Comment On It's a Different Set of Rules

Learning to communicate effectively is highly important so that you don't make yourself, and by extension, your company, look stupid. That said, I probably used too many commas in that last sentence. Their our alot of common mistakes that people make to often that could of easily been avoided. In the case of Adam V.'s coworker (who we'll call Angie), though, her mastery of grammar worked against her. [expand full text]
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Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:05 • by There but for the grace of God... (unregistered)
Angie suffers from the malady "English Major's Brain". People who choose English as their major area of study in college instead of Computer Science or Engineering aren't thinking ahead to what can make them a decent living.

Even though my speling, grammer, and punctuation are'nt exactly correct, I can at least make a better living than most people who pursued liberal areas of study in college.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:05 • by Pap
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:07 • by ObiWayneKenobi
The REAL WTF(TM) is how did this person manage to get a job as a programmer to begin with? Even a neophyte should understand that programming syntax is not the same as English syntax.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:16 • by Lynx (unregistered)
157238 in reply to 157234
ObiWayneKenobi:
The REAL WTF(TM) is how did this person manage to get a job as a programmer to begin with?

Eh? You're reading WTF and actually asking this question?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:24 • by 1337 (unregistered)
... Their our alot of common mistakes ...

that was a joke write?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:30 • by MikeCD (unregistered)
157241 in reply to 157233
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

You mean 0xf0rd

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:33 • by Critic (unregistered)
157243 in reply to 157232
There but for the grace of God...:
Angie suffers from the malady "English Major's Brain". People who choose English as their major area of study in college instead of Computer Science or Engineering aren't thinking ahead to what can make them a decent living.

Even though my speling, grammer, and punctuation are'nt exactly correct, I can at least make a better living than most people who pursued liberal areas of study in college.


Too bad making a better living doesn't make you a better person.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:33 • by Vechni
outprinting "the result is " and naming your variables 'value'.... classic WTF signs.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:35 • by Jaap-Jan
157245 in reply to 157240
1337:
... Their our alot of common mistakes ...

that was a joke write?
Off course not.

By the way, you spelt 'write' wrong, wright?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:48 • by gabba (unregistered)
I, for one, hope she finds a good job as an editor somewhere. I'm glad to see someone standing up for proper grammar these days.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:48 • by etr (unregistered)
157250 in reply to 157243
Neither does being able to spell correctly...

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:49 • by Spoe (unregistered)
A comma outside the quote is perfectly acceptable English syntax. It just depends on the style book you're using. The Chicago Manual of Style, for example, lists this as a perfectly acceptable alternate syntax for quotations. There's a couple of others containing similar rules.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:50 • by RadiantMatrix (unregistered)
Oh, this makes me happy:
Their our alot of common mistakes that people make to often that could of easily been avoided.


Very well done, sir.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:51 • by An honest mouse (unregistered)
157253 in reply to 157233
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

You mean "if she *were* educated at Oxford"...

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 14:53 • by Mark (unregistered)
Simple, all we need to do for this programmer is write a macro which reverses the order of arguments. Then she can write the grammatically correct:

PRINT( x, "The value is %s." );

The macro should probably also add a \n onto the end of the format string too, since that was absent.

Why bother learning the programming language when you can just rewrite it to satisfy how you think it should work?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:02 • by phaedrus
157256 in reply to 157253
An honest mouse:
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

You mean "if she *were* educated at Oxford"...


I would only had have corrected this statement if I saw all the errors.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:03 • by K (unregistered)
157257 in reply to 157233
Pap:
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

Oxford commas are related to use of commas in lists, not in quotations.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:07 • by Brilliance (unregistered)
Angie went on to conceive a much simpler programming language based heavily on common English conventions. She never acted on the idea. Instead, she simply vented to her friend Matsumoto and then changed careers to red gemstone wholesales. Go figure.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:07 • by There but for the grace of God... (unregistered)
157259 in reply to 157243
Spoken like a true English Major...

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:14 • by J (unregistered)
Angie should check out Inform 7: http://www.inform-fiction.org/I7/Inform%207.html

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:15 • by Sean (unregistered)
The comma (or period) inside the quotes thing is ridiculous in English anyway. If you're quoting someone, and they didn't have a comma in what they said/wrote, it makes no sense to add the comma inside the quotation marks, given the meaning of "quoting" someone. Also it looks "stupid."

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:15 • by Troy Mclure (unregistered)
157262 in reply to 157260
Oh I get it - the WTF is that she's a girl and she's in programming. Good one!

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:17 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
157264 in reply to 157232
There but for the grace of God...:
Angie suffers from the malady "English Major's Brain". People who choose English as their major area of study in college instead of Computer Science or Engineering aren't thinking ahead to what can make them a decent living.


My bachelor's of arts is in English and Computer Science (double major). I most certainly know the difference between natural language and programming languages. For one thing, programming languages make considerably more sense. ;-)

Anyone who can grasp the often perplexing rules of English grammar should have no trouble accepting that C++ is different, especially given its relative simplicity of syntax. This woman is an embarrassment to English majors.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:17 • by Harrow (unregistered)
I think you can test for computer programming talent long before going anywhere near LOGO or BASIC or any other formal language. Just look for the kids who are always asking why English syntax and spelling are so wierd^Wweird^Wstupid.

I don't care what languages he's worked in or what project experience he's had; send me the candidate who's comfortable punctuating the English sentence
I said 'Did he ask "Are you going?" or "Aren't you going?"?'.
and I'll teach him what he needs to know about #@%*ing ASP.

-Harrow.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:20 • by Jo (unregistered)
No wait - I get it!

The WTF is that printf is a C (without any pluses or anything) function, right?

The REAL WTF is...

2007-10-15 15:25 • by evil muffin (unregistered)
the lack of \n ;)

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:40 • by Pap
157270 in reply to 157257
K:
Pap:
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

Oxford commas are related to use of commas in lists, not in quotations.


I'm saying they do it differently in Britain.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_(punctuation)#Differences_between_American_and_British_usage

Note the British usage in conformity with that of a programming language.

Sean knows what I'm talking about.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:42 • by Mike (unregistered)
157271 in reply to 157240
... Their our alot of common mistakes ...

Hands up...who, like me, didn't even notice the mistake in this sentance until it was brought up in comments?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:45 • by xix (unregistered)
I bet they hired a pure mathematician later on, and unfortunately thier head exploded at the impossibility of i = i + 1

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:47 • by snoofle
157274 in reply to 157255
Mark:
Simple, all we need to do for this programmer is write a macro which reverses the order of arguments. Then she can write the grammatically correct:

PRINT( x, "The value is %s." );

The macro should probably also add a \n onto the end of the format string too, since that was absent.

Why bother learning the programming language when you can just rewrite it to satisfy how you think it should work?

Oh goody:

#define PRINT(a1,s) printf(s,a1)
#define PRINT(a1,a2,s) printf(s,a1,a2)
...
#define PRINT(a1,a2,...,a100,s) printf(s,a1,a2,...,a100);
...

puhleeze don't give them any ideas!

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:49 • by wtf (unregistered)
im just happy we had 3 stories today

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:50 • by Tim (unregistered)
157276 in reply to 157251
It's not even a matter of being an alternative. It's the correct form in Britain, to say nothing of being far more logical - people do not say ",", therefore they should not be reported as such! Silly left-pondians...

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:51 • by snoofle
157277 in reply to 157258
Brilliance:
Angie went on to conceive a much simpler programming language based heavily on common English conventions.

Sorry, already done:

000100 IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
000200 PROGRAM-ID. HELLOWORLD.
000300
000400*
000500 ENVIRONMENT DIVISION.
000600 CONFIGURATION SECTION.
000700 SOURCE-COMPUTER. RM-COBOL.
000800 OBJECT-COMPUTER. RM-COBOL.
000900
001000 DATA DIVISION.
001100 FILE SECTION.
001200
100000 PROCEDURE DIVISION.
100100
100200 MAIN-LOGIC SECTION.
100300 BEGIN.
100400 DISPLAY " " LINE 1 POSITION 1 ERASE EOS.
100500 DISPLAY "Hello world!" LINE 15 POSITION 10.
100600 STOP RUN.
100700 MAIN-LOGIC-EXIT.
100800 EXIT.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 15:59 • by FredSaw
157279 in reply to 157271
Mike:
... Their our alot of common mistakes ...

Hands up...who, like me, didn't even notice the mistake in this sentance until it was brought up in comments?
By the mistake, do you mean using "could of" instead of "could have", or using "to" for "too"?

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:01 • by Random832
I'd have said "Well, it's not really the same as a comma in english, it just looks like one - it goes before each parameter other than the first" - and corrected it to printf("The value is %d" ,value);

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:01 • by mare (unregistered)
157281 in reply to 157271
That <i>sentence</i> made absolutely no sense to me until I read it out loud :P

And the real WTF are commas in English in general... i never get them right.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:03 • by mare (unregistered)
157282 in reply to 157279
FredSaw:
Mike:
... Their our alot of common mistakes ...

Hands up...who, like me, didn't even notice the mistake in this sentance until it was brought up in comments?
By the mistake, do you mean using "could of" instead of "could have", or using "to" for "too"?
That sentence made absolutely no sense to me until I read it out loud :P

And the real WTF are commas in English in general... i never get them right.

And please ignore my previous post... it's late ;)

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:07 • by ParkinT
157283 in reply to 157249
gabba:
I, for one, hope she finds a good job as an editor somewhere. I'm glad to see someone standing up for proper grammar these days.

That's right.
The days of good English has went!

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:08 • by Kiasyn
157284 in reply to 157274
#define PRINT( ..., s ) printf( (s), __VA_ARGS__ )

doubt this would work though.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:11 • by Spacewarp
Me spell chucker work grate, butt eye knead a grandma chicken.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:12 • by Spoe (unregistered)
157286 in reply to 157276
Tim:
It's not even a matter of being an alternative. It's the correct form in Britain, to say nothing of being far more logical - people do not say ",", therefore they should not be reported as such! Silly left-pondians...


It is an alternative, no? You just happen to speak and write a dialect of English that uses the logical method of handling quotations as the default.

At least we don't stick extra letters and syllables in to perfectly serviceable words like "color" and "aluminum". Just think of the wasted ink and paper! ;)

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:14 • by rank this (unregistered)
157288 in reply to 157281
mare:
That <i>sentence</i> made absolutely no sense to me until I read it out loud :P

And the real WTF are commas in English in general... i never get them right.


It's bb code, not html.

Again, trouble with language differences

Captcha dubya

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:21 • by Jon B (unregistered)
Reminds me of Dilbert's code review: "I don't think you understand the proper usage of the semicolon. And I'm not too fond of your over usage of curly braces, either."

As for good grammar for software engineers... The rest of the world thinks we're somehow smarter than everyone else. When people find out you can't spell you're [sic] way out of a paper bag, they suddenly loose [sic] confidence in your programming abilities. If they can spell better than you, then they're smarter than you, and if they're not smart enough to write software...

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:31 • by FredSaw
157290 in reply to 157289
Jon B:
they suddenly loose [sic] confidence in your programming abilities.
One of the funniest things I ever saw on the internet was a heated exchange by two guys on a forum. Couched in the middle of a stream of vituperation was this gem: "Can you spell looser?"

It's not grammar, it's typography

2007-10-15 16:37 • by Anon (unregistered)
The whole "comma inside or outside the quotes" thing isn't even a grammar issue. It's a typographic issue. It only comes up when you're printing. Otherwise the correct answer is to write the quote marks above the comma like a normal person.

Problem is that simple typography can't do that. So American typographers decided that the comma should come before the quote because it looked better.

But grammatically, it's completely irrelevant: they both come at the end of the phrase, and there is no specific order: they're just there.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:41 • by Michael (unregistered)
157295 in reply to 157243
Critic:
Too bad making a better living doesn't make you a better person.


You don't go to college to be a good person. You go to learn the skills you need to make a good living. At least thats why I thought I was spending assanine amounts of money to have some professor state the obvious to me for 8 hours a week so I can get a pretty piece of paper with my name on it.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 16:54 • by Ancient_Hacker
Oh Lord, this reminds me of when I was writing a User Manual.

I had the sentence:

To exit the program, type "Quit", then press the Enter key.


The editor person sent it back as:

To exit the program, type "Quit," then press the Enter key.

I tried to persuade them that these were not quotation marks, but "literal marks", and putting the comma inside would be commanding the user to type Quit comma, which was incorrect.

I never did manage to convince them of the right way to do this. So every instance of a command example in the manual was correct English, but wrong, in that it did not work.

I almost changed the program to accept a trailing comma, but that would have been unpalatable (to me).






Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 17:07 • by purge
157298 in reply to 157255
Mark:
Why bother learning the programming language when you can just rewrite it to satisfy how you think it should work?


Seriously, what's wrong with creating wrappers for standard library functions that allow you to reorder the parameters as you see fit? If a function takes n parameters, a series of simple tests (type, length, range) would tell the function which is which. This is how all programming languages should be.

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 17:12 • by ajb (unregistered)
I remember that commas can be used for english if,then conditions and as brackets around text that can be ignored.
Some early versions of Basic, pre .NET, back in line numbered days even allowed it in place of the THEN.
You can't have a . in the middle of a sentence either.
Oops, done it again!

Re: It's a Different Set of Rules

2007-10-15 17:13 • by Gamen (unregistered)
157303 in reply to 157253
An honest mouse:
She wouldn't had have this problem if only she was educated at Oxford.

You mean "if she *were* educated at Oxford"...


You win a free internet for that Loudon Wainright reference.
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