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On 5/31/12 10:58 AM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
I'm with Brian and Yoav on this. I don't see a need to change here. And I do think we might lose something if we become too PC. If a bunch of non-native speakers did say "yes, I found that made the document less useful" then I'd be more convinced that all these changes were worth it.
As a non-native speaker I agree. I think colloquial is fine. The one thing causes me some trouble is all the references that Americans make to sports that nobody in the civilized world cares about ;-) ("left field", "Hail Mary passes" etc.) But I think the Tao pretty much avoids those (perhaps "Home base" is the exception).
On 05/31/2012 08:47 AM, Dave Crocker wrote:On 5/31/2012 9:24 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:I actually have no evidence either way; that's why I suggested asking some of them;-)1. Reliance on self-reporting for such things is methodologically problematic. It presumes a degree of self-awareness that is often missing. For example a native speaker of a language that uses noun doubling -- saying the noun twice -- to indicate plurals was quite insistent with me that that wasn't the rule. 2. To claim a lack of evidence presumes some previous effort to acquire it. However a quick search discloses: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=054711CCAB4AFB348F7E70C9079E7305.journals?fromPage=online&aid=2546012Paywalled. Abstract says "comprehen-sibility of the non-native's interlanguage" so is a worse sinner IMO:-)http://dc.library.okstate.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/theses/id/1031/rec/9Drives NoScript bonkers and needs some kind of FF plug in.http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CF0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fscholarcommons.usf.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1255%26context%3Detd&ei=iyDHT4eBB874sgaa-rGQDw&usg=AFQjCNFnYm2MzlDnknB6AzfB0Oi4tUVyVg289 pages, so only read abstract. That's about adolescents. My experience at IETF meetings is that more native English speakers seem to behave like adolescents, but maybe that's just me:-) It does make the point that there's a (presumably positive) correlation between understanding of idiom and academic achievement, I guess the argument could also be made that the Tao should be about as difficult to read as a typical IETF mailing list. S.among others. The mere existence of these ought to make clear that there is a significant issue in the use of colloquialisms with non-native listeners. d/