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Re: [using gcc book] ch10.11 Certain Changes We Don't Want to Make
- From: Chris Devers <cdevers at pobox dot com>
- To: Richard dot Earnshaw at arm dot com
- Cc: Zack Weinberg <zack at codesourcery dot com>, GCC list <gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org>
- Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 11:04:41 -0400 (EDT)
- Subject: Re: [using gcc book] ch10.11 Certain Changes We Don't Want to Make
- References: <200308260922.h7Q9MV525102@pc960.cambridge.arm.com>
- Reply-to: Chris Devers <cdevers at pobox dot com>
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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