E Prime is English without the verb to be, using "becomes, remains, equals" instead. It is thought to reduce dogma and help to reveal factionally defined assumptions about what "is" or "was" or "must be". it is based on the general theory of General Semantics.
Should Consumerium Governance Organization mandate use of E Prime here? Or just in Research Wiki or Publish Wiki? (the latter might actually let some "is" statements stand if they are non-controversial to all factions).
I personally think that we should not emphasize the use of E Prime on this SEWiki. I think that most contributors won't be familiar with the idea, and we won't want to make too many new rules distinguishing our Simple English from Full English. Personally, I advocate something like "expanded Basic English". Comments? -- RJWiki
- It's not a question of the needs of contributors, but of readers. English speakers use "is" far too much, one of the reasons E Prime was created, and this use tends to lead to serious subject-object problems in almost all English non-fiction writing. There's no "rule" here. It's just "encouragement" to be clearer about what becomes, remains and equals what. Rather than using "is" in contexts where equivalence is uncertain.
- NO ONE HAS TO TALK ABOUT A "NEW LANGUAGE" called E Prime just to use "become, remain, equal" MORE and "to be" LESS. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE END USER. It is an editor's concern.
- You aren't making sense to me here. 1) I meant that E Prime's de-emphasis of "to be" is, by comparison with existing languages, artificial, idiosyncratic, and weird. I didn't say that E Prime is or should be called a new language.
- Only if it IS a new language, do your objections make sense. There is nothing idiosyncratic or weird about replacing to be with become, remain and equal. In fact, it is to get rid of idiosyncratic beliefs and statements that one does that. You need to learn more about General Semantics. Each language has its own mind set. English culture makes it acceptable to say "he is taking his time" (implying that time is an object that can be taken), something which makes no sense in most other cultures. Saying "he remains patient" says something more objective. Both are English. Only one is E Prime. The latter is easier to translate.
- 2) How the heck can you work on a document and claim that your writing standards (or proposed writing standards for all editors) have "NOTHING TO DO WITH THE END USER". They should have everything to do with the end user. Otherwise you are just indulging in some solipsistic fantasy. Really, I am trying to understand your views/proposals about the Simple English that SEWiki should use, (on this page, its relationship to E Prime) and I don't. -- RJWiki
- If you have a list of concepts that we can safely say "are the same as" other concepts in all cultures, well, that is amazing, and you should get a PhD for that. If not, the General Semantics approach is the best known.
- "expanded Basic English" implies "beed" and "bes"? No thanks. It just isn't English, and that's even more confusing.
- I don't advocate "beed" and "bes", no. Ouch. :-) -- RJWiki.
- The E Prime thing can be dealt with later by Simple English Editors who can make the hard decisions about "is" vs. "becomes, remains, equals", case by case.
- This probably should be discussed in Simple English/Talk, not here.
And again, I don't want to emphasize the distinction between SEWiki "users" or "readers" and "contributors". They are potentially (ideally?) the same. -- RJWiki
- No, they aren't. That is completely wrong, and it always will be. The contributors will *always* have a better grasp of English than the users. *Always*. That will *never* change. This puts the Simple English Contributor and Simple English Editor in a position of power over the Simple English User. We can't wish that out of existence, we have to deal with it. They are only "ideally" the same to those whose ideals are preaching equality while practicing control over others. They are only "potentially" the same to those who could believe in creating Simple English as a peer to Full English, with people spending their whole lives ONLY reading and writing Simple. I might buy that, but it sure isn't the mandate right now.
- Look, I just don't agree with you about this. (I.e., "No, you are completly wrong about this!" :-) ) Or, we disagree about the emphasis to put on different aspects of this. I think we both agree that now and always, "anybody" can contribute to this SEWiki, which makes them contributors and thus means that "anybody" is a potential contributor. Re "people spending their whole lives ONLY reading and writing Simple". Obviously, there will be people for whom this is true.
- IF there is ever any ONE such person, it will be amazing. I think your lack of agreement is really a lack of thinking here - you're digging for a proof of something you want intuitively to believe. Sure, "anybody CAN contribute" and be a nominal "contributor". But without a good grasp of English, they really aren't going to be "ideal" contributors, or even necessarily become "good" unless they acquire MORE THAN SIMPLE English. It just isn't possible to get to this level of mastery without picking up much more vocabulary. If they're using a computer, they pick up other words from the user interface at least! And none of this has anything at all to do with the users and contributors *potentially or ideally* being the same people, *statistically*. There will still always be many more people in the user group with less skill than the people in the contributor group, even if there is crossover. It's those statistical averages that are at issue.
- "IF there is ever any ONE such person, it will be amazing." -- ?? I'm saying that there are many people who have a simple grasp of English or a grasp of "Simple English". You are saying that you don't believe there is even one such person? Apparently we aren't communicating here. -- RJWiki
- I cannot answer to your lack of comprehension. Lots of people have a simple grasp of English or a grasp of Simple English. But you said "Re "people spending their whole lives ONLY reading and writing Simple". Obviously, there will be people for whom this is true." I answered to this - do not pick out a different point from what you wrote to make yourself right. I said there are NO people who will spend their whole lives ONLY reading and writing Simple without learning more English by osmosis or default or job requirements or whatever. That is, I do not expect Simple English to be a language of its own like Esperanto. If you do, that is interesting, but no one else has said that.
"But without a good grasp of English, they really aren't going to be "ideal" contributors, or even necessarily become "good" unless they acquire MORE THAN SIMPLE English." -- Yes. So what? Many contributors to En Wiki aren't "ideal" or "good" either. So what? It's not our place to be gatekeepers about who can/can't/should/shouldn't contribute. In fact, it's stupid of us to even try, since we can't accomplish this. -- RJWiki
- There will be other people who go through a stage of being Simple users (broadly speaking), while learning more Full. (I did. :-) ) "The contributors will *always* have a better grasp of English than the users." I agree that while this will often be true, it will not always or necessarily be true.
- Initially, yes. But they are overwhelmed by literally millions of times by the users who will see printed copies only, CD copies only, or just read it online without ever contributing. The number of users in your position are statistically insignificant. And always will be. I repeat, it will *never* be an equal power situation, for the *vast majority* of Simple English Users. So your comfort with a statement that seems to imply most users aren't contributors, is not really relevant. If we were writing this for you, we'd be writing it without all this Simple stuff...