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RE: [i18n-html-tech] Some editorial comments

From: Barry Caplan <bcaplan@i18n.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 12:51:12 -0800
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20040225124633.130975e0@mail.i18n.com>
To: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>, "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, "'Bjoern Hoehrmann'" <derhoermi@gmx.net>, <www-i18n-comments@w3.org>

At 02:30 PM 2/25/2004 -0500, Martin Duerst wrote:


>At 12:41 04/02/25 +0000, Richard Ishida wrote:
>
>>> No ampersands!
>>>
>>>   Headings like "Document structure & metadata" look odd, use "and"
>>>   unless you really refer to the & character (like in XML character
>>>   references).
>>
>>As a native speaker it doesn't look odd to me, and it makes for faster
>>reading, so I'm not convinced on this one.
>
>As a non-native speaker, I think "and" is definitely better.
>I don't buy the 'faster reading' at all. But it may be slower
>reading for people not very familiar with English. "&" is an
>abbreviation, and I don't think abbreviations are a good thing
>in a title.
>
>Regards,   Martin.

As a native speaker, I agree with Martin. I can't quite place my finger on why it looks odd - perhaps Strunk and White or another other style guide discusses the issue. But it feels like using an "&" implies a closer relationship, more intertwined somehow, then just "and". "And" to me implies an ordinary sequential list, where "&" somehow implies that the items in the list are to be treated as a single collective unit. But that is just a vague feeling I am trying to express...it is far from obvious to this native speaker. And frankly, I can imagine this is the sort of style thing that is different in different places - Richard and I are both native English speakers but not from the same side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Best,

Barry
Received on Wednesday, 25 February 2004 15:50:51 UTC

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