less parentheses --> fewer parentheses

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lamb...@my-deja.com

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Aug 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/22/00
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I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Johan Kullstam

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Aug 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/22/00
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lamb...@my-deja.com writes:

> I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".

well, if you went with my original suggestion, find or hack a font to
have small sized and visually less obtrusive parentheses, then perhaps
less is correct.

--
J o h a n K u l l s t a m
[kull...@ne.mediaone.net]
sysengr

Jochen Schmidt

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Aug 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/22/00
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lamb...@my-deja.com wrote:

> I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".

Hm please forgive us inferior foreigners for straining your patience
so long.
Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?

Go sit in a corner and think about that!

--
Jochen Schmidt
j...@dataheaven.de
http://www.dataheaven.de

Dave Pearson

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Aug 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/22/00
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On 22 Aug 2000 13:54:20 -0400, Johan Kullstam <kull...@ne.mediaone.net> wrote:

> lamb...@my-deja.com writes:
>
> > I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".
>
> well, if you went with my original suggestion, find or hack a font to have
> small sized and visually less obtrusive parentheses, then perhaps less is
> correct.

Along these lines, I remember someone suggesting the idea of getting emacs
to display them in a colour that is almost the same as your background
colour so that, while they are there, they are almost not there. I thought
that sounded like an interesting idea.

Has anyone hacked any of the emacs lisp modes to do this? It seems that
parens don't have a face in GNU/X emacs so it didn't seem trivial.

--
Take a look in Hagbard's World: | lbdb.el - LBDB interface.
http://www.hagbard.demon.co.uk/ | sawfish.el - Sawfish mode.
http://www.acemake.com/hagbard/ | uptimes.el - Record emacs uptimes.
emacs software, including.......| quickurl.el - Recall lists of URLs.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/22/00
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* Jochen Schmidt <j...@dataheaven.de>

| Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?
|
| Go sit in a corner and think about that!

You aren't excused for this argument just because you're German.
Language skills is not like a disease the better the less afflicted.
If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.
I do, however, speak and write English better than a very large
fraction of its native speakers. This is _not_ an accomplishment,
mind you, and chances are pretty high you wouldn't be impressed with
a random native speaker of English who spoke German as perfectly as
he spoke English. For illumination, _I_ speak Swahili _exactly_ as
well as I speak Mandarin Chinese.

The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
actually know their stuff. I find such scorn towards competence to
be _fantastically_ offensive. It undermines and ridicules all that
is human: our ability to learn from those who know more than us, to
share experiences so we do not have to make them all our own, to be
able to reason about thus derived knowledge without each one of us
having to start from first principles. Ridicule those who have the
better skills, and you exemplify the anti-humanity that is prevalent
in "modern" culture, which almost deifies stupidity, because it so
democratic: _Everyone_ can be stupipd. Not everyone can be skilled
in every skill. How unfair, then, to be supremely skilled when
others are not skilled at all! How _arrogant_ to know something so
much better than your fellow man! There lies the road to darkness.

The less/fewer distinction is listed in a small book I got from my
copy editor years ago: "1001 Pitfalls in English Grammar" -- it
turned out to be exceptionally valuable. Of course, without the
occasional reminder from people who actually _define_ the language,
it is nigh impossible to improve. Scorn them, and they will not try
again with you, and perhaps not with others. Scorn stupidity and
lack of skills, instead, but more importantly, listen well to those
who know something you don't and learn from them, _especially_ if
they disagree with you in whatever way. (If you can't learn from
something or someone that disagrees with you, chances are you can't
learn from anything.)

This has the obvious repercussions for Common Lisp usage.

#:Erik
--
If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.

Boris Schaefer

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Aug 22, 2000, 8:10:03 PM8/22/00
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davep...@davep.org (Dave Pearson) writes:

| Along these lines, I remember someone suggesting the idea of getting emacs
| to display them in a colour that is almost the same as your background
| colour so that, while they are there, they are almost not there. I thought
| that sounded like an interesting idea.
|
| Has anyone hacked any of the emacs lisp modes to do this? It seems that
| parens don't have a face in GNU/X emacs so it didn't seem trivial.

Actually it is trivial. Here's what I posted just a few days ago to
comp.lang.scheme:

(defvar paren-face 'paren-face)
(make-face 'paren-face)
(set-face-background 'paren-face "black")
(set-face-foreground 'paren-face "white")

(add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
'(lambda ()
(setq scheme-font-lock-keywords-2
(append '(("(\\|)" . paren-face))
scheme-font-lock-keywords-2))))

Changing this to lisp-mode-hook and lisp-font-lock-keywords should
work for Lisp-mode and, as far as I could tell, it works in both GNU
and XEmacs.

--
bo...@uncommon-sense.net - <http://www.uncommon-sense.net/>

Remember, even if you win the rat race -- you're still a rat.

FM

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Aug 22, 2000, 9:53:15 PM8/22/00
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Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:
>* Jochen Schmidt <j...@dataheaven.de>
>| Do you speak in German so perfectly as you speak in English?
>|
>| Go sit in a corner and think about that!

> You aren't excused for this argument just because you're German.
> Language skills is not like a disease the better the less afflicted.
> If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
> dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.
> I do, however, speak and write English better than a very large
> fraction of its native speakers.

Perhaps.

> This is _not_ an accomplishment,
> mind you, and chances are pretty high you wouldn't be impressed with
> a random native speaker of English who spoke German as perfectly as
> he spoke English. For illumination, _I_ speak Swahili _exactly_ as
> well as I speak Mandarin Chinese.

> The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
> sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
> actually know their stuff. I find such scorn towards competence to
> be _fantastically_ offensive. It undermines and ridicules all that
> is human: our ability to learn from those who know more than us, to
> share experiences so we do not have to make them all our own, to be
> able to reason about thus derived knowledge without each one of us
> having to start from first principles. Ridicule those who have the
> better skills, and you exemplify the anti-humanity that is prevalent
> in "modern" culture, which almost deifies stupidity, because it so
> democratic:

Wow. In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare
the essence of humanity, while exhibiting extreme
contempt for those promoting, knowingly or not, the
antithesis of your declaration. That exemplifies what
I consider an obstacle to our progress.

> _Everyone_ can be stupipd. Not everyone can be skilled
> in every skill. How unfair, then, to be supremely skilled when
> others are not skilled at all! How _arrogant_ to know something so
> much better than your fellow man! There lies the road to darkness.

Anotherp brilliant paragraph overshadowed by the lack
of a proper referent. The previous poster impled no
such thing. Arrogance is not necessarily conveyed by
superior knowledge.

> The less/fewer distinction is listed in a small book I got from my
> copy editor years ago: "1001 Pitfalls in English Grammar" -- it
> turned out to be exceptionally valuable. Of course, without the
> occasional reminder from people who actually _define_ the language,
> it is nigh impossible to improve. Scorn them, and they will not try
> again with you, and perhaps not with others.

So the original poster is such a valuable resource for
learning English that we must revere him while he shows
little tolerance for the misuse of the language by non
native speakers? Hell no, if I was learning Chinese and
if some Chinese punk said that he couldn't stand my
Chinese, I naturally wouldn't trust him to be able to
stand what it takes to teach me. Teaching is often an
art of patience and tolerance and those who lack these
qualities should not be in the practice.

> Scorn stupidity and
> lack of skills, instead, but more importantly, listen well to those
> who know something you don't and learn from them, _especially_ if
> they disagree with you in whatever way. (If you can't learn from
> something or someone that disagrees with you, chances are you can't
> learn from anything.)

There are differences among disagreement, knowledge,
and contempt.

Dave Pearson

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
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On 23 Aug 2000 02:10:03 +0200, Boris Schaefer <bo...@uncommon-sense.net> wrote:

> Actually it is trivial. Here's what I posted just a few days ago to
> comp.lang.scheme:
>
> (defvar paren-face 'paren-face)
> (make-face 'paren-face)
> (set-face-background 'paren-face "black")
> (set-face-foreground 'paren-face "white")
>
> (add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
> '(lambda ()
> (setq scheme-font-lock-keywords-2
> (append '(("(\\|)" . paren-face))
> scheme-font-lock-keywords-2))))

I read comp.lang.scheme and, for some reason, I missed this (yes, on looking
back it is there). This is just what I was looking for. Time to experiment.
Many thanks.

> Changing this to lisp-mode-hook and lisp-font-lock-keywords should work
> for Lisp-mode and, as far as I could tell, it works in both GNU and
> XEmacs.

Yes, it works fine for `lisp-mode'.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
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* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

| In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare the essence of
| humanity, while exhibiting extreme contempt for those promoting,
| knowingly or not, the antithesis of your declaration. That
| exemplifies what I consider an obstacle to our progress.

Why don't you say that you are much more interested in good
relations between people than in learning something from others,
whan that's what you are really arguing for?

It seems you missed the point entirely, but _learning_ is quite the
personal responsibility, clearly distinct from the task of teaching.
I'm saying you should learn from everything and everyone you can,
_especially_ that which disagrees with you, and that includes style
and form, while you seem to be saying that if those who know
something aren't about to spend the time and effort to _teach_
someone who doesn't want to learn, you should disregard them and
their knowledge. This is what I refer to as "arrogant ignorance".
Of course I have nothing but contempt for that, but you're so
amazingly mistaken in your opening paragraph that it isn't worth my
time to "teach" a pig to read.

The antithesis of my position is: "be stupid, don't learn form
others, hate the competent". If this is not what you consider
furthering the progress of humanity, feel free to elaborate.

| There are differences among disagreement, knowledge, and contempt.

_Really_? You might consider spending the few minutes it takes to
read my web pages. Start at <URL:http://naggum.no/erik/>.

Thom Goodsell

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In an effort to quell the impending flame-war over prescriptive
vs. descriptive linguistics, Mirraim-Webster seems to indicate that
"fewer" is correct, though "less" is more popular. Fortunately, I
think I'm correct in assuming that neither Strunk nor White read this
newsgroup, so we could always just let this issue slip quietly away.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?less

Thom

Paul Foley <myc...@actrix.gen.nz> writes:

> On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:24:27 GMT, lambdaman wrote:
>
> > I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".

> =
>
> Nonsense; "less" is fine.
>
> -- =
>
> And =E6lc =FEara =FEe gehier=F0 =FEas min word, and =FEa ne wyrc=FE, se b=
> i=F0 gelic =FE=E6m
> dysigan menn...
>
> (setq reply-to
> (concatenate 'string "Paul Foley " "<mycroft" '(#\@) "actrix.gen.nz>"))=
>

--
Scientist t...@cra.com
Charles River Analytics (617) 491-3474 x574
Cambridge, MA, USA http://www.cra.com/

Chris Page

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts, or printed
versions of the same font. For example, Monaco's parenthesis take up most of
the glyph "box" and are nearly 180 degree arcs.

In a good quality font, especially when printed, parentheses are quite
shallow, making them closer to vertical bars, and their ends are tapered,
which lightens them.

Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
Lisp.

--
Chris Page
Mac OS Guy
Palm, Inc.

let mail-to = concatenate( "Chris Page <page", "@", "best.com>");

Kent M Pitman

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
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Chris Page <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> writes:

> Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
> parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts,

This is presumably the reason that the choice of "fewer" vs "less" matters
to some of our readers. (And, incidentally, it matters to me also, though
probably not to the degree that I would have raised it here.)

A need for fewer parens means fewer parens and is a problem not to be solved
by typography. On the other hand, narrower parens would seem to resolve in
an overall lessening of the mass of parens (if not their count), and so
would be something that typography can affect. ;-) So the question isn't
whether one or the other is right, but just which are we meaning to discuss?
;-)

Here's hoping we've all now learned our less'n and that I'm not just
fewling the fire...

FM

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
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Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:
>* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

>| In a sweep of a paragraph, you attempt to declare the essence of
>| humanity, while exhibiting extreme contempt for those promoting,
>| knowingly or not, the antithesis of your declaration. That
>| exemplifies what I consider an obstacle to our progress.
>
> Why don't you say that you are much more interested in good
> relations between people than in learning something from others,
> whan that's what you are really arguing for?

You misunderstood my proposition.

> It seems you missed the point entirely, but _learning_ is quite the
> personal responsibility, clearly distinct from the task of teaching.
> I'm saying you should learn from everything and everyone you can,
> _especially_ that which disagrees with you, and that includes style
> and form, while you seem to be saying that if those who know
> something aren't about to spend the time and effort to _teach_
> someone who doesn't want to learn, you should disregard them and
> their knowledge.

The world is large enough that one shouldn't have to
learn from each and every know-all one faces. The
chance is that, the more one acts like an arrogant
bastard, the less knowledge he has to offer you.
Besides, you did clearly imply teaching in your
previous post, stating (something to the effect of)
that if you condemn those who try to teach or
correct you, they won't try again to other people.
Quite frankly, I often take the task of learning
quite seriously myself, but I never found the grave
need to learn from those I consider assholes.

> This is what I refer to as "arrogant ignorance".
> Of course I have nothing but contempt for that, but you're so
> amazingly mistaken in your opening paragraph that it isn't worth my
> time to "teach" a pig to read.
>
> The antithesis of my position is: "be stupid, don't learn form
> others, hate the competent". If this is not what you consider
> furthering the progress of humanity, feel free to elaborate.

I won't try to elaborate everything here, but there's
a bit more to that. The guy you replied to didn't per
se "hate" or condemn the competence, just an arrogant
display of such.

> _Really_? You might consider spending the few minutes it takes to
> read my web pages. Start at <URL:http://naggum.no/erik/>.

I must say that I agree with most of the things
on your pages, though I don't get as annoyed by
incompetence as you do.

Barry Margolin

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In article <7v4s4co...@shalott.cra.com>,

Thom Goodsell <t...@shalott.cra.com> wrote:
>In an effort to quell the impending flame-war over prescriptive
>vs. descriptive linguistics, Mirraim-Webster seems to indicate that
>"fewer" is correct, though "less" is more popular. Fortunately, I
>think I'm correct in assuming that neither Strunk nor White read this
>newsgroup, so we could always just let this issue slip quietly away.

Whatever is officially correct, Usenet is not the appropriate place to
worry about it. This is not a writing class, where we're graded on our
proper use of the language. It's an informal discussion group, where
people can write as they're likely to speak in ordinary conversation.
People don't ordinarily speak with perfect grammar, and no one but an anal
retentive would expect such in casual email or posts.

BTW, the netiquette guide specifically recommends *against* spelling and
grammar flames. Precisely for the reason that they result in these
off-topic threads that go on and on.

BTW, I suggest that Erik proofread his posts better. I don't ordinarily
post spelling/grammar corrections, but I feel that spelling/grammar
correction posts are fair game -- if you dish it out, you'd better be able
to take it.

--
Barry Margolin, bar...@genuity.net
Genuity, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

Dorai Sitaram

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In article <B5C94874.736D%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>,

Chris Page <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:
>Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
>parenthesis are quite heavy when compared to other fonts, or printed
>versions of the same font. For example, Monaco's parenthesis take up most of
>the glyph "box" and are nearly 180 degree arcs.
>
>In a good quality font, especially when printed, parentheses are quite
>shallow, making them closer to vertical bars, and their ends are tapered,
>which lightens them.
>
>Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
>Lisp.

Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp
code rely on the fact that the font is monospace.
Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.

--d

Chris Page

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
in article 8o165t$5u2$1...@news.gte.com, Dorai Sitaram at ds...@goldshoe.gte.com

wrote on 2000.08.23 11:46:

> In article <B5C94874.736D%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>,
> Chris Page <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:
>> Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts

[...]
>> In a good quality font
[...]


>> Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
>> Lisp.
>
> Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp code rely on the fact that the
> font is monospace. Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.

You are absolutely correct. However, if you meant to counter me there is no
need to do so, as I never said anything about not using mono-spaced fonts.

But now that you bring it up: Editors should be able to present code in
multiple fonts, styles, etc. including variable-width fonts. Indentation can
easily be maintained regardless of the fonts used, just look at any decent
word-processor for an example of this.

Rainer Joswig

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In article <B5C98083.73D4%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>, Chris Page
<pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:

> in article 8o165t$5u2$1...@news.gte.com, Dorai Sitaram at ds...@goldshoe.gte.com
> wrote on 2000.08.23 11:46:
>
> > In article <B5C94874.736D%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>,
> > Chris Page <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:
> >> Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
> [...]
> >> In a good quality font
> [...]
> >> Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
> >> Lisp.
> >
> > Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp code rely on the fact that the
> > font is monospace. Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.
>
> You are absolutely correct. However, if you meant to counter me there is no
> need to do so, as I never said anything about not using mono-spaced fonts.

Many developers are using variable-width fonts for Macintosh
on the Mac (together with source coloring and using diverse
source styles). "Geneva" is a widely used font for that. I'm
not using it (I'm used to fixed width fonts), but the single
best feature is, that it saves a lot of space on the screen.

> But now that you bring it up: Editors should be able to present code in
> multiple fonts, styles, etc. including variable-width fonts. Indentation can
> easily be maintained regardless of the fonts used, just look at any decent
> word-processor for an example of this.

MCL does that. Users have contributed several systems to do
that. One of the coolest is "COLOR-CODED" written by Glen Foy.
<ftp://ftp.digitool.com/pub/mcl/contrib/color-coded.sea.hqx>

You can see a screen shot of a source file (CLIM code written by me) and
the preference dialog for "COLOR CODED" at:

http://corporate-world.lisp.de/mcl/styles.jpg

Rainer Joswig

--
Rainer Joswig, Hamburg, Germany
Email: mailto:jos...@corporate-world.lisp.de

Rainer Joswig

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In article <joswig-50C742....@news.is-europe.net>, Rainer
Joswig <jos...@corporate-world.lisp.de> wrote:


> In article <B5C98083.73D4%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>, Chris Page
> <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:
>
> > in article 8o165t$5u2$1...@news.gte.com, Dorai Sitaram at ds...@goldshoe.gte.com
> > wrote on 2000.08.23 11:46:
> >
> > > In article <B5C94874.736D%pa...@best.NOSPAM.com>,
> > > Chris Page <pa...@best.NOSPAM.com> wrote:
> > >> Another issue with parentheses is that in some mono-spaced screen fonts
> > [...]
> > >> In a good quality font
> > [...]
> > >> Picking the right font can play an important role in the readability of
> > >> Lisp.
> > >
> > > Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp code rely on the fact that the
> > > font is monospace. Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.
> >
> > You are absolutely correct. However, if you meant to counter me there is no
> > need to do so, as I never said anything about not using mono-spaced fonts.
>
> Many developers are using variable-width fonts for Macintosh


insert "Common Lisp" here. ;-)

Erik Naggum

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

| The world is large enough that one shouldn't have to learn from each
| and every know-all one faces.

That depends very much on _what_ you learn. I find it odd that you
should learn exactly what people try to communicate.

| The chance is that, the more one acts like an arrogant bastard, the
| less knowledge he has to offer you.

How did you arrive at this conclusion? It is all too human to
believe that he who has one flaw has them all, but this is not based
in anything but the wishful thinking of one-dimensional moralists.

| Besides, you did clearly imply teaching in your previous post,
| stating (something to the effect of) that if you condemn those who
| try to teach or correct you, they won't try again to other people.

There's quite the important distinction between teach and correct.

| Quite frankly, I often take the task of learning quite seriously
| myself, but I never found the grave need to learn from those I
| consider assholes.

So you think that only nice guys have something to tell you, which
goes to support my conclusion about your priorities: good relations
first, then increased knowledge.

You know, the very essence of the ad hominem argument, which most
people don't exactly take pride in the way you do, is that you don't
want to listen to the argument because of the person. I consider it
an incredibly unintelligent approach to both people and arguments.
I'd rather dismiss the person for his arguments any day.

| I won't try to elaborate everything here, but there's a bit more to
| that. The guy you replied to didn't per se "hate" or condemn the
| competence, just an arrogant display of such.

As I have belabored, if you can't learn from the harsh parts of
life, what do you expect to learn from the soft and kind?

| I must say that I agree with most of the things on your pages,
| though I don't get as annoyed by incompetence as you do.

I guess it depends on the degree to which you waste otherwise
valuable time and money because of incompetence.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
* ds...@goldshoe.gte.com (Dorai Sitaram)

| Indentation programs used by editors for Lisp
| code rely on the fact that the font is monospace.
| Non-monospace will complicate them considerably.

Not true. Kent Pitman posted an article some time ago about this.
You basically write spaces at the beginning of the line with the
same width as the nearest non-space character above it. Elegant,
even brilliant, but really trivial after the fact of invention.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>

| BTW, I suggest that Erik proofread his posts better. I don't ordinarily
| post spelling/grammar corrections, but I feel that spelling/grammar
| correction posts are fair game -- if you dish it out, you'd better be able
| to take it.

Is this your psychotic prejudice running amuck again? Just _where_
did I "dish out" any spelling/grammar corrections? Please feel free
to post as many message-IDs as you can possibly find.

Your hatred blinds you, Barry. Just open your eyes and stop hating.
It'll do any other remaining mental processes of yours a world of
good, too.

Apologies for your behavior are no longer accepted, Barry. The last
time you apologized for attributing actions to me that I had never
committed, I thought you had learned something valuable, but I have
come to conclude that you're so overpowered by your hatred that even
the ability to remember who did what has deteriorated.

Please confine your criticism of me to what I actually do, will you?
Better yet, figure out why you keep attributing the evils of the
world to me unfairly, then figure out a way to stop doing it, OK?

Barry Margolin

unread,
Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
In article <31760572...@naggum.net>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:
>* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>
>| BTW, I suggest that Erik proofread his posts better. I don't ordinarily
>| post spelling/grammar corrections, but I feel that spelling/grammar
>| correction posts are fair game -- if you dish it out, you'd better be able
>| to take it.
>
> Is this your psychotic prejudice running amuck again? Just _where_
> did I "dish out" any spelling/grammar corrections? Please feel free
> to post as many message-IDs as you can possibly find.

I interpreted your message that began with something like "You aren't
excused because you're German" as a complaint about people with poor skills
in English. Did I misunderstand the point of that message?

I'm not able to communicate in any foreign language (I learned French in
high school, but never to a level of fluency, and I've forgotten much of
it). So I have full respect for anyone who can carry on any level of
conversation in a foreign language, and don't expect them to know my
language perfectly.

Coby Beck

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Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to

Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote in message news:31760555...@naggum.net...

| * da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)
| | The world is large enough that one shouldn't have to learn from each
| | and every know-all one faces.

[snip]

| | Quite frankly, I often take the task of learning quite seriously
| | myself, but I never found the grave need to learn from those I
| | consider assholes.
|
| So you think that only nice guys have something to tell you, which
| goes to support my conclusion about your priorities: good relations
| first, then increased knowledge.
|

I think the relevant point here is that knowledge is available from a wide variety of
sources so it is not necesary to go to all the trouble it takes communicating with
people who dump alot of personl crap into otherwise normal conversations.

Pearls of wisdom are not so rare that one must reach into the toilet to grab them.

Coby


Jochen Schmidt

unread,
Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
Ok please lets stay cool I don't want to start a flamewar - but a nice
little discussion would surely be ok.

Erik Naggum wrote:
> You aren't excused for this argument just because you're German.
> Language skills is not like a disease the better the less afflicted.
> If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
> dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.

My comment was not a statement that I don't want/can further improve
my language skills. I didn't dislike the fact that he has corrected a
common English grammar-pitfall but the way he articulated it.
I may have exaggerated in my post but I often see native-English
speaking people who never thought that there are other people which
haven't learned English from early childhood on.
I may be wrong but if he says he can "no longer stand it" then he
ditches the posters that have been caught in this common pitfalls as
idiots that can not even speak right english.

> I do, however, speak and write English better than a very large

> fraction of its native speakers. This is _not_ an accomplishment,


> mind you, and chances are pretty high you wouldn't be impressed with
> a random native speaker of English who spoke German as perfectly as
> he spoke English. For illumination, _I_ speak Swahili _exactly_ as
> well as I speak Mandarin Chinese.

I know that I don't speak perfect English but I think most people can
understand what I say. If you speak so perfect English then be happy.
You certainly won't reached that level of ability without hard learning and
many mistakes.

>
> The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
> sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
> actually know their stuff.

As I said above I really want to extend my skills and certainly don't want
to be sloppy and incompetent - so I'am not one of those people you
mentioned.
In my opinion the way the original poster wrote is scornful to the posters
that don't speak perfect english.

> I find such scorn towards competence to
> be _fantastically_ offensive.

I find scorn towards the people who want to learn but haven't reached the
state of being perfect _fantastically_ offensive.

> It undermines and ridicules all that
> is human: our ability to learn from those who know more than us, to
> share experiences so we do not have to make them all our own, to be
> able to reason about thus derived knowledge without each one of us
> having to start from first principles. Ridicule those who have the
> better skills, and you exemplify the anti-humanity that is prevalent
> in "modern" culture, which almost deifies stupidity, because it so

> democratic: _Everyone_ can be stupipd. Not everyone can be skilled


> in every skill. How unfair, then, to be supremely skilled when
> others are not skilled at all! How _arrogant_ to know something so
> much better than your fellow man! There lies the road to darkness.
>

> The less/fewer distinction is listed in a small book I got from my
> copy editor years ago: "1001 Pitfalls in English Grammar" -- it
> turned out to be exceptionally valuable. Of course, without the
> occasional reminder from people who actually _define_ the language,
> it is nigh impossible to improve. Scorn them, and they will not try

> again with you, and perhaps not with others. Scorn stupidity and


> lack of skills, instead, but more importantly, listen well to those
> who know something you don't and learn from them, _especially_ if
> they disagree with you in whatever way. (If you can't learn from

> something or someone that disagrees with you, chances are you can't
> learn from anything.)

You're right it is counterproductive to argue the way I argued in my
posting against people who try to help other people to extend their
abilities. But on the other side if all corrections would be made this way
I'm sure fewer and fewer people would overcome themselves to post at a
newsgroup that uses a language that they are not very good in.
(I personally know many people who don't ever tried to post because they
think they are not good enough in writing English)
We should not demotivate the people if we want them to learn something.

But again - You're right that my posting was not very fair, so please
excuse me.

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/23/00
to
* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>

| I interpreted your message that began with something like "You
| aren't excused because you're German" as a complaint about people
| with poor skills in English. Did I misunderstand the point of that
| message?

Yes. Of course you did. You can't even read anything I say without
_imputing_ so much vile crap to it that one _has_ to wonder whence
it all comes. There should be enough to attack me for in what I
actually do, but you have to go out of your way to make it worse by
attacking me for what I do not do, what I do not say, and you have
_zero_ ability or willingness to question your own actions when you
do this. Have you ever wondered what this makes you?

Try reading what I wrote again, and restrict yourself to what I
wrote, no Barry-Margolin-interpretations of it this time, OK?. I
actually suggest you pretend someone else wrote it, so you can keep
your head screwed on straight for a change.

I'll answer the question a couple paragraphs up for you: You're the
kind of man who would willingly jail and hang people for actions you
_want_ them to have committed, Barry. You've done this before, and
you'll do it again, as you do not learn from your past mistakes.

Paul Foley

unread,
Aug 23, 2000, 11:31:20 AM8/23/00
to
On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:24:27 GMT, lambdaman wrote:

> I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".

Nonsense; "less" is fine.

--
And ælc þara þe gehierð þas min word, and þa ne wyrcþ, se bið gelic þæm

Bruce Hoult

unread,
Aug 23, 2000, 3:53:12 PM8/23/00
to
In article <m24s4cx...@mycroft.actrix.gen.nz>, Paul Foley
<myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

> On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:24:27 GMT, lambdaman wrote:
>
> > I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".
>
> Nonsense; "less" is fine.

No it's not. "less" refers to continuous quantities while "fewer"
refers to discrete quantities.

Maybe I should of staid out of you're discussion, aye?

-- Bruce

Paul Foley

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Aug 23, 2000, 8:39:40 PM8/23/00
to

Maybe, but for sure you should have checked a dictionary first :-)

My dictionary (1943 Concise Oxford; none of that misspelled American
rubbish) actually gives "fewer" as a definition for "less", along with
a sentence involving "less men" as an example of use (which is
precisely equivalent to "less parentheses"; QED)

If you're going to flame grammar, complain about people using "they"
when they mean "he", or "who" when they mean "whom", etc. :-)

--
Nomina stultorum in parietibus et portis semper videmus. -- Cicero

FM

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Aug 23, 2000, 9:10:15 PM8/23/00
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:

>* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)
>| The world is large enough that one shouldn't have to learn from each
>| and every know-all one faces.

> That depends very much on _what_ you learn. I find it odd that you


> should learn exactly what people try to communicate.

If you meant learning by a counter-example then, I
guess you can still *learn*. But then being hostile
then doesn't preclude such possibility either. If
you're being an asshole, I can condemn you AND still
learn from you. Your argument is that you shouldn't
try to learn only from those who are nice to you,
I argue, then, that you don't have to be nice to learn
from someone. Since the poster to whom you replied first
in this thread could have learned this particular
point in the English grammar anyhow (which is really
pointless since "less" is a suitable substitution for
"fewer" in colloquial English), your objection then is
quite irrelevant.

>| The chance is that, the more one acts like an arrogant bastard, the
>| less knowledge he has to offer you.

> How did you arrive at this conclusion? It is all too human to
> believe that he who has one flaw has them all, but this is not based
> in anything but the wishful thinking of one-dimensional moralists.

Where do you get this "moralists" crap from? Anyhow,
I find it humorous that you redefined what it is to be
"human" again.

>| Besides, you did clearly imply teaching in your previous post,
>| stating (something to the effect of) that if you condemn those who
>| try to teach or correct you, they won't try again to other people.

> There's quite the important distinction between teach and correct.

Irrelevant, you implied the importance of activity on
the part of the one sharing knowledge, yet you turn
around and say you can learn from them without having
them *teach* you. In other words, you somehow pointed
out that you should be nice to those who have knowledge
to share, while still arguing that *they* don't have to
do anything for you to learn from them. There's a clear
contradiction here, perhaps related to your changing
definition of what "learning from someone" means.

>| Quite frankly, I often take the task of learning quite seriously
>| myself, but I never found the grave need to learn from those I
>| consider assholes.

> So you think that only nice guys have something to tell you, which
> goes to support my conclusion about your priorities: good relations
> first, then increased knowledge.

Ridiculous. You face more people than you can possibly
relate to. You can't "actively" learn from everyone.

And so what if I had such priorities. Learning isn't
the most important activity

> You know, the very essence of the ad hominem argument, which most
> people don't exactly take pride in the way you do, is that you don't
> want to listen to the argument because of the person. I consider it
> an incredibly unintelligent approach to both people and arguments.

Irrelevant. If you're engaged in a formal debate, then
you are simply not allowed to dismiss an argument based
on the lack of credibility on the part of the opposition.
On the other hand, there's more information than you can
possibly imagine, and it's okay to dismiss certain sources
that you consider unreliable or offensive. For example,
when you're looking for a book in a certain area, do you
not pay attention at all to who wrote it? Do you read
every single newspaper in the world?

> I'd rather dismiss the person for his arguments any day.

That on the other hand, would, vaguely qualify as "ad
hominem" if you dismiss other aspects of a person based
on his "arguments" in a specific area. Perhaps that's
not how you meant it, but would you dismiss a Political
Science professor on what he has to say about the world
politics simply because he was unable to give coherent
arguments for his ideas on the design of a LispOS.

>| I won't try to elaborate everything here, but there's a bit more to
>| that. The guy you replied to didn't per se "hate" or condemn the
>| competence, just an arrogant display of such.

> As I have belabored, if you can't learn from the harsh parts of
> life, what do you expect to learn from the soft and kind?

Why do you assume that he didn't "learn?"

>| I must say that I agree with most of the things on your pages,
>| though I don't get as annoyed by incompetence as you do.

> I guess it depends on the degree to which you waste otherwise
> valuable time and money because of incompetence.

Then don't deal with it. If you find it necessary to
deal with incompetence, then it's your problem. Find
a better place to work, hire better people, etc, etc.

Dan.

FM

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Aug 23, 2000, 10:37:22 PM8/23/00
to
Paul Foley <myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

>Maybe, but for sure you should have checked a dictionary first :-)
>
>My dictionary (1943 Concise Oxford; none of that misspelled American
>rubbish) actually gives "fewer" as a definition for "less", along with
>a sentence involving "less men" as an example of use (which is
>precisely equivalent to "less parentheses"; QED)

My dictionary also lists it as one possible definition,
with a note saying that it is often considered incorrect.

>If you're going to flame grammar, complain about people using "they"
>when they mean "he",

That's a problem with the English language not having an
acceptable neutral pronoun to substitute he/she with.

>or "who" when they mean "whom", etc. :-)

I don't think using "who" instead of "whom" is considered
"incorrect" these days.

Dan.

Bruce Hoult

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 12:15:58 AM8/24/00
to
In article <m2ya1nw...@mycroft.actrix.gen.nz>, Paul Foley
<myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

> On Thu, 24 Aug 2000 07:53:12 +1200, Bruce Hoult wrote:
>
> > In article <m24s4cx...@mycroft.actrix.gen.nz>, Paul Foley
> > <myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
>
> >> On Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:24:27 GMT, lambdaman wrote:
> >>
> >> > I can't stand it any longer. The correct word is "fewer".
> >>
> >> Nonsense; "less" is fine.
>
> > No it's not. "less" refers to continuous quantities while "fewer"
> > refers to discrete quantities.
>
> > Maybe I should of staid out of you're discussion, aye?
>
> Maybe, but for sure you should have checked a dictionary first :-)
>
> My dictionary (1943 Concise Oxford; none of that misspelled American
> rubbish) actually gives "fewer" as a definition for "less", along with
> a sentence involving "less men" as an example of use (which is
> precisely equivalent to "less parentheses"; QED)

Well, my 1990 Concise Oxford labels that meaning as "disp.", meaning
disputed or controversial. In other words, acknowledges that some people
use it in that way but it isn't correct.


> If you're going to flame grammar, complain about people using "they"
> when they mean "he", or "who" when they mean "whom", etc. :-)

Sweet as, bro.

-- Bruce

Chris Page

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Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
in article joswig-50C742....@news.is-europe.net, Rainer Joswig at

jos...@corporate-world.lisp.de wrote on 2000.08.23 14:12:

> You can see a screen shot of a source file (CLIM code written by me) and
> the preference dialog for "COLOR CODED" at:
>
> http://corporate-world.lisp.de/mcl/styles.jpg

Thanks! This is an excellent illustration of my point that programs can and
should be presented in a much richer way than plain text.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
* "Coby Beck" <cb...@mercury.bc.ca>

| I think the relevant point here is that knowledge is available from
| a wide variety of sources so it is not necesary to go to all the
| trouble it takes communicating with people who dump alot of personl
| crap into otherwise normal conversations.

The amount of effort required is highly dependent on the person. To
some people, the existence of a nude image of a woman somewhere in
the world is an extreme personal affront, and you cannot get through
to them no matter how hard you try. Others are similarly unable to
deal with the existence of whatever "offends" and ticks them off.

I'm arguing that the more effort it takes for you to learn something
from a disagreeable source, the less you _will_ learn and the lesser
human you are because you are distracted by qualities in others that
would render yourself without support from others if it weren't for
the fact that others are not so uptight and irrational as yourself.

But then again, I'm not exactly a right-wing Republican.

| Pearls of wisdom are not so rare that one must reach into the toilet
| to grab them.

Your feeling of having to reach into the toilet _is_ your problem.
If you feel "dirtied" by the world in general, it is a psychological
disorder you should seek help to get rid of if it gets out of hand.

Erik Naggum

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Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

| If you meant learning by a counter-example then, I guess you can
| still *learn*.

Please listen carefully, now. You're still in the frame of mind
where people who know something that others don't _teach_ it and
where learning means listening to someone who communicates what they
know that whoever listens presumably don't. Learning isn't like
that at all. It isn't like that even in schools and universities.
Learning is, to repaet myself, a profoundly _personal_ experience,
and it's about your relationship with the world around you, and that
_includes_ people, but they are far from primary. Knowledge does
not reside in the communications of knowledgeable people. _Your_
knowledge exists in _your_ brain. It's _your_ responsibility to
stuff _your_ brain with knowledge any way you can.

| Anyhow, I find it humorous that you redefined what it is to be
| "human" again.

It is consistent with your idea of learning that concepts have only
one meaning, and that people "define" humanity as one single aspect
every time they point to some essential feature. I am, however,
quite amazed by this mode of thinking.

| Irrelevant, you implied the importance of activity on the part of
| the one sharing knowledge, yet you turn around and say you can learn
| from them without having them *teach* you.

No, I certainly did not imply the importance of any activity on the
part of the one "sharing" knowledge. Even if I did, I'm very far
from turning around: I have never said or implied that "learn" is
_only_ the passive, receiving end of "teach". Quite the contrary:
Learning is an _active_ process.

| In other words, you somehow pointed out that you should be nice to
| those who have knowledge to share, while still arguing that *they*
| don't have to do anything for you to learn from them.

No, I have never argued for anyone being nice. I wonder if your
world isn't coming in only two colors and that if I deny something,
you automatically think that the contrary has been asserted. This
is just not the case. I have argued that if you are _hostile_ to
someone who knows more than you or are skillful and competent, they
won't share anything with you. Nothing in that implies being nice.
Just be normal. Nice is nicer than normal.

| There's a clear contradiction here, perhaps related to your changing
| definition of what "learning from someone" means.

Nope, the contradictions are your own quite amazingly sloppy work.
"Not nice" doesn't mean "hostile", just as "not hostile" doesn' mean
"nice". Both concepts imply the presence of a quality, and it is
that presence that is denied in with "not", meaning that a
contradition of either concept means that the quality is _absent_,
not that some other quality (which one?) is present.

| Ridiculous. You face more people than you can possibly relate to.
| You can't "actively" learn from everyone.

I can, because I don't put people first. You do, so you can't. And
I don't learn _from_ people, I learn _via_ people. I also don't
teach people, I teach the stuff I know. If people want to learn,
that's good. If they don't, they'd better not pretend to know what
they don't.

| And so what if I had such priorities. Learning isn't the most
| important activity

Thank you. This is what I have wanted you to come out and say,
because clearly you put something, and my guess/hunch/view on that
is that that is people relations, first. Then you'll never really
learn, because you learn what other people tell you at best, not the
stuff they are talking about.

| > You know, the very essence of the ad hominem argument, which most
| > people don't exactly take pride in the way you do, is that you don't
| > want to listen to the argument because of the person. I consider it
| > an incredibly unintelligent approach to both people and arguments.
|
| Irrelevant. If you're engaged in a formal debate, then you are
| simply not allowed to dismiss an argument based on the lack of
| credibility on the part of the opposition. On the other hand,
| there's more information than you can possibly imagine, and it's
| okay to dismiss certain sources that you consider unreliable or
| offensive.

Oh, great, so unless you're in a formal debate, ad hominems are
perfectly OK? Well, I tend to think there's something wrong with
the people behind an argument quite often, but I still don't dismiss
their _arguments_ as such. You do. I consider that moronic at best.

However did you manage to confuse "unreliable" with "offensive"?
And if this isn't saying "only nice people are reliable", nothing is.

| For example, when you're looking for a book in a certain area, do
| you not pay attention at all to who wrote it? Do you read every
| single newspaper in the world?

Highly irrelevant, and stupid too boot.

| > I'd rather dismiss the person for his arguments any day.
|
| That on the other hand, would, vaguely qualify as "ad hominem" if
| you dismiss other aspects of a person based on his "arguments" in a
| specific area.

Perhaps you should to look up what "argumentum ad hominem" means
before you make a bigger fool of yourself?

Dismissing the person means just that: I don't want to have to deal
with the _person_. Since you obviously have not yet grasped the
very important distinction between a person and his actions and work
or whatever his professional role, but still speak in terms of
people when you want to gain knowledge of whatever you experience as
the real world, there is no hope for you until you realize that in
your quest for knowledge, people are just _media_. (People are, of
course, very nice to be around as such, but if you can't deal with
the two functions of always learning and being with other people,
you aren't really with other people, either.)

| Perhaps that's not how you meant it, but would you dismiss a
| Political Science professor on what he has to say about the world
| politics simply because he was unable to give coherent arguments for
| his ideas on the design of a LispOS.

Irrelevant, and an incredibly stupid example. Is this really the
best you can do if you have to ridicule your opponents? Clearly,
learning is so far down on your list, I'll bet you'll have to go to
classes to get into it, and that probably doesn't work well, either.

| > As I have belabored, if you can't learn from the harsh parts of
| > life, what do you expect to learn from the soft and kind?
|
| Why do you assume that he didn't "learn?"

Why do you assume that? Can't you deal with conditionals, either?

| Then don't deal with it. If you find it necessary to deal with
| incompetence, then it's your problem. Find a better place to work,
| hire better people, etc, etc.

Oh, geez. Spare me such infantile naļvité! Show me a country where
incompetent people are banned from power, private or public, and
I'll pack up and move. If it doesn't exist (which, since you have
so problems with conditionals, it doesn't), there's no such thing as
"go start your own country", or "go live on your own planet" unless
you're just as moronic as I'm beginning to suspect you are. (That's
an instance of dismissing the person for his arguments.)

Erik Naggum

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Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
* Jochen Schmidt <j...@dataheaven.de>

| I may be wrong but if he says he can "no longer stand it" then he
| ditches the posters that have been caught in this common pitfalls as
| idiots that can not even speak right english.

I think you're assuming much too much. Just because you can't stand
something someone does, doesn't mean you can't stand that someone as
a whole. Even incredibly obese slobs who stink of last week's sweat
and drool on their dirty clothes may have something useful to say or
do, but "I can't stand this smell" is a perfectly valid statement.

| I know that I don't speak perfect English but I think most people
| can understand what I say. If you speak so perfect English then be
| happy. You certainly won't reached that level of ability without
| hard learning and many mistakes.

I'm trying to tell you that you're so amazingly mistaken in how you
deal with people who speak English reasonably well. I tried very
hard to point out that speaking better English than most native
speakers is _not_ an accomplishment. Speaking better Norwegian than
most Norwegian native speakers is not an accomplishment, either. So
your _accusation_ about speaking perfectly is offensive because it
is so incredibly irrelevant.

Of course language training for a non-native speaker involves a lot
of mistakes, and if it weren't for retards like Barry Margolin who
only use other people's mistakes to shoot them down when he feels
his hatred is justified, it's possible to identify specific mistakes
and not repeat them. Otherwise, you'll have to pay _very_ close
attention to how other people write. Of course, if you're _really_
good, some people _will_ hate you for that, too, and then try to
kill you or at least harrass you to death if you make a mistake.

However, since there are so many people who go ballistic every time
you tell them how something is supposed to be said/written/used, you
have two types of reactions: the getting-irritated-until-you-explode
and suppress-it-and-take-it-out-on-someone-else types. Of course,
there are people who wouldn't know a mistake from a correct usage,
and thus don't care at all, and some of those go ballistic even at
exposure to the concept that something might be _wrong_.

I really thought that by highlighting the uselessness of comparing
the _relative_ skills in two languages through an example with
Swahili and Mandarin Chinese, you would understand that someone who
is able to correct someone because of frequent mistake, does _not_
have to be "perfect" or any other popular accusation against the
skillful and competent, and he may in fact _be_ just as good in
German or whatever, without being anywhere _near_ perfect. In my
particular example, "I speak Swahili _exactly_ as well as I speak
Mandarin Chinese", this is true only because I speak both of them
_not_at_all_. Get it?

| In my opinion the way the original poster wrote is scornful to the
| posters that don't speak perfect english.

Nobody in their right mind is scornful of someone who doesn't do
something "perfectly". I assume that people are irritated by
repeated and unfixed mistakes, which is quite another thing.
However, it is so alien to me that someone should have something
against a _person_ merely because of his actions that I cannot even
fathom how one can see scorn towards a repeated mistake as scorn
towards those who make it. A lot of people can't deal with the
distinction between person and action, but that always seemed such
an obviously serious character flaw that it cannot be assumed.

| > I find such scorn towards competence to
| > be _fantastically_ offensive.
|
| I find scorn towards the people who want to learn but haven't reached the
| state of being perfect _fantastically_ offensive.

But whence this obsession with "perfect"? And how the hell do you
know that he addressed "people who want to learn"? That's a highly
unwarranted assumption if there ever was one. I hope your "want to
learn" does not excuse every mistake people make as long as the
underlying _motive_ is whether they want to learn. (I always argue
that if you try something too often and you consistently fail, it's
better to give it up.)

| But on the other side if all corrections would be made this way I'm
| sure fewer and fewer people would overcome themselves to post at a
| newsgroup that uses a language that they are not very good in.

Only if they take it personally. That's a bad idea on USENET. Only
if someone is really after _you_, should you consider that, and you
know that for certain only when they prove that it doesn't matter
what you _do_ -- they'll criticize _you_, anyway, and for the really
hard evidence: look for criticism of what you _haven't_ done. False
accusations are the best proof ever that it's highly personal, and
that the person on the other end is a deranged lunatic, too. That's
so infrequent that you have to wait for solid evidence, though.

| (I personally know many people who don't ever tried to post because
| they think they are not good enough in writing English)

I have seen a lot of really weird posts by people who effectively
say "I can read English, but I can't write squat, so pleae have me
excused". It's something hard to figure out what they mean, but
at least they're aware of their predicament.

| But again - You're right that my posting was not very fair, so
| please excuse me.

Sure, excused. :) But drop the "perfect" obsession, please.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
In article <31760612...@naggum.net>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:
> Try reading what I wrote again, and restrict yourself to what I
> wrote, no Barry-Margolin-interpretations of it this time, OK?. I
> actually suggest you pretend someone else wrote it, so you can keep
> your head screwed on straight for a change.

Try as I might, I can't seem to read that message without seeing insults in
it. Some excerpts:

If you can no longer improve your English, that's an indictment of a
dysfunctional brain that _I_ certainly would not have made public.

Shouldn't the word be "indication", not "indictment"? An indictment is a
formal accusation, not the evidence that leads to it.

The argument you made is usually made by people who _want_ to be
sloppy and incompetent, and who are consequently scornful of whoever
actually know their stuff.

Are you, or are you not, ridiculing the person you addressed with these
comments? And do you deny that you take this tone frequently with posters
who don't measure up to your expectations of language or technical
precision?

BTW, if you didn't use such an ideosyncratic quoting style, I would be less
likely to prejudge your posts. I wouldn't know who they're from (I usually
page past the headers quickly, and only look back at them if I need to).
But your posts virtually scream "Here comes another Naggumism!".

Dorai Sitaram

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
In article <slrn8q92k1...@hinman-bp-117.dartmouth.edu>,
FM <da...@dartmouth.edu> wrote:

>Paul Foley <myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
>
>>If you're going to flame grammar, complain about people using "they"
>>when they mean "he",
>
>That's a problem with the English language not having an
>acceptable neutral pronoun to substitute he/she with.

Problem? "They" is a grammatically plural
pronoun whose referent can be logically singular or
plural. It isn't the only such pronoun in English.
Consider "you".

(And the royal "we". Thus we have pronouns in
all three persons that are both gender- and
number-unspecific. ;-> )

--d

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>

| Try as I might, I can't seem to read that message without seeing
| insults in it.

That's because when you see it's from me, Barry, you can't see
anything else. You say so yourself: You prejudge my articles.
Whatever you claim to see is certainly no excuse to accuse me of
what _isn't_ there, which is what I'm reacting to, and which I'm
challenging you to defend. Your hatred is legendary, but it should
stop short of false accusations. Why doesn't it? Are you insane?

Now, give me some message-ID's where I "dish out" spelling and
grammar flames or go kill yourself in shame, will you?

| Shouldn't the word be "indication", not "indictment"?

Why do you _continue_ your spelling/grammar/etc bashing when you
have _yet_ to prove that you have the right to do so? Do you even
remember by now that all this is predicated on your false accusation
against me that _I_ dish out same so you can retaliate against me?
So what is this? Proactive retaliation, Barry Margolin style? You
have already established that you are more than willing to accuse
people wrongly without remorse, as if your own psychosis is excuse
enough to do whatever you want. Have you killed any people because
they "might" do you harm if they were as bad as you have conjured up
your insane visions that they are? Do you kill people, Barry?

| And do you deny that you take this tone frequently with posters who
| don't measure up to your expectations of language or technical
| precision?

So _this_ is your justification for false accusations against me!
I'm _so_ impressed. What does it take for you to realize that what
you keep doing is evil no matter what anyone else does in this world?

Come on, now, give me some message-IDs where I "dish out" spelling
and grammar flames! You can do it, Barry, you can even figure out
the checksum in my message-IDs and post some fakes, can't you?

| BTW, if you didn't use such an ideosyncratic quoting style, I would
| be less likely to prejudge your posts.

No, I don't think so. I don't think you are at all able _not_ to
"prejudge" my posts. It's all in your mind, Barry. Please get some
professional help to stop prejudging my posts. It has nothing to do
with the quoting style. Seek professional counseling, Barry.

And what, precisely, has kept you from reading my posts if they are
so easily identifiable to you? Are you so far into psychosis that
you have lost whatever remnant of free will caused your evil, Barry?

I'm looking forward to the message-IDs, so people can look at the
whole article in context, because you sure can't, as that would
deflate the entire defense for your incredibly evil behavior.

You're much worse than I am, Barry: You hate. You'll kill if you
could get away with it, and I suspect that one day, perhaps in the
past, you really will kill someone in that blind hatred of yours.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/24/00
to
In article <31761465...@naggum.net>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:
> I'm looking forward to the message-IDs, so people can look at the
> whole article in context, because you sure can't, as that would
> deflate the entire defense for your incredibly evil behavior.

<31759701...@naggum.net>

Rather than actually containing grammar criticism, it seems to be
insulting the other poster for his unwillingness to accept unsolicited
grammar corrections. Not a significant difference, IMHO.

> You're much worse than I am, Barry: You hate.

Would you please stop using that word? I dislike you and think you're
extremely annoying when you post your tirades, but I don't hate you (or
anyone else, for that matter).

But I guess if I'm really psychotic as you said, I wouldn't know it, so my
response obviously means nothing.

FM

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 8:36:50 PM8/24/00
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:

> Please listen carefully, now. You're still in the frame of mind
> where people who know something that others don't _teach_ it and
> where learning means listening to someone who communicates what they
> know that whoever listens presumably don't. Learning isn't like
> that at all.

You hinted at that practice. I can learn from whomever I want,
regardless of how I act to them. Why do you assume otherwise?

> It isn't like that even in schools and universities.
> Learning is, to repaet myself, a profoundly _personal_ experience,
> and it's about your relationship with the world around you, and that
> _includes_ people, but they are far from primary. Knowledge does
> not reside in the communications of knowledgeable people. _Your_
> knowledge exists in _your_ brain. It's _your_ responsibility to
> stuff _your_ brain with knowledge any way you can.

And YOU listen carefully now. Who says I'm not doing that?

>| Anyhow, I find it humorous that you redefined what it is to be
>| "human" again.

> It is consistent with your idea of learning that concepts have only
> one meaning, and that people "define" humanity as one single aspect
> every time they point to some essential feature. I am, however,
> quite amazed by this mode of thinking.

Nope, you were the one proclaiming that "[Such scorn] undermines
all that is human." Note "all." I'm quite amazed by your utter
inability to note contradictions in your own thoughts. Multiple
referents for a single word don't bail you out, considering that
each was vague; you were obfuscating the meaning of your sentences
using these words, inviting uncertainty and certain criticism.

> No, I certainly did not imply the importance of any activity on the
> part of the one "sharing" knowledge. Even if I did, I'm very far
> from turning around: I have never said or implied that "learn" is
> _only_ the passive, receiving end of "teach". Quite the contrary:
> Learning is an _active_ process.

Bull, you still don't get it. I never said anything about
learning being a passive process. But you did say:

"Scorn them, and they will not try again with you,
and perhaps not with others."

If learning was a process that you describe as above,
why would I care if they will try again with me or
with others?

> No, I have never argued for anyone being nice. I wonder if your
> world isn't coming in only two colors and that if I deny something,
> you automatically think that the contrary has been asserted. This
> is just not the case. I have argued that if you are _hostile_ to
> someone who knows more than you or are skillful and competent, they
> won't share anything with you. Nothing in that implies being nice.
> Just be normal. Nice is nicer than normal.

Fine, then. If you're being normal to someone who's being
an asshole to you, you're being nice.

>| There's a clear contradiction here, perhaps related to your changing
>| definition of what "learning from someone" means.

> Nope, the contradictions are your own quite amazingly sloppy work.

Your own sloppy work, in actuality. You seem quite certain
of your own criticism, when you have no idea what you're
talking about or what I'm talking about for that matter.

> "Not nice" doesn't mean "hostile", just as "not hostile" doesn' mean
> "nice".

Learn English. "Not nice" almost always means a degree of
hostility, and "not hostile" consequently means a degree
of being nice. Those are relative terms.

> Both concepts imply the presence of a quality,

Only when you see that quality as a continuum which
extends in several directions where the above words
have both absolute and relative referents in.

> and it is
> that presence that is denied in with "not", meaning that a
> contradition of either concept means that the quality is _absent_,
> not that some other quality (which one?) is present.

Again, I suggest you learn English. When someone says
"I don't like you" that doesn't mean she is simply not
in the state of likeing you - it means she hates (to
a lesser degree than this strong word denotes) you.

>| Ridiculous. You face more people than you can possibly relate to.
>| You can't "actively" learn from everyone.

> I can, because I don't put people first. You do, so you can't.

More bullshit. So if you go to a stadium filled with 40000
people, do you learn from each and every one? If that's what
you consider learning, I'm doing fine.

> And
> I don't learn _from_ people, I learn _via_ people.

More bullshit.

>| And so what if I had such priorities. Learning isn't the most
>| important activity

> Thank you. This is what I have wanted you to come out and say,
> because clearly you put something, and my guess/hunch/view on that
> is that that is people relations, first. Then you'll never really
> learn, because you learn what other people tell you at best, not the
> stuff they are talking about.

Of course you have no idea what you're talking about. One, my
priorities aren't simple as you have delineated before. Two,
one doesn't have to put forward learning as the single most
important priority to be able to learn at all.

>| > You know, the very essence of the ad hominem argument, which most
>| > people don't exactly take pride in the way you do, is that you don't
>| > want to listen to the argument because of the person. I consider it
>| > an incredibly unintelligent approach to both people and arguments.
>|
>| Irrelevant. If you're engaged in a formal debate, then you are
>| simply not allowed to dismiss an argument based on the lack of
>| credibility on the part of the opposition. On the other hand,
>| there's more information than you can possibly imagine, and it's
>| okay to dismiss certain sources that you consider unreliable or
>| offensive.

> Oh, great, so unless you're in a formal debate, ad hominems are
> perfectly OK? Well, I tend to think there's something wrong with
> the people behind an argument quite often, but I still don't dismiss
> their _arguments_ as such. You do. I consider that moronic at best.

I don't. So you do read every single newspaper writer,
every single website that claims to have information,
before you dismiss them? The term "ad hominem" is
meaningless outside of the context of a debate of some
sort.

> However did you manage to confuse "unreliable" with "offensive"?
> And if this isn't saying "only nice people are reliable", nothing is.

Somehow, you manage to show your misunderstanding of
the word "or." There are offensive sources and there
are unreliable sources. I tend to avoid both. Why it
came to your mind that I confused one with the other
is completely beyond my imagination.

>| For example, when you're looking for a book in a certain area, do
>| you not pay attention at all to who wrote it? Do you read every
>| single newspaper in the world?

> Highly irrelevant, and stupid too boot.

It is quite relevant to what you said. You said you
shouldn't dismiss anyone based on their credibility
alone.

> Perhaps you should to look up what "argumentum ad hominem" means
> before you make a bigger fool of yourself?

Actually, you're the one in a greater need of a dictionary.

> Dismissing the person means just that: I don't want to have to deal
> with the _person_.

Which would you hinder your learning from the person.

> Since you obviously have not yet grasped the
> very important distinction between a person and his actions and work
> or whatever his professional role, but still speak in terms of
> people when you want to gain knowledge of whatever you experience as
> the real world, there is no hope for you until you realize that in
> your quest for knowledge, people are just _media_.

Which is why you said:

"Scorn them, and they will not try again with you,
and perhaps not with others."

Confusion orients from my attempts to try to write
in your own lingo, which of course confuses and
upsets you greatly, because of the inherent
contradictions you discover.

>| Perhaps that's not how you meant it, but would you dismiss a
>| Political Science professor on what he has to say about the world
>| politics simply because he was unable to give coherent arguments for
>| his ideas on the design of a LispOS.

> Irrelevant, and an incredibly stupid example.

Not as stupid as trying to use "ad hominem," which is
a logical fallacy, but isn't at all relevant outside
of formal logical context to criticize a person's
practice. In fact that example of "dismissing a person
based on his arguments" is an example of ad hominem.
In other words, ad hominem is an example of using
irrelevant information for a logical basis, and it's
not logical to dismiss a person based on his
arguments in a certain area. If that weren't a case,
you'd be dismissed out of this newsgroup for your
utterly incompetent arguments in this thread.

>| > As I have belabored, if you can't learn from the harsh parts of
>| > life, what do you expect to learn from the soft and kind?

>| Why do you assume that he didn't "learn?"

> Why do you assume that? Can't you deal with conditionals, either?

Using conditionals as rhetorically of course. If you're that
much of an idiot that you cannot appreciate, or understand
the difference, why bother?

>| Then don't deal with it. If you find it necessary to deal with
>| incompetence, then it's your problem. Find a better place to work,
>| hire better people, etc, etc.

> Oh, geez. Spare me such infantile naïvité!

Oh geez. Someone can't deal with rhetorical points. If
you find incompetence ubiquitous and annoying to the
point that you think it should be punishable by law,
you are in need of a change of scenery. Competence
is a relative word and if you find incompetence
everywhere, your standards are out of touch with
reality.

Note a paradox in the sentence I'm referring to in your
own website.

> Show me a country where
> incompetent people are banned from power, private or public, and
> I'll pack up and move. If it doesn't exist (which, since you have
> so problems with conditionals, it doesn't), there's no such thing as
> "go start your own country", or "go live on your own planet" unless
> you're just as moronic as I'm beginning to suspect you are. (That's
> an instance of dismissing the person for his arguments.)

That's still your problem. Why do you find the need to
actively *hate* it? FYI, I heard the guys who work in
hell are extremely competent.

Your main mode of argument is to read between the text,
find all the irrelevant points that I *might* be
implying and then attack them while dismissing all the
relevant points with insults. Of course when you argue
your own points, you riddle them with a lot of irrelevant
garbage while leaving out crucial points and when I point
out the flaws, you augment your arguments with additional
points that you never made, blast me for not getting
those points in your original arguments, and add some
more insults.

Dan.

FM

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 9:31:54 PM8/24/00
to
Dorai Sitaram <ds...@goldshoe.gte.com> wrote:
>FM <da...@dartmouth.edu> wrote:
>>Paul Foley <myc...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:

>>>If you're going to flame grammar, complain about people using "they"
>>>when they mean "he",

>>That's a problem with the English language not having an
>>acceptable neutral pronoun to substitute he/she with.

>Problem? "They" is a grammatically plural


>pronoun whose referent can be logically singular or
>plural.

Interesting. Any source? I did see it as a suggestion,
but I don't think I have ever read that it is correct
for "they" to have a singular referent.

Dan.

Christopher Browne

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 10:01:49 PM8/24/00
to
Centuries ago, Nostradamus foresaw a time when Erik Naggum would say:

>* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>
>| BTW, I suggest that Erik proofread his posts better. I don't ordinarily
>| post spelling/grammar corrections, but I feel that spelling/grammar
>| correction posts are fair game -- if you dish it out, you'd better be able
>| to take it.
>
> Is this your psychotic prejudice running amuck again? Just _where_
> did I "dish out" any spelling/grammar corrections? Please feel free
> to post as many message-IDs as you can possibly find.

When you start getting involved in a "spelling/grammar correction"
thread, that means jumping down the slippery slope that leads to
people getting more and more picky about spelling and grammar.

Where you get "psychotic prejudice" from is not clear.

> Your hatred blinds you, Barry. Just open your eyes and stop hating.
> It'll do any other remaining mental processes of yours a world of
> good, too.

Perhaps he hates you, or perhaps _you're_ the one in a blind fury
about this. His comment about you seemed to me to be a relatively
minor "aside."

It seems like quite a leap for you to jump to accusative phrases like:


"Is this your psychotic prejudice running amuck again?"

"Your hatred blinds you"
"You're so overpowered by your hatred"

Such comments seem to point in a rather different direction than to
the conclusion that _Barry_ is filled with blind hatred. They seem
suggestive of hatred residing elsewhere.
--
(concatenate 'string "cbbrowne" "@" "hex.net")
<http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/>
"Perfection is reached, not when is nothing more to add, but when
there is nothing more to take away." -- Antoine de Sainte Exupery.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Aug 24, 2000, 11:49:23 PM8/24/00
to
In article <slrn8qbj5a...@hinman-bp-117.dartmouth.edu>,

If you look up "they" at www.dictionary.com, it mentions this use with the
note "Usage problem". And if you look up "he", there's a long "Usage note"
that discusses the issue of gender-neutral pronouns. See
<http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=A0042019>. The plural
pronouns are accepted in colloquial prose, and are becoming acceptable in
more formal writings.

Raffael Cavallaro

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 12:40:15 AM8/25/00
to
In article <31761235...@naggum.net>, Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net>
wrote:

>| Pearls of wisdom are not so rare that one must reach into the toilet


>| to grab them.
>
> Your feeling of having to reach into the toilet _is_ your problem.
> If you feel "dirtied" by the world in general, it is a psychological
> disorder you should seek help to get rid of if it gets out of hand.

Surely one can't have missed the implication that abusive communication
is the toilet to which Coby referred. Coby doesn't feel "dirtied" by
"the wold in general," but by a minority of verbally abusive individuals
in it.

Quoting the full context, with **emphasis added**:

"I think the relevant point here is that knowledge is available from a

wide variety of sources so **it is not necesary to go to all the trouble
it takes communicating with people who dump alot of person[a]l crap into
otherwise normal conversations. **

Pearls of wisdom are not so rare that one must reach into the toilet to
grab them."


It is left as an exercise for the readers of c.l.l to puzze out who it
could be who would "dump alot of person[a]l crap into otherwise normal
conversations." It's no use pretending that "the world in general" is as
routinely abusive as this sort of person.

Ralph

--

Raffael Cavallaro, Ph.D.
raf...@mediaone.net

FM

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> wrote:

>>Interesting. Any source? I did see it as a suggestion,
>>but I don't think I have ever read that it is correct
>>for "they" to have a singular referent.

>If you look up "they" at www.dictionary.com, it mentions this use with the
>note "Usage problem". And if you look up "he", there's a long "Usage note"
>that discusses the issue of gender-neutral pronouns. See
><http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=A0042019>. The plural
>pronouns are accepted in colloquial prose, and are becoming acceptable in
>more formal writings.

Wow. That's pretty refreshing. I still won't use it in
formal context though, a lot of old-school folks would
not be so tolerant with this use. Until it becomes more
widespread, and so long as some people have trouble with
using "he" in the general case, I guess we're stuck
with the inelegant "he/she" (or "one") for a while.

Dan.

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net>

| Rather than actually containing grammar criticism, it seems to be
| insulting the other poster for his unwillingness to accept unsolicited
| grammar corrections. Not a significant difference, IMHO.

Oh, geez, this is _so_ pathetic. No _actual_ criticism, of course!,
certainly _no_ dishing out, of course!, but something which Barry
Margolin, the ultimate hateful psycho, claims is not "significantly
different" because that way he can keep believing he's in the right.
You really are devoid of reasoning abilities behind all that hatred.

| Would you please stop using that word?

No. Provide some evidence of sanity and absence of hatred on your
part. _All_ you're doing is making it harder and harder to pretend
you aren't so hateful that you can't see or think straight. I don't
change my mind in the face of sheer lack of evidence the way you do,
so you have to _do_ something that can alter the impression you
leave that no matter _what_ I do, your psychotic hatred will "see"
something that isn't there but which you can accuse me of, and then
when you're exposed as a liar, fraud, and psychotic, the best you
can come up with is something that is "not significantly different"
to _you_. Well, big surprise, there! _Nothing_ is _significantly_
different from what you accuse people of, unjustly and falsely.

You don't _have_ to read what I post, you sick psycho. If you do,
it's because you need to feed your insanity and hatred and need to
take it out on me whenever there's something else that triggers your
psychosis. More importantly, there's _nothing_ I can do to make
these insane accusations of yours stop. Your hatred is eternal, and
no longer based in reality. We established that the first time you
_admitted_ that you couldn't see anything I did unless it fit your
preconceptions. I was stupid to accept your apology. You're not
the kind of person whose apologies can be accepted, Barry Margolin.

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

| Learn English. "Not nice" almost always means a degree of
| hostility, and "not hostile" consequently means a degree of being
| nice. Those are relative terms.

I suspected you wouldn't understand that and resort to some idiocy
like "learn English" when you clearly can't grasp a concept of
medium complexity in logic. I'm sorry I wasted any effort on you.
It was obvious that when you didn't clue in on "ad hominem".

I hope you figure out the concept of negation in your next life.
All your crap about contradictions have one root cause: That you
can't grasp the nature of negation.

#:Erik

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* Raffael Cavallaro <raf...@mediaone.net>
| It is left as an exercise for the readers of c.l.l ...
:
| Raffael Cavallaro, Ph.D.
| raf...@mediaone.net

Why don't you explain the obvious one more time? I'm sure nobody
figured it out by themselves the first time, so your continued help
and guidance would be most welcome!

Erik Naggum

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* cbbr...@news.hex.net (Christopher Browne)

| Such comments seem to point in a rather different direction than to
| the conclusion that _Barry_ is filled with blind hatred. They seem
| suggestive of hatred residing elsewhere.

I guess you would blame the victim of hatred elsewhere. It's all
too common for bystanders to do that, but that's the kind of thing
that keeps the hatred going. Defend hatred, and you end up with
people who kill because they can no longer control it and whole
movements of people who blame some _group_ of people or just someone
for every ill on the planet. Remember the lynch mobs? Guess who
they would blame for their ills. You know this evil in progress
when you see a false accusation that is not corrected, but instead
reinforced, when criticized, and when the concept of justice is
discarded in favor of following the hateful emotions. Barry
Margolin has even admitted to be that kind of person previously.
He has learned exactly nothing.

Tim Bradshaw

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* Barry Margolin wrote:
> If you look up "they" at www.dictionary.com, it mentions this use with the
> note "Usage problem". And if you look up "he", there's a long "Usage note"
> that discusses the issue of gender-neutral pronouns. See
> <http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=A0042019>. The plural
> pronouns are accepted in colloquial prose, and are becoming acceptable in
> more formal writings.

Since this has come up again, I'll mention again that the use of
`they' to mean a generic singular person is native in my dialect ,--
at least I assume it is based on remembering having used it when I was
perhaps 10 or 11. Since, as a child, I probably spoke a fairly
prestigious dialect (English, home counties, private school, country
living, blah), and my parents were not very PC people, I find these
long discussions about how this use of `they' is a new and
not-entirely-acceptable thing rather amusing. There may be a
distinction between spoken and written English -- I'm not sure that I
or my parents would have *written* `they' like this -- and
dictionaries do tend to downplay spoken language, so maybe this is it.

--tim


FM

unread,
Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:

>| Learn English. "Not nice" almost always means a degree of
>| hostility, and "not hostile" consequently means a degree of being
>| nice. Those are relative terms.

> I suspected you wouldn't understand

Funny. I clearly understand the difference between
"not" used for logical negation and "not" used for
antonymic modification. It's your utter inability
to understand the dual use of the word, compounded
by your refusal to accept that the qualities in
question are inherently relative - boolean or
even trinary logic isn't sufficient to address
these qualities in meaningful form.

> that and resort to some idiocy
> like "learn English" when you clearly can't grasp a concept of
> medium complexity in logic. I'm sorry I wasted any effort on you.
> It was obvious that when you didn't clue in on "ad hominem".

What, you mean your pathetic attempt to relate the
idea of avoiding a person based on his previous
conduct to a logical fallacy? Or your implict rule
that you're the only one who's allowed to introduce
words with multiple referents and others are simply
forced to submit to your definitions, despite the
fact that your command of the English language,
notwithstanding your assertion to the contrary, is
questionable at best?

> I hope you figure out the concept of negation in your next life.
> All your crap about contradictions have one root cause: That you
> can't grasp the nature of negation.

You can't grasp that the word "not" is often used for
things other than logical negation in English. For some
reason, you are content to use the word "human" for
contrasting purposes, yet you bark just as one uses a
fairly standard definition of the word "not," which
happens to conflict with your notion of negation. To
use your own analogy, there seem to be only two colors
in your world. I hope you're born with better vision
in your next life. Yes it applies to this situation
in more than one way. Funny how one who takes learning
as seriously as he claims hasn't learned to see things
relatively and loses sight of things just as his world
of absolutes falls apart with each piece floating in
chaos.


Dorai Sitaram

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Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
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In article <slrn8qc7a...@hinman-bp-117.dartmouth.edu>,
FM <da...@dartmouth.edu> wrote:

>Barry Margolin <bar...@genuity.net> wrote:
>
>>>Interesting. Any source? I did see it as a suggestion,
>>>but I don't think I have ever read that it is correct
>>>for "they" to have a singular referent.
>
>>If you look up "they" at www.dictionary.com, it mentions this use with the
>>note "Usage problem". And if you look up "he", there's a long "Usage note"
>>that discusses the issue of gender-neutral pronouns. See
>><http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=A0042019>. The plural
>>pronouns are accepted in colloquial prose, and are becoming acceptable in
>>more formal writings.
>
>Wow. That's pretty refreshing. I still won't use it in
>formal context though, a lot of old-school folks would
>not be so tolerant with this use. Until it becomes more
>widespread, and so long as some people have trouble with
>using "he" in the general case, I guess we're stuck
>with the inelegant "he/she" (or "one") for a while.

http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janeinfo.html
assures me that _they_ for logical singular dates back
to the 14th century, and has been used by a pretty
respectable passel of writers from Chaucer and
Shakespeare through Austen and Dickens to Shaw and
Orwell. Looks pretty "old-school" to me (leading me
to wonder when and where in history did people start
worrying that _they_ for singular could be
wrong).

--d

Erik Naggum

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Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
* da...@dartmouth.edu (FM)

| It's your utter inability to understand the dual use of the word

Really? And what is your grounds for concluding that? The whole
point in my discussion is to stress lack of absolutes and lack of
unique meanings. Your head doesn't really work, does it?

If you understand both uses, how come you have to fight against one
of them? That's what this idiocy of your boils down to.

| You can't grasp that the word "not" is often used for
| things other than logical negation in English.

Really? And how did you arrive at that conclusion when the issue is
whether you would understand the logical usage? You amaze me. I
thought intelligence at your level was accompanied by fur, grunts,
and bananas, but clearly it has developed language skills at quite
an advanced level.

| For some reason, you are content to use the word "human" for
| contrasting purposes, yet you bark just as one uses a fairly
| standard definition of the word "not," which happens to conflict
| with your notion of negation.

Really? Who's the one barking about "not", here? I'm perfectly
happy with multiple meanings, but I clearly don't use _all_ of them
at the same time. When you fight tooth and nail against the one
that is clearly implied, it's somewhat curious to watch you try to
blame me for it. But hey, Barry Margolin is on the loose, so I
guess it's infectious to blame me for things I don't do. Watch out,
though. Hatred is infectious, too.

| Funny how one who takes learning as seriously as he claims hasn't
| learned to see things relatively and loses sight of things just as
| his world of absolutes falls apart with each piece floating in chaos.

You just described yourself, but I guess you knew that. I doesn't
work very well to play the mirror game on people smarter than you.

I was talking about how important it is to learn from any source,
regardless of how some infantile reactions like saving face might
compel one to reject others, but it is clear that you will never
learn from a source that is not _very_ agreeable to you. Instead
you will defend that _you_ be right, rather than defend _what_ is
right and adapt your own views accordingly. You're a people person,
and it shows all too well. People persons are seldom right, but
they are very agreeable as long as others are agreeable to them. As
soon as someone tries to tell them something they don't know, it's
more important whether their image in the minds of others will
change than whether it's correct or useful, and if the image is
under threat, god help whoever told them the bad news.

Thank you for letting me know that you're the kind of person who
doesn't give a flying fuck about what's true, correct, or useful as
long as the one telling you about it offends you in ways completely
irrelevant to the information you receive. One-dimensional people
are so amazingly useless.

FM

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Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00
to
Erik Naggum <er...@naggum.net> wrote:

> Really? And how did you arrive at that conclusion when the issue is
> whether you would understand the logical usage? You amaze me. I
> thought intelligence at your level was accompanied by fur, grunts,
> and bananas, but clearly it has developed language skills at quite
> an advanced level.

Ah, more lovely insults. Do you ever have any idea what
you are talking about?

>| Funny how one who takes learning as seriously as he claims hasn't
>| learned to see things relatively and loses sight of things just as
>| his world of absolutes falls apart with each piece floating in chaos.

> You just described yourself, but I guess you knew that. I doesn't
> work very well to play the mirror game on people smarter than you.

You surely don't work well. Glad you figured that out.

> I was talking about how important it is to learn from any source,
> regardless of how some infantile reactions like saving face might
> compel one to reject others,

Like you exemplified when Barry corrected your mistake?

> but it is clear that you will never
> learn from a source that is not _very_ agreeable to you.

What is clear? You surely like to talk about things you have
no idea about.

> Instead
> you will defend that _you_ be right, rather than defend _what_ is
> right and adapt your own views accordingly.

That's what exactly you're doing.

> You're a people person,
> and it shows all too well.

That's something I've never been accused of.

> People persons are seldom right, but
> they are very agreeable as long as others are agreeable to them. As
> soon as someone tries to tell them something they don't know, it's
> more important whether their image in the minds of others will
> change than whether it's correct or useful, and if the image is
> under threat, god help whoever told them the bad news.

Again, nonsensical psychoanalysis. Of course you never really
bothered to learn all the relevant details. Funny how you
never learn when your arguments are under question.

> Thank you for letting me know that you're the kind of person who
> doesn't give a flying fuck about what's true, correct, or useful as
> long as the one telling you about it offends you in ways completely
> irrelevant to the information you receive. One-dimensional people
> are so amazingly useless.

You are keenly aware of your own uselessness so I won't
bother elaborating it here.


FM

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Aug 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/25/00