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Re: [bug #39028] [patch] fix and uniformize four error messages

From: Edward Welbourne
Subject: Re: [bug #39028] [patch] fix and uniformize four error messages
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 05:01:25 +0000

>> How about using plain language and calling it a "whole number"
>> instead of using jargon ?
> How about not catering to the lowest common denominator and devolving
> to baby-speech for fear that someone may be intimidated by a
> dictionary ?

Saying what you mean in the plainest terms possible isn't baby-talk and
isn't about being intimidated by a dictionary: it's about communicating
as clearly and directly as possible.  Using jargon is great when it
actually adds something but is mere obfuscation the rest of the time
(often with a side order of patting self on the back for knowing a way
of saying things that some others will find it harder to follow).

In paticular, in the case of "integral", there is a second meaning of
the word (go on, check that dictionary, in case you've forgotten your
calculus) which creates a (completely wanton, given that there's a
plainer term for a number being whole) potential for confusing readers.
Even transient confusion disrupts the flow of reading (as does having to
look a word up in a dictionary, for that matter).  Plain language aids
all readers,

        Eddy, a mathematician.

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