Friends of Semantic Compositions

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« Arnold at my office | Main | Do you need to speak English to do science? »

April 13, 2005


polyglot conspiracy

Wait, so the capitalization threw it off; without the capitalization it was fine? (Methinks no mechanical grammar checker, btw, would be able to parse that kind of ambiguity; at least, I wouldn't expect it to.)

Wait, he's still getting press out of this?

Semantic Compositions

Oh man, I feel bad about this. I thought I had seen an article about it before. But I couldn't remember where. Thanks for the reminder; I'll edit the post to mention that.

I'm not 100% sure what the actual rule is that makes Word so cautious about flagging sequences of capitalized words. But it definitely does have an effect (in fairness, some of the all-capitalized sentences above sneak through in fully normal capitalization, but get caught with intermediate amounts of capitalization). You're absolutely right, though, that it's too much to expect a mechanical program to account for all of the possible intentions behind the user's behavior.

spill chick

"User's behavior"! Unless you are worried about having a spelling/grammar checker for text generated by a machine or process, then I think you are talking about a person's behavior.

I set my grammar check to flag the word "user" because I hate developers who - out of pure meanness - like to call a person a dumb "user."

polyglot conspiracy

Hmmm..."user" is still the term used by many social scientists and researchers to talk about people who are using software applications or internet services, for instance. It doesn't really imply that they're not people (though it does, at times, make them sound like drug addicts). Would a machine count as a "user"? It seems like using something implies some kind of intentionality or agency, not just performing a process because you're programmed to.

Semantic Compositions

If I really wanted to imply stupidity by calling someone a user instead of something else (I'm not sure quite how else I would have written that line otherwise: "intentions behind the person using the software's behavior"?), I might reach for the favored term of The Register's BOFH, and say luser instead. But I only meant to call them drug addicts the people making use of the word processor.


Stumbled across your site today. It's quite fun. An old post pointed to a joke about scrod that made me laugh out loud. I've got a site you may enjoy, though it's nowhere near the depth and breadth of yours. The first posts were quite long, then I got busy (or ran out of material, perhaps):

grammar check

Capitalizing starting letters if often the typist's discretion, hence capital letters are automatically deemed as right.

dunk shoes

Very pleased to see a blog post, including the thoughtful and perceptive comments on set. To keep the great work!
Not everyone can provide the appropriate flow of information, thanks.

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