Re: New Grist: Conditional Plural(s)

Subject: Re: New Grist: Conditional Plural(s)
From: Bill Burns <WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 09:04:57 MDT

Loren said:

>> I've never seen any mention, comment, or complaint about
this construction, so I might be the only person in the
world who doesn't like it. This contrivance is awkward
and impossible to use consistently throughout a document.

Nope, you're not the only one. Most environments in which I've seen this
construction used apply a general statement:

Your example:

"These plans shall be recorded in Software Installation Plan(s)

This statement appears to be a general guideline, so it applies to any plans
that fall under its influence. Since we can accept the likelihood of multiple
subjects and because the appearance of the "conditional s" after SIP (shouldn't
it be (SIP(s)) or (SIP[s])? *&%$* -at- !), we can assume that this generalization
will apply to multiple Software Installation Plans.

I use plurals often to eliminate repetition (when in third person), to eliminate
gender-specific references (they instead of s/he/it), and to apply general
information to classes of items.

Bill Burns * These are MY opinions,
Assm. Technical Writer/Editor * MINE I TELL YOU!
Micron Technology, Inc. *
Boise, ID * (not that they amount to much. . .)
WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM *

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