[Ffmpeg-cvslog] CVS: ffmpeg/libavcodec avcodec.h, 1.393, 1.394ffv1.c, 1.32, 1.33 g726.c, 1.5, 1.6 h263.c, 1.279, 1.280 huffyuv.c, 1.61, 1.62 mpeg12.c, 1.235, 1.236 mpegvideo.c, 1.480, 1.481 snow.c, 1.60, 1.61

Måns Rullgård mru
Mon May 9 22:13:55 CEST 2005

The Wanderer <inverseparadox at comcast.net> writes:

> Phew. That got a little long.
> M?ns Rullg?rd wrote:
>> The Wanderer <inverseparadox at comcast.net> writes:
>>> M?ns Rullg?rd wrote:
>>>> Webster's Dictionary lists all three forms.  A google search also
>>>> turns up a fair number of matches for all of them, with
>>>> unofficial in the lead, followed by inofficial, and nonofficial
>>>> coming in last. I vote for leaving the code as is.  It's only
>>>> been there for an hour or two, but changing code to use a
>>>> different synonym makes little sense to me.
>>> I'd vote for changing it (if I had a vote) - I recognize
>>> "unofficial" as valid and common, and "non-official" as valid but
>>> not particularly common, but regardless of what dictionaries say
>>> (the more descriptivist dictionaries in particular) I don't think
>>> "inofficial" is a word.
>> What gives you the authority to say whether or not something is a
>> word?
> ...that opens up an entire completely separate semi-philosophical
> discussion, which you almost certainly did not mean to address, and
> which definitely does not belong on this list. Rather than embark on
> that tangent, I'll limit my response to three points.
> One, as indicated by the use of the phrase "I don't think", the above is
> represents my own experience and - to the extent relevant - opinion; if
> I'd intended it as an absolute decree that "'X' is not a word", I'd have
> phrased it that way.

There's really not much point in discussing opinions on whether or not
some particular combination of letters forms a word.  Either it is, or
it isn't, and any debate on the subject would have to be based around
verifiable facts backing the arguments brought forth.

> Two, unlike many (though certainly not all) posting members of these
> lists, I am a native speaker of English;

As am I, at least to some extent, despite my name.

> this does not necessarily trump dictionaries (though see below), but
> it does give me a certain limited authority (excuse me) on the
> subject.

I'd tend to agree.

[discussion on dictionary philosophy]

I totally agree.

>>> Certainly I wouldn't think of it as a possible candidate for how to
>>> express something, and if I saw it in a piece of documentation or
>>> fiction (those being the two things I review) I'd recommend
>>> changing it - it simply does not seem right to me.
>> If you have never seen a word, which is listed in common
>> dictionaries, it would seem more indicative of limited reading on you
>> part, than of the dictionary being flawed.
> Okay, I intended to put the above Point-Three "dictionaries" stuff here,
> but it came out of the metaphorical pen right where it is; see above.
> Also, I've been reading pretty much daily - primarily fiction, some
> nonfiction, quite a bit of various periodical publications, and ample
> online text - since I was five years old; this is not necessarily
> comprehensive and certainly not conclusive, but I think it would be a
> little hard (although not necessarily impossible) to justify describing
> my reading as "limited".

I did not intend that to be directed at you personally.

>> Anyway, I did some dictionary reading.  Websters's Dictionary, 1913
>> edition (copyright expired), lists only inofficial as a separate
>> entry, but allows for un- to be prefixed to any adjective.
>> The same dictionary, under the entry for un-, says this:
>>   In- is prefixed mostly to words of Latin origin, or else to words
>>   formed by Latin suffixes; un- is of much wider application, and is
>>   attached at will to almost any adjective, or participle used
>>   adjectively, or adverb, from which it may be desired to form a
>>   corresponding negative adjective or adverb, and is also, but less
>>   freely, prefixed to nouns.
>> It also happens that the word "official" is of Latin origin, so in-
>> and un- would seem equally correct.
> Hmm. That does counter part of my argument, apparently, not least the
> rush-to-keep-ahead aspect as pertains to Webster's - although I might
> argue, in a reversal of one aspect of my rant above, that (bias-based
> assumption alert!) because "inofficial" is not in common usage
> "unofficial" ought to be the preferred construct.

It is evident that "unofficial" is by far the more common form.
However, seeing that "inofficial" is listed as a separate entry in the
1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, one could make the conclusion
that "unofficial" has, since the publication of said dictionary, risen
in popularity, and come to virtually replace "inofficial", possibly in
a manner contrary to your prescriptivist dictionary view.  I do not,
however, have any evidence to back such a theory.

Now let's get back to coding instead.  There it is so much easier to
say what is right and what is not.

M?ns Rullg?rd
mru at inprovide.com

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