Re: More about "trident" vs. "tridant"

Subject: Re: More about "trident" vs. "tridant"
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 12:40:00 EST

At 03:48 PM 7/17/96 PDT, you wrote:
<Much background reluctantly snipped>

>So anyway, the first mistake was using the word "trid(ae)nt" regardless
>of how it's spelled. Unfortunately it's way too late to correct that.
>And now I don't know if there's any basis in precedent for either
>spelling, since both are nonsense. There's still Tim's reasoning, though,
>based not on precedent but on the practical value of spelling two distinct
>words differently even though they're pronounced the same (a practice
>that does have a lot of precedent, actually). *I* find that convincing, but
>wonder if one has to be a professional writer or linguist to find it

It sounds as though we have two dilemmas here: organizational and
linguistic. The linguistic one is gentlemanly and quiet and we've had fun
with it. The organizational one, though, seems more painful. The bosses want
one spelling, while you want another. We've been over this point before in
other circumstances, but it boils down to a simple practical question: Will
you do it the boss's way, or your way? Which extends to the question: Will
you grit your teeth, or start sending resumes?

However, I'm sure I'm not alone when I cry out in anguish, because the heart
of the problem is this:
Who's the goddamn writer here, anyway?!?

Why is management, which presumably has better things to do, interfering in
a spelling matter? Do they tell developers what code to write? I'd bet not,
although I've seen that done, too. But the basic point remains that few of
us, perhaps because we're from OJT programs and not formally trained, are
willing to stand up and literally say "Look, I'll make this determination.
I'll let you know." Spelling may be a futile thing to argue about, but we
all know of many more issues that aren't so innocuous. At what point should
we, all of us, stand up together and say "We're the pros here, and we'll
tell YOU, damnit!" Or words to that effect. And if we're all too unsure of
ourselves to do it, what will give us the assurance?

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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