Forums login grammar

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dman
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Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:13 pm

I'm of two minds about saying something about what follows, but I'll go ahead. Try not to shoot the messenger. :wink:

I've just installed Tara 19 Cinnamon and had a couple of installation bugs to report, so I came to the forum. I noticed, not for the first time, a blunder in the presentation of the forum login area.

Basically, the single word login is a noun. The verb, to log in, is two words.

Without getting into boring details about what makes something a noun or a verb, I'll just take a shorthand approach and say that verbs are the only word forms that can use tenses (past, present, future, etc.) If login were a verb, then we ought to be able to say (using correct grammar), I logined yesterday. Obviously, that's wrong.

These remarks apply equally to the noun logout as opposed to log out and many other such phrasal verbs.

This forum suggests I "login" or "logout" via a click. These are verbs. They should say log in and log out.

My qualifications to remark on this? I teach college English. Fifteen or more years ago I got the Microsoft website to correct the same issue.

I'm mentioning it because it makes me wince every time I come to this board (or many other boards) and notice it.

/dr
Last edited by dman on Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Schultz
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Schultz » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:22 pm

I think you make an excellent point. It's not nit-picky (IMHO) and should be corrected.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by karlchen » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:37 pm

Hi, dman.

How can you be so sure what the native speakers want to use in the case of "Login" and "Logout", the noun or the verb?
Both is imaginable in menus and could be found in German as well:
+ Login (Anmeldung) or Log in (Anmelden)
+ Logout (Abmeldung) or Log out (Abmelden)

If users here in the forum spell the nouns and the verbs in the same way, login and logout, instead of spelling the verbs as log in and log out, then you can be sure the reason frequently will be that most users here read and write English, but are no native speakers.

Yet, I guess your thread will be entertaining enough to fill the silly season. :wink:

Regards,
Karl
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Schultz
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Schultz » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:05 pm

Log in vs. login

Login, spelled as one word, is only a noun or an adjective. For example, the information you use to sign into your email is your login (noun), and the page where you sign in is the login page (adjective). Log in is two words when it functions as a verb.

http://grammarist.com/spelling/log-in-login/
Let's just assume that "Login" on this forum is the adjective. :wink:

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by AZgl1500 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:28 pm

I too, am an English grammar and spelling nit picker, BUT.....

there is a problem with technical subjects of trying to stick with pure grammar styling.

Log in is two word yes, but, it is a "function" and as so, it needs to stay 'Login' because for me to make it explicitly clear that I mean the function I have to resort to log in and that requires 10 extra characters to make the same exact point clear.

Log in, in English, can't be understood properly without knowing the "context" in which it is meant.

Login, on the other hand, only means one thing Click here to Login

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:33 pm

Schultz wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:05 pm
Log in vs. login

Login, spelled as one word, is only a noun or an adjective. For example, the information you use to sign into your email is your login (noun), and the page where you sign in is the login page (adjective). Log in is two words when it functions as a verb.

http://grammarist.com/spelling/log-in-login/
Let's just assume that "Login" on this forum is the adjective. :wink:
Yes, exactly. (I'm not going to address your "let's ... assume" ploy becuase it's 2:30 AM and I'm tired.)

By the way, essentially any noun can function as an adjective. "Coffee" as a drink is a noun. But if I say "coffee cup," now it's an adjective modifying "cup."

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:55 pm

karlchen wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:37 pm
How can you be so sure what the native speakers want to use in the case of "Login" and "Logout", the noun or the verb?
That's a funny question coming from a German, Karl! Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache! It so happens that in my so-called semi-retirement the last 18 years I've taught English to Germans at the local adult school (Volkshochschule) to make sure I get out of my pajamas and out of the house a few times a week when I'm not day-trading (full-time) or monkeying with computers (a lot). :) I'm fluent in German and I lead my life of domestic tranquillity (oder auch Aufregung oder Unbehagen) in German.

Mainly, one knows because of context and because the people doing the speaking know what they're trying to say. I didn't make the language; I'm only the reporter here.
karlchen wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:37 pm
If users here in the forum spell the nouns and the verbs in the same way, login and logout, instead of spelling the verbs as log in and log out, then you can be sure the reason frequently will be that most users here read and write English, but are no native speakers.
First of all, let me set your mind at ease: I'm not dropping in here to bug forum users about their grammar. I certainly have understanding (Mitleid) for those from other cultures trying to make do in English. I have the same expectation here in Germany where I live, but in reverse — even after 23 years' living here. I still make the occasional mistake in German.

But I also want to assure you that plenty of native English speakers are abysmal writers. Many foreigners are better! And probably some number approaching half of native speakers don't know that "login" is not a verb.

So, no, you needn't feel under attack from me. I'm only trying to correct the official presentation of the web site to match the overall professionalism of Linux Mint, the product. Who could object to that?
karlchen wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:37 pm
Yet, I guess your thread will be entertaining enough to fill the silly season. :wink:
/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:59 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:28 pm
Login, on the other hand, only means one thing Click here to Login
Most of your reply makes no sense to me. I left most of it out of my requote. But what's this about ten extra characters? We're talking about a space. Click here to log in.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by HaveaMint » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:23 pm

dman wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:59 pm
AZgl1500 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:28 pm
Login, on the other hand, only means one thing Click here to Login
Most of your reply makes no sense to me. I left most of it out of my requote. But what's this about ten extra characters? We're talking about a space. Click here to log in.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by kyphi » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:54 pm

There are many versions of English and you are quite correct dman in stating that those who learned English as their first language are least able to express themselves to its fullest potential. Those who have studied it have an advantage.

English, like any other language, is full of acquired words. To some extent these words have been anglicised and others have survived in their original form since there have been no equivalents to convey a special or unique meaning. Words such as Zeitgeist for example.

To learn the English language one has to learn how to spell a word and how to pronounce a word. There is absolutely no consistency and any rules have lots of exceptions.

Some ideas conveyed in German would sound utterly flat when translated into English and vice versa.

On this forum, my posts are frequently auto-corrected and that is because it uses US English and I communicate in Australian English, not that it causes any hardship.

The purpose of language is to communicate and I think that we all manage that quite well. Cheers.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by sdibaja » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:28 am

kyphi wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:54 pm
The purpose of language is to communicate and I think that we all manage that quite well. Cheers.
being US but living in Mexico I learned that it is Best to just learn how the language is actually used and adapt.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by BigEasy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:20 am

dman wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:13 pm
My qualifications to remark on this? I teach college English. Fifteen or more years ago I got the Microsoft website to correct the same issue.
web site.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Sir Charles » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:52 am

BigEasy wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:20 am
dman wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:13 pm
My qualifications to remark on this? I teach college English. Fifteen or more years ago I got the Microsoft website to correct the same issue.
web site.
Web site vs. website

A few editorially conservative publications still use the two-word Web site, but this relic of the 1990s has fallen out of favor throughout the English-speaking world. The one-word, uncapitalized website now prevails by an overwhelming margin.
http://grammarist.com/spelling/web-site-website/
Google search:
"website" About 5 540 000 000 results
"web site" About 451 000 000 results
That is "web site" is found in only 7.5% of the total hits referring to the entity we know as "website" :wink:
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by xenopeek » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:24 am

Looking up "login" on several English dictionaries I find similar looking definitions. Here are a few:
  • "An act of logging in to a computer, database, or system."
  • "a place on a screen that you click (= press) in order to start using a computer system"
I'm not a native speaker nor did I major in English but, after looking up several such definitions, I don't follow that using the words "login" and "logout" is incorrect.

In any case, we're using phpBB software for our forum and I'm not going to change this here. If you're convinced this is incorrect you could report it to the phpBB developers as an improvement request and it will find its way here in a future phpBB version.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:39 am

BigEasy wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:20 am
dman wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:13 pm
My qualifications to remark on this? I teach college English. Fifteen or more years ago I got the Microsoft website to correct the same issue.
web site.
Image

The language is not static. It's a fluid thing that nobody actually "controls," certainly not I. It's also dialectical and regional. For example, that comma I placed inside the close-quotation mark just now is per the "American" preferred style. Other places, it's done differently. About 1100 years ago, people (who[m]¹ none of us would understand much of) who spoke a then-current English said tō dæg. One hundred fifty years ago, learned writers were still spelling it to-day.² Sometime between then and about 80 years ago they switched to just today. One day soon we might correctly use login as a verb — by which I mean without raising the eyebrow of schooled readers and with the blessing of the lexicographers. We're not there yet.

Addressing another poster's remark from above, yes, language is about communication. But that's not the end of the story; it's only the beginning. Most every human being among nigh on eight billion inhabiting this sorry planet has a "mother tongue." More than that, spoken language is an important biological facility of mankind. As a snake sheds its skin, so speaks, or at least vocalizes, a human animal: entirely naturally. On the other hand, employing the written word is a learned ability, just the way tying one's shoes or using chopsticks to eat or driving a car or using whitespace standardly to code Python is. It's a synthetic action. The manner and ways of doing such are passed down with some settled recommendations or rules. We can learn or follow them or not, at our choice. We can also wilfully ignore them.

To say that the be-all and end-all of language is communication alone ignores art. It ignores man's ever-striving endeavors to refine what he does. It ignores impact, presentation, poetry. It ignores Shakespeare or Goethe. Similarly, we need to eat and we could just make do with our hands. Some still do. But most of us learned to acculturate ourselves with table manners and implements. So it is with language.

I'm certainly human just like everyone else reading this, and I can err. I'm not here to imply I'm good and someone else is bad. I'm not saying there won't ever be anything to criticize about my writing, style, spelling, or presentation. If you want to find an error I made and be gleeful about it, well, go right ahead. I'm merely suggesting to forums.linuxmint.com that it can (and should) improve the professional look of its site forms.

To beat that horse again in case it's not yet dead: I'm not suggesting that any participant here change anything he writes (unless he wants to). I'm merely saying that the formal presentational look of the site wiki should use a defensible, professional style. That (still) means printing log in or log out when it's the verb that's meant.

Aside to Karl: English is a Germanic language.

Hat-doff to James Nicoll:
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¹It's nearly gone away. It's dead, Jim.

²Pedagogical example of 'to-day' from 1847: https://books.google.de/books?id=0vUDAA ... 5C&f=false

/dr (has done paid work as a literary editor and translator)
Last edited by dman on Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:59 am

xenopeek wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:24 am
Looking up "login" on several English dictionaries I find similar looking definitions. Here are a few:
  • "An act of logging in to a computer, database, or system."
  • "a place on a screen that you click (= press) in order to start using a computer system"
I'm not a native speaker nor did I major in English but, after looking up several such definitions, I don't follow that using the words "login" and "logout" is incorrect.

In any case, we're using phpBB software for our forum and I'm not going to change this here. If you're convinced this is incorrect you could report it to the phpBB developers as an improvement request and it will find its way here in a future phpBB version.
Understood, and thanks for weighing in. I was afraid of that as to the phpBB part. (Can't one just use a binary editor to change that one thing in the source?) If I have time and find the inclination, I'll go there and beat my head against that wall, too. Thanks.

As to the web searches: the problem is, there are dictionaries and dictionaries. One that just tells you something exists because it's out there in the wild in some sizeable number — these are called descriptive dictionaries — isn't all that helpful when you want to know what's preferred or recommended. (And by the way, that "place on a screen that you click" you cited is a noun and should be one word.) All I ask is that you think about how you would describe your actions of yesterday. Would you say you "logined to the site" or you "logged in to the site"?

It's a phrasal verb, and English is rife with them. I taught a course in phrasal verbs the last three semesters. German uses separable prefixes to achieve the same end, which is why Karl was able to remind us about the German anmelden. (Trust me, that an- is a separable prefix.)

Anyway, I hope I'm done with this tour de force (yes, I'm being facetious) now after that previous long, thoughtful post that crossed with yours in time. I never expected to spend two hours of my Sunday afternoon defending what I said last night. But it happens to be a topic near and dear to my heart and my professional interests.

Best to you and continued good faring with the Mint project. Nothing is perfect, but Linux Mint is far and away my favorite distro and has been for some time.

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by xenopeek » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:30 am

dman wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:59 am
All I ask is that you think about how you would describe your actions of yesterday. Would you say you "logined to the site" or you "logged in to the site"?
I clicked the login button to complete the action of logging in, on the login page where I entered my login credentials.
dman wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:59 am
Can't one just use a binary editor to change that one thing in the source?
Sure could. But:
a) other phpBB users wouldn't benefit from the change
b) we're no phpBB developers and there are likely multiple places to edit; having those edits be done by phpBB developers makes more sense, as that way any (current or future) issues with it can be spotted by all its users instead of just us
c) it adds to the maintenance burden; every thing extra we have to try to redo on a version upgrade makes it more likely mistakes will be made; it makes more sense to implement changes upstream in phpBB once, for all its users
d) there's no confusion as to what the links will do so no urgency to patch it here instead of implementing it with care upstream.

You can submit a bugs or improvement requests to the phpBB developers here: https://tracker.phpbb.com/secure/Dashboard.jspa.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am

xenopeek wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:30 am
dman wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:59 am
All I ask is that you think about how you would describe your actions of yesterday. Would you say you "logined to the site" or you "logged in to the site"?
I clicked the login button to complete the action of logging in, on the login page where I entered my login credentials.
Thanks very much. I agree with everything in your post, including the part I didn't quote!

I appreciate the pointer to the phpBB developers. I'll try to go do that.

Regards,
/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Portreve » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:36 pm

kyphi wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:54 pm
There are many versions of English and you are quite correct dman in stating that those who learned English as their first language are least able to express themselves to its fullest potential. Those who have studied it have an advantage.
So, let me see if I understand you. You're saying non-native speakers are at an advantage because they can make mistakes and claim they're just not as constrained as those of us who are native speakers?
English, like any other language, is full of acquired words. To some extent these words have been anglicised and others have survived in their original form since there have been no equivalents to convey a special or unique meaning. Words such as Zeitgeist for example.

To learn the English language one has to learn how to spell a word and how to pronounce a word. There is absolutely no consistency and any rules have lots of exceptions.
That just sounds like a cop-out to me.
Some ideas conveyed in German would sound utterly flat when translated into English and vice versa.
Languages are culture-bound. There are inherent assumptions made with respect to norms. When I tutor people in English, I have this foremost in my mind so that I can help that person recognize those assumptions in what they are doing, and then teach them the assumptions made in English-speaking cultures, so they can appropriately adapt.
On this forum, my posts are frequently auto-corrected and that is because it uses US English and I communicate in Australian English, not that it causes any hardship.
Your web browser allows you to pick (if it isn't for some reason set correctly to begin with, or for other purposes) the language you want to use, and this includes the various iterations of English. On a smartphone, you can pick the language you want to use in the setup for your on-screen keyboard.
The purpose of language is to communicate and I think that we all manage that quite well.
This is a conflation of two different things. Yes, language's purpose is the communication of information amongst people. However, there are language rules for a reason, just like there are rules of the road (and regulatory standards for vehicles) because if everyone just carried on speaking however they wanted, there would be no communication.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by gm10 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:03 pm

dman wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am
I appreciate the pointer to the phpBB developers. I'll try to go do that.
While personally I'm not bothered by the login button, because, as stated, I find it's easily understood as a noun. However, phpBB has numerous references to "login" as a verb (the login page alone says "In order to login" but there are many more occurrences) and that has always irked me a little. So if you submit a bug report do mention that it's a general issue with their English resource files.

If you feel like proof reading the whole thing, the files are here: https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb/tree/mas ... anguage/en ;)

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