from at least 1886 so again, 
it's use in this context is hardly new.  (And remember Charles Dickens' 
book Hard Times uses 'hard' to mean difficult not physically solid.)  In 
fact looking into this a little more carefully, "hard of hearing" 
maintains the now largely obsolete meaning of hard from Middle English 
to mean have difficult doing something.  I don't really think we can 
claim it's usage is wrong.

>   Pretty (OOC) ->  very
Pretty on it's own doesn't mean very at all.  (God knows where you got 
that idea from.)  When combined with another adjective, such as hard, 
pretty does enhance the adjective.  However, pretty difficult is not the 
same as very difficult.  Pretty, in this context would probably be 
better defined as 'somewhat' or 'quite'.  (Oh and it's use in this 
context can be traced back to 1565.)

While you're here you might want to investigate what nice and liaise 
mean cause they probably don't mean what you think they do.

> This is group has the most dumbest smart people i have ever met!

I don't know what planet you come from, but I would refrain from picking 
arguments over tedious detail of words when it is perfectly clear what 
people mean.

Dominic Binks: dbinks at
Employee of Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. is a member of Code Aurora Forum

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