[fpc-pascal]Compiler uses bad English: "amount" vs "number"
pasco at acm.org
Mon May 27 16:13:09 CEST 2002
Michael.VanCanneyt at Wisa.be wrote:
> I've changed the message file accordingly in the main branch.
> Just out of curiosity:
> I don't want to argue - I'm not an native english speaker - but what do you
> do with 'A huge amount of money' - something which I hear often on US
> TV shows ? Money is countable, so shouldn't it be 'number' then ?
I have heard the expression "to count money" but your money is not
always an integer. You can easily have a fraction of a Euro. Many
monetary amounts are expressed to several decimal places. You can
have a huge amount of money but a only huge number of coins. You can
have 3.25 Euros in your pocket but not 3.25 parameters in a Pascal
function call. So it's "amount of money" but "number of parameters"
like "number of coins."
Matt Emson wrote:
> As a British English speaker, I find the two terms interchangable.
Amazingly, some English speakers don't understand the subtle difference.
Neil Graham wrote:
> Just to be extra nitpicky. If you want to be precise I would recommend
> 'Incorrect number of parameters'. 'Wrong' has multiple meanings and while
> unlikely, it would be problematic if someone thought that the number of
> parameters that they had used was morally impermissible. ;-)
I think that "Wrong" and "Incorrect" are synonyms, but I understand your
point about not making a moral judgement. Perhaps "Mismatch in number
of parameters" would be a good message?
I remember in the old DOS days people felt scolded by the "Bad command
or file name" message.
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