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Re: [using gcc book] ch10.11 Certain Changes We Don't Want to Make

On Tue, 26 Aug 2003, Richard Earnshaw wrote:

> Well, the whole chapter is entitled "Changes *WE* don't want to make"
> (my emphasis).  I think in this case there is some latitude for
> expressing the collective opinion of the developers.  Maybe we should
> just start the chapter with a statement to that effect and then continue
> to use "we" as appropriate.

I don't disagree with the intent here, but the guidelines I've been given
discourage the first person, and that's how I have been proceeding.

I'm not being robotic about this: if the phrasing just doesn't work in any
other voice, I've left it in 1st person.  But if a sentence can reasonably
be stated in the second or third person in a way that doesn't violate the
clarity or intent of what has been written, I've been making the change.

As copy editor I intend to be firm about this, if only because I'm trying
to get the book to not sound like it was written by a committee (which, as
far as I can tell, it was).  If a phrase is in the first person, I'm
putting the burden of proof (so to speak) on that phrase: unless there's a
clear reason *not* to do so, it's being rewritten in a different person.

Chris Devers

Malloc, malloc, n & v. trans.
1 n. Canaanite deity controlling memory allocations.
2 v. trans. C/C++ library. To request space on the heap.

    -- from _The Computer Contradictionary_, Stan Kelly-Bootle, 1995

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