Monthly Archives: May 2004

Running on howevers

People seem to fall prey to adverbials like “however” and “rather” seducing them into running on sentences. This type of approach has been used in previous models, however, the presented algorithm adopts a different foundation. But these words are not … Continue reading

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In email, neatness counts

Email messages should be treated as personal letters. You wouldn’t write a handwritten letter with misspellings, would you? Or a typewritten letter in which you didn’t bother to use the shift key? Then you shouldn’t do that in an email. … Continue reading

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To recurse is to curse again, not an activity that an academic, or an algorithm for that matter, should engage in. When a process is repeated or is subject to recursion, it is said to recur.

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Epicene pronouns

The use of the pronoun “he” as a bound pronoun of neutral gender is problematic on two grounds. First, its use is blatantly sexist (although the sexism is of a historical nature, so that those who continue to use “he” … Continue reading

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Covering overhead slides

Pat Winston in his lecture on How to Speak notes that covering up parts of overhead transparencies and revealing them slowly like a strip-tease artist is a technique that drives 10 per cent of your audience nuts. I am in that 10 … Continue reading

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Citations are parentheticals

A citation is not a first-class participant in a sentence; it cannot serve as a noun phrase. Rather it is a parenthetical — that is why it appears in parentheses — and like all parentheticals should be removable without changing … Continue reading

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