Subject: English in NetBSD (Re: CVS commit: src/usr.bin/mklocale)
To: None <>
From: Reinier Jonker <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/06/2003 16:28:36
On dinsdag, mei 6, 2003, at 09:26 AM, David Laight wrote:

> On Mon, May 05, 2003 at 09:53:00PM -0500, Frederick Bruckman wrote:
>> On Mon, 5 May 2003, Andrew Brown wrote:
>>>> I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
>>> i think this is a bit ambiguous either way.  to add the comma would
>>> make it:
>>> 	I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.
>>> ie, a list, but to replace the comma would give:
>>> 	I dedicate this book to my parents: Ayn Rand and God.
>>> which names your parents.  a single comma just strikes me as awkward
>>> for both possible interpretations.
>> Duh. The point of the example is to demonstrate why you need the
>> second comma (unless you really are JC's half-brother).
> That comma doesn't make any difference, consider the very similar
> dedication:
>     I dedicate this book to my grand parents, Anne Smith, Joe Smith,
>     Ayn Rand[,] and God.
> You do have to remember that Fowler's books are on American, not 
> English.
> So this probably gets into the same area as whether you consider
> behaviour, labelled, mouldier, aluminium and colour to be correct
> spellings...

They are, in fact, the only correct spellings. American is nothing more 
than a regional variety. IMHO, the standard spelling and grammar for an 
international project should always adhere to British Standard English.

A Briton will always be able to read American, just as well as an 
American can read 'British' English, but I think the standard should be 
respected, just like with, for example, an HTML page. Even though a 
page may work in any browser you know, it should be accourding to the 

And considering the comma, I'm a 100% certain that placing a comma 
before "and" in Dutch is a grammatical error. I'm not entirely sure if 
that's the case in English as well, but I think it probably is. It 
doesn't seem logical to me, since 'and' effectively replaces the comma. 
(Actually, it's the other way round. In Latin, where no comma exists, 
"and" was placed between all members of the list)

(but then again, I'm not a native English speaker anyway).
Best Regards,

Reinier Jonker