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Re: [Selectors] Clarify when universal selector may be omitted

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 03:57:42 +0200
Message-ID: <4ADE6A96.2040702@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
fantasai On 09-10-21 02.41:

> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>>> As it is, the reader must himself/herself mentally insert a "not" 
>>> after the second "is". It could in fact be better to skip the second 
>>> "is" -  then it becomes clear that the "is not" is valid here also.
> I don't understand what you're saying here at all. There should most
> definitely not be a "not" after the second "is".

   [ ...]

>> Is this meant to have the following meaning: ?
>> ?!? If "*" *is neither* the only component (i.e. w/o prefix)
>>    *nor* immediately preceding a pseudo-element,
>>    THEN  the "*" may be dropped.
>> If the answer is "yes, this is what is meant",
> Yes, that is what is meant, 

Above you said that there should definitely not be a second "not". 
Here you say that the twice negative statement is correct. (There 
are two negative conditions in the "is neither ... nor" variant. 
And only one "is".)

> and it is completely *unambiguous*
> due to the grammatical structure created by the use of "is" in
> both places, which is why I'm not dropping the "is".

On an edge: You do do not use "is" both places. You may be a 
proper linguist - I'm not, but I would say the syntactic verb in 
the first part of the sentence is "is not". While the syntactic 
verb in the second part of the sentence is "is".

So the sentence now looks like

  "If '*' _is not_ alone OR _is_ together with a pseudo-class "

which seems awkward and redundant in an illogical way.

I honestly think you can do better than that.

>>                                                then I suggest using the 
>> "neither - nor" wording that I used above. *OR* I suggest skipping the 
>> second "is":
>> NEW If "*" *is not* the only component (i.e. w/o prefix)
>>    OR followed by a pseudo-element,
>>    THEN  the "*" may be dropped.
>> Because as it is, the second condition could be read as
>>    OR [if it] is followed = OR *when* it is followed [etc]
> I am not making this change. If this minor editorial issue
> is important to you and you want to insist on your suggested
> change, please reply by 9am Pacific Wednesday morning so that
> I can raise it to the CSS Working Group.

If the disagreement can't be settled in another way, then ok. The 
text should not invite to the users own interpretation, if you 
want it to be read literally. The "neither ... nor" variant is 
what best expresses the meaning.
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 01:58:18 UTC

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