[FoRK] what the hell, facebook

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Jun 20 11:11:34 PDT 2013

On 6/20/13 10:09 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Or plurals with apostrophes. Thanks for the ammo, Ken!

I try not to use apostrophes for plurals, but I feel it is necessary for some words, mainly acronyms, where the 
recognition/meaning is affected by token parsing.  E.g.: dns's not dnss or dnses.  Perhaps even Williams's and William's vs. 
Williamses or Williams (Williams or plural William?).

My favorite federal regulation is this rule:
FAR 91.3, which describes the pilot in command's authority, is relatively succinct: "In an emergency requiring immediate action, 
the pilot in command may deviate from any rule... to the extent required to meet the emergency."

The FAA and their regulations, excepting those at the lying-about-the-reason (FCC request to turn off cell phones vs. supposed 
interference) and security theater level of commercial passenger rules, are the most sane and well grounded in the entire 
government.  It seems that every one exists as a solution to specific accidents.  That they have a rule to clarify that pilots 
can break the rules was explained to me as being needed because pilots died by trying to handle emergencies while following all 
rules, even those meant to avoid even unusual risks.

So, by analogy, grammar rules should be broken if something more important would suffer.

Interesting btw:

> I have this hobby--stupid really--trolling grammar police. :-)
> Greg
> On 6/20/2013 9:54 AM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
>> Yes, especially if the sentence would be clumsy or unclear if you rewrote
>> it to avoid the terminal preposition.
>> My wife (a professional tech/copy editor) explained to me that several
>> grammatical rules are simply wrong, being extrapolations of Latin grammar
>> to English instead of regularizing popular usage.  In practice, you should
>> probably avoid doing this if only not to troll poorly-educated grammar
>> police.
>> This category includes the famous "don't split infinitives" rule, by the
>> way.
>> Ken Meltsner 


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