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From: "linux-os (Dick Johnson)" <>
To: "Mark Hounschell" <>
Cc: "James Bottomley" <>,
	"Alan Cox" <>,
	"Linux kernel" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] scsi_error: Fix language abuse.
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 11:07:39 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Fri, 8 Feb 2008, Mark Hounschell wrote:

> linux-os (Dick Johnson) wrote:
>> The correct word should be "invalid," in spite of
>> the fact that the SCSI committee used invalid syntax.
>> Alan is right. There is nothing illegal in the kernel
>> and if there is, it must be removed as soon as it
>> is discovered!
> il·le·gal  (-lgl)
> adj.
> 1. Prohibited by law.
> *2. Prohibited by official rules: an illegal pass in football.
> *3. Unacceptable to or not performable by a computer: an illegal operation.
> Mark

Many early computer programmers including myself, while writing
error messages in early software, did not understand that computer
programmers do not make law so we called bad operations "illegal."

Once you are called to testify in a court of law, about some
message your code wrote to the screen just before a factory
burned down, you start to be much more careful about the syntax.

I advise that, regardless of the rewrite of dictionaries and,
in fact, the rewrite of history, whenever possible we use
the correct message syntax. Dictionaries pick up "common usage"
in spite of the fact that it is wrong. See "irregardless" and
other abortions which now exist in the dictionary.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version on an i686 machine (5588.28 BogoMips).
My book :

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Thank you.

  reply	other threads:[~2008-02-11 16:08 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 13+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2008-02-08 15:32 Alan Cox
2008-02-08 15:57 ` James Bottomley
2008-02-08 15:59   ` Alan Cox
2008-02-08 16:28     ` James Bottomley
2008-02-08 16:07   ` linux-os (Dick Johnson)
2008-02-08 16:27     ` Mark Hounschell
2008-02-11 16:07       ` linux-os (Dick Johnson) [this message]
2008-02-11 17:13         ` Benny Halevy
2008-02-09  1:32 ` Douglas Gilbert
2008-02-09 13:50   ` Alan Cox
2008-02-10 23:24     ` Douglas Gilbert
2008-02-10 23:47     ` Matthew Wilcox
2008-02-09  8:02 ` Luben Tuikov

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