Re: 'might' vs. 'may'

Subject: Re: 'might' vs. 'may'
From: Ronald Lee Stone <ston0030 -at- GOLD -dot- TC -dot- UMN -dot- EDU>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 04:56:37 -0500

Someone posted an objection to the second statement because a condition of
permission would be implied.

> What (if any) opinions do people have about the comparative worth of the
> following two statements:

> If the board IDs are not consecutive, the bootstrap loader might not
> detect some of the boards.

> If the board IDs are not consecutive, the bootstrap loader may not
> detect some of the boards.

Permission is an interpersonal concept.

Unless you can ascribe a 'state of intentionality' and its accordant status to
the bootstrap loader, the notion of permission does not operate here.

The use of 'may' in the second statement reflects standard usage.

Funny thing, however, language. People (me too) sometimes decribe machines as
possessing personal characteristics, e.g., a laserprinter in need of repair may
be described as 'ailing.' You'll have to decide whether you want anything like
that in a manual though.

Until later,


Ronald L. Stone : ston0030 -at- gold -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu : (612) 644-9706
graduate student : Scientific & Technical Communication
Department of Rhetoric : University of Minnesota, St. Paul

Previous by Author: Full Time Writing Job in Chicago
Next by Author: Re: 'might' vs. 'may' again
Previous by Thread: Re: 'might' vs. 'may'
Next by Thread: Re: 'might' vs. 'may'

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads