[Haskell-cafe] [Off-topic] How unimportant it is whether submarines can swim (EWD1056)
jason.dusek at gmail.com
Sat Oct 27 17:12:38 CEST 2012
It is an interesting piece and I'm glad you went to the effort
to translate it.
- ...the question whether...
+ ...the question of whether or not...
To use "could" is to form either the past or the subjunctive.
Within a long sentence, we might prefer to contribute an article
"on" a topic as opposed to "about" a topic.
Burning is one of those things that is often taken to be all or
nothing; so "equally burning" is infelicitous. One could say
"similarly burning" or "likewise burning" to mean, it is also
+ It has already been a few years or so ago now since the
+ editors of a somewhat obscure magazine asked me to contribute
+ an article on the question of whether or not computers can
+ think. I did not feel like doing that and I explained my
+ refusal with the remark that I found the suggested topic just
+ as unimportant as the similarly burning question of whether or
+ not submarines can swim.
It is hard to make the idiom "reckoned on" work in the
parenthetical passage; there are alternatives.
- I had reckoned without my host: the editor —a sociologist—
- wrote me back, that he found that last question very
- interesting as well!
+ I had not considered my audience: the editor -- a sociologist
+ -- wrote back, to say that he found the last question very
+ interesting as well!"
"with which popular believe" -> "with which popular belief"
As remarked by Gwern.
- A single factor of ten is already a difference between day and
+ A single factor of ten is like night and day...
It is important that an EM dash have spaces to both sides of it. For example:
- —in anthropomorphic terminology also called "memory size"—
+ -- in anthropomorphic terminology also called "memory size" --
One may use "such as" and "like" when providing examples; one
uses "as" and "like" when forming comparisons. ("Icarus flew
like a bird." or "Icarus flew as the birds do." but not "Icarus
flew such as a bird.").
- The advantage of this poetic license is that it allows us to
- put an algebraic expression as (a+b)/c, a program fragment as
- x := x+1, and a decimal number like 729 all three under the
- same heading "formula".
+ The advantage of this poetic license is that it allows us to
+ put an algebraic expression as (a+b)/c, a program fragment as
+ x := x+1, and a decimal number like 729 all three under the
+ same heading "formula".
- Such a formal universe is therefore as novelty radical...
+ Such a formal universe is therefore a radical novelty...
- The most salient feature of the formal universe is, however,
- that nothing else than...
+ The most salient feature of the formal universe is, however,
+ that nothing other than...
+ The most salient feature of the formal universe, however, is
+ that nothing besides...
- Our traditional argues are mixed, viz. partly formal and
- partly verbal...
+ Our traditional ways of arguing are mixed, partly formal and
+ partly verbal...
- In that vision, a radical change of course in mathematics
- would leave in the long term footprints in the vast majority
- of our intellectual life.
+ In that vision, a radical change in mathematics would in time
+ leave an imprint in most areas of our intellectual life.
- I expect such a radical change of course.
+ I expect such a radical change, of course.
There would be a certain appropriateness in making the text more
"Texan". The title would then be:
It don't matter none whether subs can swim or not
but it'd really take a different American to see it through.
pgp // solidsnack // C1EBC57DC55144F35460C8DF1FD4C6C1FED18A2B
More information about the Haskell-Cafe