[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Auto Fill Comments

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Auto Fill Comments
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2020 16:26:14 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Arthur Miller <> [2020-11-27 11:26]:
> > If any person does not know the meaning of a word "kill" in the sense
> > of wiping out some text or lines, that person may connect the word to
> > the only meaning that person knows which could be related to causing
> > to die. As the intention of the manual is not to cause people think
> > what it was meant, reader could be aware that something is not logical
> > there and should be able to find the true meaning of the word "kill"
> > in the context where it relates to deleting parts of text. This way
> > any raised emotions or memories or associations are calmed down.
> That paragraph is definitely the key (I think). I can't agree completely
> with you; partially I do. For the first, I think that no manual or
> terminology should used words that does not stem from semantic meaning
> of the language. Killing text or buffers in emacs is not very much
> detached from the meaning of word kill in general. Thus it probably is
> not very hard for anyone to understand what it means in the text editing
> context either, right?

It can be that it is not dettached and you as English speaker you
would know it. I cannot know as I am not native English speaker. I can
tell that in Serbo-Croatian language there is use of "kill" and
"killing" as good attributes. For example when food is good while
people are eating it could be said that it kills and because it is in
proper context people understand it. There is total separation of
context and so the meanings. It could be that in English is not so.

In those languages one can say that movie is good by saying that movie
kills. For a good band of musicians it is possible to say "they are

The reference to etymology of "kill":

references also words such as: strike or cut

We have "strike" for fonts and "cut" for cutting text though we do not
cut in its other meaning. To kill a line thus, deriving from that
etymology sounds quite alright and understandable. But I am just
outside observer and did not live with English speaking people all
around me. To use that term one would additionally need to be either
secretary or editor, translator, or proofreader. 

> If somebody gets reminded of something else when they see a word, it is
> not because they don't know what the word means, or what it means in
> that particular context (usually). Especially not such basic word as
> kill for example. Human beings can get reminded of somethign because of
> certain smell, sound, colour, shape, feel, or simply a memory can come
> up. Does not have necessary to be because of person knowing or not
> knowing "true" meaning in the context of the language or in the context
> of praticular situation (such as text editing).

That is right.

> > One has to know definition of each word to understand it and to
> > prevent replacement meanings that occur by itself when one does not
> > know the true one.
> I am not sure what do you really mean with replacement meanings that
> occur by themselves. Do you have some research on that?

I mean the "meaning" that person may designate in absence of the real
meaning. It should be obvious and of course it is not a rule, just a
common phenomena. If word is associating to anything person will fetch
that meaning and use it, and there we have misunderstaninds.

Example is the dialogue for local variables that tells user that
variables are not safe. But user may not be programmer, could be
translator and even if programmer user has got rather incentive to
press ! rather to accept variables forever and not to be asked again.

You may see here how user asks "why would not be safe":
(answer I do not find adequate)

That is one of aware users that will ask. Other users like translators
will say "but I feel safe, what can this do to me?" and will say
YES. By accident I have seen similar scene in animated movie Ralph
breaks the internet where animated character says to feel safe yet it
was related to computers.

When person does not have information of "safety of data" then such
person will find replacement definition, first will pull the one which
is known and will try to understand it from what is known like "free
from danger" and person may relate it to oneself. Not to data.

> I don't think that any normally gifted average person, would put
> some imaginative meaning into words in some new context, but I am
> not sure I know what I am talking here :-). I am not an expert on
> the language and psychology.

Well. When person through repetition becomes aware that some words
cannot be understood such person will ask, clarify, verify, try to
find in glossaries and references. That is ideal scene. In my
experience I did not see that in average persons. People put their own
to them known meanings into those spoken terms and words which they do
not know.

One rule that we as startup providers have in East Africa is that we
should never accept YES, I know, I fully understand. We require person
to repeat by person's own words what was said and instructed. That is
where all the fun begins as definitely majority will be telling us
back stories we never meant to be spoken. People feel to have it
understood, but they did not, they got some idea, but that was
definitely intended idea. They used those meanings they had
available. What one does not have available in mind will be replaced
with what we have available.

Optical illusions works the same way, example is this triangle:

As human mind may say to see maybe 2 triangles, one white above the
black one. But in reality there is none triangle there. Mind replaces
what is missing by pieces of information which are already known.

> I have been reading some philosophy, physics, math and programming
> in my life, seldom in my first language. I have been many times in a
> situation where I didn't know what a word mean, or how do they use a
> particular word in a context and so on. Somehow I always knew when I
> didn't understand the word or when I didn't understand how it is
> used, and I always looked it up.

I admire that and that is great. But schools in the world do not use
major tool, which is dictionary. So children do not get a habit to
look up meanings and so they are left alone to find out about it.

> I am not a linguist, nor have I ever studied the language, but I am
> sure most people understand when they need to look up a word.

Try to ask people or observe. Your way of doing it is remarkable. I
would like to have around me more people with that awareness. But I
sadly don't.

> At least, that is what I percieve when I look around me, from the
> life. Sure, sometimes we do get things wrong too, but not such
> things that I wouldn't know what word "kill" in Emacs mean. Having
> correct meaning still does not prevent from having association when
> I think about it sometimes.

I remember reading it back in 1999 and back then so many new words I
was clarifying related to GNU/Linux. It took me about 1-2 years to get
them and understand them and there is still so many pieces
missing. When I first time encountered kill and yank, I have looked it
up back then and since then have no problems with it. Those are
personal experiences and if not one word there will be some other as
possible misunderstanding.

> > My point is exactly is you stated above that one may dislike
> > things and that it is better to look what the word really is, just
> > characters and sounds and meanings.
> Yes, of course, but we should still be allowed to disslike things, or to
> like things and to state our disslikes. It belongs to freedom.

I am fine with it to dislike things. It is just that I prefer society
and community eager to learn, discover and clarify things. This
mailing list is good example of such community. Either that, or
community of people who give up, blow away, run away, yell or get
upset when they dislike something and do not wish to clarify

> The other thing is what practically matter. Terminology in Emacs has
> been brought up so many times, and I still disslike the terminology
> but I can also realize that there are more interesting things to
> work on, then renaming things. Sure, I still think we would do
> better by cutting and pasting then killing and yanking, but who
> cares really?

"Cut reminds me of injuries and blood, please remove" -- there is no
point in accommodating various views. What makes sense is to use
appropriate English and computing terminologi. And "kill" as in
relation to deleting lines as it says in dictionary, is not related to
computing. It could be equivalent to strike as how words can be
striken on the paper.

paste - is it tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers?

Or is it maybe paste as in the meaning of hitting with fists, like "He
pasted his opponent"?

None of those words have single definition, they all have multiple
definitions that apply in different contexts. That is why I am rather
against changing what is already well well known or established
terminology. But times changes and words change too.

> Someone has been in a car, driving into a curve, loosing the controll
> and tipping on the roof with the car. Afterwards, that person says: I
> don't like to travel by car, I prefer to travel by train.
> If you told them to lookup true meaning of the word car, how do you
> think they would percieve that? Would that help them? I don't know;
> maybe some other book would, but probably not a dictionary.

I am not sure there as person driving a car would know what is car. If
car is Emacs then please think that most car drivers do not know how
carburetor function or how engine works. Tutorial is for driving Emacs
safely on the road. Emacs Manual tells how to tune the engine. Then
they may complain because fingers are dirty of oil.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]