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Perhaps I lead an empty life, but I look in a dictionary almost every
day. Many words' definitions include the "usage panel's" vote on
whether a word is a word, what it means, how it's spelled, etc. In my
thinking, as long as this panel of experts has a moderate percentage
agreeing with a certain usage, then it's okay--i.e. language is
certainly changing...and the experts know it.
Two quick stories of punctuating user instructions: I was futzing with
out that since one of my alt tags had an apostrophe in it, Java wanted
another semicolon. Although the tag is not spelled correctly without
the apostrophe, in the battle of Java and spelling...Java won!
I also once had an e-mail conversation with an html coder who was
explaining some code to me. He made a point of including the comment
tag around any html code (<!-- -->so in case my browser was html
compliant, I would actually see the code...and not just its effect.
Back to my exciting life reading the usage panel notes!
Douglas M. Max
LR Communication Systems, Inc. http://LRcom.com