'cannot' /= 'can not'

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Re: 'cannot' /= 'can not'

Raimo Niskanen-2
On Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 08:22:16PM +0200, [hidden email] wrote:

> Am Mon, 30 Jul 2018 10:56:15 +0200
> schrieb Raimo Niskanen
> <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Thank you for the review!
>
> Not at all! least I could do having brought this up.
>
>
> > I think now is a better time than most, thanks to being
> > vacation time...
>
> I wonder what to do with the notes I took while at it.
>
>  - EEP: overkill, completely wrong place.
>
>  - erlang-patches? The things there do look different.
>
>  - bugs.erlang.org: as an improvement? and then each one
>    separately? there is nothing like it (yet)(?)
>
> I noted down 4 and a half cases in which the change itself
> seems to be of little use. As I could not make much sense of
> the text in these cases (using only the extended diff
> contexts) my "suggestions" are no more than possibly helpful
> phrasings.

I would say that the appropriate way would be to fork the project at GitHub
and to submit pull request / a pull request.  Documentation improvements
are a good thing.

I also noted that in some of the places the "cannot" change was only a tiny
improvement and that the surrounding text really would benefit from being
reworked.

But I wanted my pull request to only change one thing, not only according to
our pull request guidelines...

Thank you for pointing at the bad wordings below, we'll see if someone
steps up.  Now they at least are on record.

/ Raimo


>
> The notes are down below my name, introduced by
> ===, [comments in square brackets].
>
> I have no experience with projects of that size and no idea
> about the hassle : gain ratio.
>
> Michael
>
>
> === erts/emulator/beam/erl_db_tree.c 3129
> https://github.com/erlang/otp/pull/1891/files#diff-30fdd1356f85b600e88e98de46e5a338
>
> + erts_fprintf(stderr," cannot match lesser
>  than ");
>
> less than [This is the half one: not misleading, but seems
> so basic a message that it might be desirable to have
> "correct".]
>
>
> === erts/doc/src/notes.xml 9902
> https://github.com/erlang/otp/pull/1891/files#diff-eb82a09c6aefc9ef174ead9c8181a141
>
> and there
>
> === lib/stdlib/doc/src/notes.xml 3657
> https://github.com/erlang/otp/pull/1891/files#diff-4e42fb7d23d206e8b0fcbfd4858b1672
>
> <p> To roughly the old behaviour, to not wait for
> ports and async threads operations when you exit the
> emulator, you use erlang:halt/2 with an integer
> first argument and an option list containing
> {flush,false} as the second argument. Note that now
> is flushing not dependant of the
> -   exit code, and you can not only flush
>  async threads
> +   exit code, and you cannot only flush
>  async threads
> operations which we deemed as a strange behaviour
> anyway. </p>
>
> To roughly approximate the old behaviour,[?]
> which was to not wait ... when you exit the emulator,[?]
> use erlang:halt/2 [without the "you"?]
> Note that flushing does not depend on the exit code anymore
> [??]
> and you are no longer restricted to flushing async threads
> operations only[?]
> , a restriction we deemed strange anyway.[?, useful?
> replace with:]
> ; now you can flush sync ones too.[?]
>
>
> === lib/observer/src/observer_wx.erl 809
> https://github.com/erlang/otp/pull/1891/files#diff-ebe399fc76aff158ba9cb898ccfba2d2
>
>    %% If already started, somebody else may use it.
> +   %% We cannot use it too, as far log file would
>  be overriden. Not fair.
>
> somebody else may be using it.[But is this about using it
> at all? or about preventing the start of a second one?]
>
> We must not start a second one[?],
> as that would overwrite the remote log file.[?]
>
>
> === lib/odbc/doc/src/notes_history.xml 196
> https://github.com/erlang/otp/pull/1891/files#diff-c673d56ed2511271ba68533de94c9b13
>
> +   connection cannot be established. No
>  connection no process it is expected.
>
> No connection, no process; just as one would expect.[??]
>
>
> --
>
> Reasonable is that which cannot be criticised reasonably.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

--

/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB
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Re: 'cannot' /= 'can not'

empro2
In reply to this post by Richard O'Keefe
I will try to summarise (and briefly too):

The great language keepers (Oxford, Cambridge, Collins,
Webster) mostly recommend "cannot"; they except cases in
which the "not" belongs to the following phrase. So:

        You cannot smoke here.
        You must not smoke here!
        You need not smoke here,
        though this is a smoking club.
        You can  not smoke here, but
        the others will sneer at you.
        You can not only M but also Q.
        You cannot only say A - without saying B.

Webster gives an example for an emphasis of "not" by
splitting it off, but neglects to mention the resulting
collision. They all give the meaning of "cannot" as
'can not' instead of less confusing 'be not able/possible
to'.

So shame on them! (and a little thank-you for the
free-of-cost web service :-)


Further reading:

In the good old time (1997 CE), the subject matter seems to
have caused no question:

http://faqs.cs.uu.nl/na-dir/alt-usage-english-faq.html

For emphasis they simply used "*cannot*".

In ancient times (1987 CE), compelled by metre,
these blokes seem to have felt a need to clarify with a
"no can" at 2:43

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16bFBzx7I_0

In prehistoric times (1922 CE) there was
"to-morrow" (together with "tonight" in one sentence),

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100111.txt

and the author seems to have had no problem using:
        "he went on to collect"
        "he had got on to his camel".

So (valid for any gender):

He who is right today, may tomorrow be

https://archive.org/details/TheLastManOnEarth_72

Michael

--

Reasonable is that which cannot be criticised reasonably.




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Re: 'cannot' /= 'can not'

Edwin-3
In reply to this post by empro2
As a native English speaker, “can” implies “able to”, and “cannot” implies “unable to”.

I *cannot* lift a 4000 lb car above my head using only my unaugmented body.

However, I *can* absolutely “apply the kernel-5.4.3.2 application independently of other applications on an arbitrary OTP 20 installation.” I just copy it into the right directory. It (presumably) simply will not work, or will break.

The underlying meaning of the warning appears to be “applying the kernel-5.4.3.2 application independently of other applications on an arbitrary OTP 20 installation results in a broken installation, so do not do this.”

How about rewording it in an unambiguous imperative active voice?

Note! Do *not* apply the kernel-5.4.3.2 application independently of other applications on an arbitrary OTP 20 installation. It will break the installation.

//EOF

> On Jul 24, 2018, at 05:02, <[hidden email]> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Note! The kernel-5.4.3.2 application can *not* be applied
>      independently of other applications on an arbitrary
>     OTP 20 installation.
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