[Pkg-samba-maint] Bug#171177: Back on debconf templates wording

Christian Perrier bubulle at debian.org
Fri Jan 2 18:55:45 UTC 2009

Quoting Steve Langasek (vorlon at debian.org):

> I continue to object most vehemently to this "sanitizing" of debconf
> templates to eliminate the second person.  As a native English speaker I
> find this form of writing altogether contrived.  It is every bit as valid to
> speak of "your" system as it is to speak of a person missing "their" bus,
> which they also don't own - your rationale is entirely bogus in English, and
> I really wish you would restrict this campaign to the French translations.

I have hard times explaining why I feel that such wording is not
welcomed...either in English or any other language, indeed.

I'm entirely convinced that, in any language, implying that the
machine one is operating on is one's machine is not something that
should be used in a professional operating system's user interaction

When I come on such wording, I always have a bad feeling of
"amateur"-like style... This is certainly influenced by years of
professional writing in science, where neutral wording is like a
religion (both in English and French!), but as I always come on such
style in any literrature I find, I continue thinking that I'm not
wrong in this.

> I'm not going to revert the change because this particular substitution
> doesn't sound quite as artificial as some - but it does sound marginally
> worse to me in English compared with the earlier version with second person
> intact.
> Separately, we ought to be using double quotes instead of single quotes
> around "security=domain"; the use of single quotes is an artifact of
> computer programming languages which use single quotes to denote literals,
> and isn't really correct style when addressing users.

-l10n-english had a long debate about this, a while ago, and we've
never been able to successfully conclude on that. We finally settled
for single quotation marks...which, from all sources I find, is mostly
British English style, while double quotation marks seem to be more
American English.

As dle settled for using more US-style English, we're indeed
inconsistent, I'm afraid. So, I won't object to revert to double
quotation marks if you insist.

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