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sacredceltic - Aug 27th 2010, 21:27
How to track the least visited pages and what to do with them?
sacredceltic - Aug 27th 2010, 21:27
linked to 483229
arcticmonkey - Mar 12th 2011, 19:47
linked to 789097
alphafour - Aug 3rd 2011, 01:54
linked to 1019307
marcelostockle - Jan 4th 2012, 05:37
linked to 790389

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Sentence #483228

eng
How to track the least visited pages and what to do with them?

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Comments

  1. Mar 10th 2011, 01:25
    Is this intended to be an incomplete sentence?
  2. Mar 10th 2011, 08:39
    what do you mean, "incomplete" ?
  3. Mar 10th 2011, 13:40
    The normal way to ask a question like this would be something like "How does one track the least visited pages, and what should be done with them?"

    What you wrote is fine in informal writing (e.g. taking notes or something like that), but people don't use it in speech or formal writing. (Technically, it's just a noun phrase which is being used as a question.)
  4. Mar 10th 2011, 14:43
    Define "normal" in your corner of the world, please...
    and I don't know what your "noun phrase" relates to.
  5. Mar 10th 2011, 16:38
    It is a noun phrase because, even though it has a verb, it acts like a noun. For example, you can say, "I know how to track the least visited pages" and "I know what to do with them". These two phrases are acting as the direct objects of "know".

    To make it a real sentence, you need a subject (which is generic, so it can be "you" or "one"), and a main verb.

    Maybe this is the same as the French sentence, in which case this is fine. However, if the French sentence is the normal way to say it to another person, then I would suggest rephrasing this.
  6. Mar 10th 2011, 17:09
    well, it's the same as the French since I translated the French from the English...
  7. Mar 10th 2011, 21:40
    Okay, I suppose it's fine. I'm thinking that there should be a tag for this sort of thing, but I'm not sure what to use.
  8. Mar 11th 2011, 00:24
    That sounds good. I've tagged it.
  9. Mar 11th 2011, 09:47
    in what sense is that sentence "non-finite" ? It is perfectly self-explanatory and doesn't need any addition to be understood. I got it the second I saw it. But the web is my job. Maybe you experience difficulties with web-English?

    I suggest that unless you explain what is missing in that sentence, you remove that cryptic flag that doesn't majke sense to me and probably to a vast majority of people...
  10. Mar 11th 2011, 09:51
    it can only apply to verbs, not to sentences...
    I ask for this nonsensical tag to be removed.
  11. Mar 11th 2011, 11:00
    > Without an accompanying finite clause, nonfinite clauses are ambiguous..."

    Could you please elaborate the ambiguity in this precise case?
  12. Mar 11th 2011, 14:56
    > Could you please elaborate the ambiguity in this precise case?

    This particular sentence is not too ambiguous. (Grammatically it is, but realistically, most people would all get the same idea.) Non-finite questions usually imply an indefinite subject ("one", generic "you", etc.).
  13. Mar 11th 2011, 15:42
    >This particular sentence is not too ambiguous.

    Define "not too". Is it ambiguous or not?

    >"Nonfinite forms do not express contrasts of tense, number, person, or mood."

    That doesn't mean a thing in the context of this sentence. This is just theoretical marmelade to hide the fact that this sentence is perfectly consistent and self-sustaining.
  14. Mar 11th 2011, 16:06
    >. You're again disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing.

    That is, when people disagree with YOU, they do for the sake of disagreeing. But in this case, you do with ME. This is MY sentence, remember...

    > People are getting fed up with this behaviour of yours.

    Did you conduct a poll? Well, I'll tell you what: I'm fed up with your accusations. This is called harassment!

    >Also, you don't seem to understand that tagging this sentence as "non-finite" doesn't make it less valid.

    Yes I do, but the tag is not justified for that anyway. My sentence is not ambiguous and I defy you to tell us what it can be confused for.
    If you fail to do so, then you should remove that tag.
  15. Mar 11th 2011, 16:11
    >You're again disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. People are getting fed up with this behaviour of yours

    @moderator

    Could you please ask arcticmonkey to stop ad hominem attacks against me when we're debating about the justification of the application of a specific tag?
    Thank you.
  16. Mar 11th 2011, 16:15
    >The verb phrase is ambiguous in terms of tense, number, person, and mood. You're confusing syntax with semantics.

    OK, then that's 4 different ambiguities. It should be easy to elaborate just one of them, then. Please explain PRECISELY where the tense ambiguity lies and how it should deceive people into believing it means something differnet (which is the definition of an ambiguity...)
  17. Mar 11th 2011, 17:08
    Yes, but then again, you still do not explain what ambiguity this causes. Please do, for example like this:

    this sentence can be ambiguously interpreted as:
    1) possible interpretation 1
    2) possible interpretation 2

    Otherwise, it's just theoretical ranting that doesn't apply to this sentence
  18. Mar 11th 2011, 17:11
    For instance, in the French version, although there is no tense, person, number (although this is debatable) and mood (which is rarely the case in most sentences), there is absolutely no ambiguity as to what this sentence means:

    It is a general interrogation to whoever is listening, for instance the audience in a conference.
  19. Mar 11th 2011, 17:17
    > Otherwise, it's just theoretical ranting that doesn't apply to this sentence

    I agree with this. There is only one real, possible interpretation for this sentence, which is why I have not tagged it as "ambiguous".

    > It is a general interrogation to whoever is listening, for instance the audience in a conference.

    In that case, I suggest that you rephrase this, because this sentence can not be used like that.
  20. Mar 11th 2011, 17:28
    >> Otherwise, it's just theoretical ranting that doesn't apply to this sentence

    >I agree with this. There is only one real, possible interpretation for this sentence, which is why I have not tagged it as "ambiguous".

    Then, if you admit that it is not ambiguous, at long last, the assertion by arcticmonkey that "Without an accompanying finite clause, nonfinite clauses are ambiguous..." is thus void.
    => The "non-finite" tag cannot apply.

    QED

    I'll discuss the rest of your post once the parasite tag is removed, so to clear out the debate from its peripheral pollution and focus on the problem as it is.
  21. Mar 11th 2011, 17:31
    >Semantically, they more or less come down to the same thing. Syntactically, however, they're clearly distinct. Finiteness refers to syntax.

    So you would argue that "Comment faire une phrase ?" is a non-finite and ambiguous sentence in French? It's extravagant! That means that thousands of sentences on Tatoeba must be tagged as such!
  22. Mar 11th 2011, 17:32
    I see now that another tag "non-sentence" has been added.
    Could its author, again, elaborate why it is not a sentence since it is perfectly clear to understand?
  23. Mar 11th 2011, 17:33
    I'll remove the tag if you change the sentence, but as it is, the tag is correct. This is exactly the type of thing that "non-finite" refers to.
  24. Mar 11th 2011, 17:38
    arcticmonkey added the "non-sentence" tag. I do somewhat take issue with that.

    > That means that thousands of sentences on Tatoeba must be tagged as such!

    Yes, you are correct. The term "ambiguous" is itself quite ambiguous. My opinion is that the tag should be restricted to things like "They can fish." (It can mean "They are able to fish" or "They put fish in cans.")
  25. Mar 11th 2011, 17:44
    >I'll remove the tag if you change the sentence, but as it is, the tag is correct. This is exactly the type of thing that "non-finite" refers to.

    Then you must also apply it to all such sentences in Tatoeba, otherwise it looks like you're targetting me in particular, although arcticmonkey argues that I am disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing, even if, paradoxically, he was the one to come and disagree about this sentence of mine...
  26. Mar 11th 2011, 17:54
    > I personally wouldn't tag it as incomplete as it can be understood without any further complements.

    Then it's a sentence! That is the very essence of a sentence!
    QED

    Thank you to remove your non-sentence tag :-)
  27. Mar 11th 2011, 18:03
    Ah, oops. Sorry arcticmonkey. :-)

    CK tagged it. I'll ask him to remove it.
  28. Mar 11th 2011, 18:03
    @moderator: Can you remove the "non-sentence" tag please?
  29. Mar 11th 2011, 18:04
    oh yeah, I should have thought that CK was hovering, somehow...
  30. Mar 11th 2011, 18:06
    That's not needed, Zifre. I did it.
  31. Mar 11th 2011, 18:35
    Pharamp! You were missed here!
    I'm surprised Swift didn't yet take part, in this...I suppose we're expecting him any minute...
  32. Mar 11th 2011, 18:43
    That's you who called for a moderator. Next time write a PM to every moderator requesting what you want, excluding in your message me and Swift. That's a possible thing to do here in Tatoeba, and I'm sure it will work. Even if that's just ridiculous.

    "@moderator: Can you remove the "non-sentence" tag please?"
  33. Mar 11th 2011, 18:55
    who else are we expecting? Let me see...arcticmonkey, Pharamp, Swift...why not Dimitri? This way, you could write "we" when you state your collective views in the name of the entire community. or who else is also a member of "we"?
  34. Mar 11th 2011, 18:57
    Could you please translate your last message in French, too?
  35. Mar 11th 2011, 19:08
    >Could you please translate your last message in French, too?

    Mais avec plaisir !

    "qui d'autre attendons-nous? Voyons-voir...arcticmonkey, Pharamp, Swift...pourquoi pas Dimitri ? Comme ça, vous pourriez écrire "nous" quand vous émettez vos opinions collectives au nom de toute la communauté. Ou bien qui d'autre est encore membre de "nous" ?
  36. Mar 12th 2011, 08:58
    The English sentence, as well as the French one don't contain a finite verb (which means a verb that is conjugated). So yes, the sentences in English and French use infinitives and could only beconsidered non-sentences in an extremely strict school-grammatical way, where a sentence is defined by containing at least one finite verb. So one might argue that, syntactically speaking, this is NOT a sentence.

    BUT. Trang explicitely states that Tatoeba uses a rather loose definition of sentence, in which "Good morning!" or "Thanks!" are valid sentences too.
    And although I'm not a native speaker of English, I think it's absolutely a sentence that one might say. Don't you sometimes say sentences like "Hey, how to pronounce that word?" or "How to get to the train station from here?"
    And you will find those sentences in many manuals. Tatoeba is not intended as a complete corpus of *spoken* sentences.

    My conclusion: you have to accept that this sentence is not a sentence in some very strict definition, but then again, we definitely don't use that definition here. So it's acceptable and should NOT be deleted. I thus completely agree with arcticmonkey and with sacredceltic (although linguistically I wouldn't define a sentence like that).

    I will remove the non-sentence tag. It's a perfectly valid sentence for Tatoeba.
  37. Mar 12th 2011, 09:03
    Sorry, I got confused a bit. That tag has already been removed and replaced by a "non-finite" tag. Non-finite doesn't mean non-sentence, it's just a special type of sentence with an infinite verb. Should the French sentence be tagged likewise?
  38. Mar 12th 2011, 09:10
    > Non-finite doesn't mean non-sentence

    Yeah, whatever...these purists tags are as laughable as "not for safe search" and "x-words sentence"...

    > Should the French sentence be tagged likewise?

    Yeah, the French need a good laugh!
  39. Mar 12th 2011, 09:29
    @sacredceltic:
    You completely missunderstand, what the tag is about. The "non-finite" tag just marks a sentence as being somewhat "special", as being a certain type of sentence. We don't need this tag, but it's good to track those kinds of sentences, so it's no harm to either French or English. Please don't understand this tag as a critique like "This sentence is wrong/incomplete.", it should be understood in the same way as some Japanese sentences are tagged as having certain constructions in them.
    So there's nothing to laugh about if you understand the nature of this tag. It's different with the non-sentence tag. CK is wrong in assuming that those are incomplete and should deleted or rewritten. There's nothing wrong with them in either English nor French. I don't even see an ambiguity there, the sentence is merely vague (but so is "How does one..."), as there's no subject being implied.
  40. Mar 12th 2011, 09:30
    >Could someone rephrase this into a sentence with the meaning you think it is supposed to have?

    NO. It is perfectly self-explanatory as it is. I understand it and so do millions of people on this planet. English is defined by its own usage. QED.
  41. Mar 12th 2011, 09:33
    Correct, there is nothing incomplete or ambiguous about this sentence, though it's vague (but that's not a criterion for non-validness). CK, please remember Trang's explanation of what are valid sentences and what not. It's obvious that these sentences fall into the valid type.
    No need to rephrase or delete anything here or throw around "non-sentence" tags.
  42. Mar 12th 2011, 09:34
    >The "non-finite" tag just marks a sentence as being somewhat "special", as being a certain type of sentence.

    I couldn't care less. Re-read the whole thread and you will see that all this is an utter waste of time...Who ever cares apart fom your group of "purists"?

    > We don't need this tag,

    Good!
  43. Mar 12th 2011, 09:39
    No, it is supposed to mean what is written. i suggest you create your different versions as variants.
  44. Mar 12th 2011, 12:19
    CK, I think you can look at it as repeating or rephrasing a question from the person or persons you're speaking to, or suggesting a question that they may have.

    Muiriel gave some usage examples on:
    http://tatoeba.org/eng/sentences/show/789112

    I can imagine a situation where a new user, let's call him Billy, is fumbling around with a new system, not sure how to explain what he wants, and asks you somthing like:

    "Erm, how do I ... eh, collect and gather all of the ... sites that, you know, nobody goes to see and ... erm, if I want to, you know, maybe make a list or put them in a folder because, you know, George said that maybe we should keep them around and, you know, analyse them for the purposes of monetising the synergy of their added input output value?"

    So, the tech support might try to rephrase the question in the reply:

    "How to track the least visited pages and what to do with them? Well, let me tell you all about that ..."

    It could also be found as a heading in a manual, but I'd personally favour a simple full-stop.

    PS. Sixteen Tatoeba points to whoever guesses which department Billy works in ...
  45. Mar 12th 2011, 16:55
    @sacredceltics:
    Are you blind? I am NOT one of those purists. Didn't you realize I'm actually on your side? With more than just "feeling" as an explanation.
    And if you don't care about tags at all, then all right. They can be useful for other people and purposes.

    @CK:
    Could you please explain to us, where you have a problem with the sentence? In which way or where is it incomplete or unnatural or ambiguous? Someone above gave an alternative with "How does one..." — how is the current sentence less clear than that version?
    It's a sentence in a pattern frequently uttered in real life (I gave examples) and even more frequently in manuals or similar situations (Swift gave a good example). What sense does it make to use a strict syntactic definition in order to rule out this (and 1000s of similarly "incomplete"(?!)) sentences on Tatoeba?
  46. Mar 12th 2011, 17:09
    > Are you blind? I am NOT one of those purists. Didn't you realize I'm actually on your side?

    I realised you became so, lately, yes.

    >They can be useful for other people and purposes.

    Tags are meant to bring context and additional usage information to learners.
    Tags such as "non-finite" or "x-words sentence" or "non-sentence" bring no information at all to the general public but utter confusion, except to a handful of linguists who don't need these tags anyway because they know a "non-finite" sentence when they see one.
    I thus consider such tags as a sheer waste of time and an actual hindrance to the diffusion of Tatoeba to the general public, who was meant to benefit from the service.
    I think that somehow, the initial ideal of Trang, who explained she created the service for sheer frustration of not finding example sentences when learning a language, has now been completely perverted by a handful of linguists who spend their time deterring people from enjoying it as they should, through vacuous considerations such as this mass above. it's a TOTAL DISASTER.
  47. Mar 12th 2011, 17:59
    > I realised you became so, lately, yes.

    Thanks. That we disagreed once doesn't mean we always disagree. This sentence seemed grammatical for me from the beginning.

    As for the tags: they do not serve solely for learners. Tatoeba is a database with sentences which can be used for MANY purposes. Learners being just one of them, having a multilingual parallel corpus is another one. Just because you don't/didn't know what "non-finite" means, doesn't mean that "only a handful of linguists" understand its meaning. Maybe this notion wasn't taught in your school, in mine it was, and I think in others too. So this tag might help a few people, for others it's useless (that can be said about many things).
    Did you ask Trang of her opinion about us linguists abusing the database for scientific things? Have you ever talked to her about your concerns?

    It's a total disaster for you, maybe. But you're the only one making a problem out of it. Watch your blood pressure and let others discuss what is important for them, if it's just a waste of time for you. We're aware of your opinion now, thank you. It's a community project. Deal with it.

    P.S.: Serious question: Have you considered starting a similar project with your own private rules?
  48. Mar 12th 2011, 18:28
    > As for the tags: they do not serve solely for learners.

    INDEED, they CONFUSE them COMPLETELY. I suppose most newcomers just FLEE when they see this nonsense!

    >Just because you don't/didn't know what "non-finite" means,

    But the problem is not ONE tag but an AVALANCHE of ever more nonsensical tags!

    >But you're the only one making a problem out of it.

    http://tatoeba.org/fre/sentences/show/678644

    >Watch your blood pressure

    It's perfect: 12/8. I went running in the park this morning. I do regularly. Sports is good for the mind as well.

    >and let others discuss what is important for them,

    and waste my time having to constantly defend the very existence of my sentences against an ever-growing pool of self-proclaimed linguistic experts. It looks like all newcomers in linguistics are flocking precisely here !

    >It's a community project. Deal with it.

    Yes, so moderators should respect the general public of "normal" users who learn languages using the service (as I do), and stop harrassing them and making them flee!
    Did you look at the activity statistics in the last months? It has dwindled out!
    It's like the mexican army: there are more and more generals/moderators and LESS and LESS soldiers/contributors and, alas, contributions...
    And the reason is obvious: Newcomers have ever more the feeling, which I initially had, to enter a closed sect of self-proclaimed experts, who deter them, barking at them everytime they dare add "non-finite" sentences or what not, and will probably end up barricaded in a ranch in Texas and commit a collective suicide!
    Open your eyes! Open up! Leave people to create their sentences and translate in peace and in the language of their choice! And focus on the quality of translations and usuefulness to the public rather than on technicalities that are of interest but to a handful of people.
  49. Mar 12th 2011, 19:10
    You suppose they get crazy and flee and panick and whatnot, if they see tags they don't understand. But maybe they don't? Maybe they just think: "What's that?" and shrug or look it up on Wikipedia. This is not a scientific jargon term we're talking about, it's simple school grammar. Most people unfamiliar with it will at least know it's "some grammatical term" and don't bother.
    Someone who gets *scared* of those things might not even be suitable for translating sentences, though one who doesn't know what the tag means, certainly still is. You greatly exaggerate here, and your scenario is very unlikely.

    I didn't see the stats, but the reason is most likely NOT because hundreds of people got scared of grammatical tags. There can be many a reason fot this. It seems obvious to you, but I have the strong impression, you're the only one to whom this is obvious.
    I was a newcomer too, not long ago, and it took quite a while until I became a trusted user and then a moderator. I was never barked at and myself never barked at others (I think), though I sometimes corrected people's comma mistakes or indicated errors. And then I was corrected too (I was wrong about comma rules in Esperanto) and appreciate that.
    I know that this "closed sect" behaviour occurs on some websites (Wikipedia is a good example), but Tatoeba is very civilized in that regard. In the past months the only real (serious) conflicts I've seen were between you and the rest of the users. It's easy to say that the dozens and hundreds of other people who share your opinion left the site a while ago or got scared and didn't want to join, but in my eyes that doesn't really support your claims. It sounds like an excuse for being the only one "sharing" your views.

    Is there any concrete(!) evidence that so many newcomers are rebuffed by strange tags or discouraging moderators?

    As for this sentence: Well, a few (Zifre & CK) had issues with your sentence and thought it's not suitable for the site. Others, including you tried to convince them of the correctness of the sentence. I think we all agree that this sentence here is a little different from sentences such as "I eat an apple.", it's non-finite – if you care or not – and in some definitions this makes the sentence a non-sentence. I argue that those strict definitions don't apply for Tatoeba, you say that everything that can be understood, is a valid sentence. Though linguistically this might not be a good reason (yeah, you don't care for science), I think for the purpose of Tatoeba it's as good as it gets.
    If you want moderators to let you or others add sentences that are questionable at least for a few people, then please let users add tags that they consider useful, even though you question their usefulness. Unless you cannot provide solid evidence for those kind of tags to be "dangerous", there is no reason for others to believe they are. Most people on Tatoeba don't share your opinions and views, so it's at least a bit reasonable to assume that it might be the same in the world outside Tatoeba (i.e. for potential users).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    The validity of this sentence is still in discussion. I suggest we jump down from the meta-discussion about the sense of tags and the evilness of the moderators, towards an actual discussion about the nature of non-finite sentences and how/if they fit to the sentences we want to have on Tatoeba.

    I gave some arguments for it, CK and Zifre see it as ungrammatical or unsuitable. CK wondered (in private) if he's the only English native who has a problem with the English sentence, I proposed to ask other native speakers. You uttered your views as well and said it's a sentence, because it can be understood. CK, a native, somehow doesn't understand it, it seems. That's how it is now. Accusing each other doesn't get us any further... so we should discuss the sentence here rather than the internal methods.
    Be aware that the talk might get slightly linguistic and theoretical. But it's good to clear things up (even though to you everything seems clear already) to avoid problems for similar constructions.

    So... any other/new arguments in favor or against this sentence here?
  50. Mar 12th 2011, 19:14
    > http://tatoeba.org/fre/sentences/show/678644

    By the way, a nice quote. But try to approach it with logic, then you'll see: not everything that is ridiculed or violently opposed is necessarily the truth.
  51. Mar 12th 2011, 19:30
    >the only real (serious) conflicts I've seen were between you and the rest of the users.

    Incredible! Did you conduct statistics? Which percentage of users did I enter in conflict with over my 40.000 contributions?

    This tactic is a classic: If someone is in conflict with a tight group of people they inflate themselves so as to speak in the name of the whole community. That's how extremism take place, actually. No room is left for dissent. Already, you, Swift, Pharamp, arcticmonkey have been constantly harrassing me in the last days, in a synchronised operation, relentlessly suggesting, through comments, posts on the wall, and dozens of private messages that I move elsewhere since I expressed my concern that German was being deemed impolite on the wall. Soon, you'll be deporting dissenters!
    Your attitude is NO LESS THAN SHAMEFUL!
    A moderator should be inclusive, and you are excluding people and try to pillory them.
    You demonstrate your total intolerance. Shame on you!
  52. Mar 12th 2011, 19:37
    >By the way, a nice quote. But try to approach it with logic, then you'll see: not everything that is ridiculed or violently opposed is necessarily the truth.

    Yes you're right, and Earth is flat and the Sun revolves around it, and everybody should speak English...


  53. Mar 12th 2011, 19:40
    Guys, I'm sorry. I really don't want to get involved in this, but seriously. Why are you still bothering to write long messages to sacredceltic? I used to do this, and I can't say that anything productive ever came out of it for anyone. I understand users who are less familiar with him doing this, but you older guys... Come on. You know that it's just a waste of everyone's time.

    sc, is it pure coincidence that you came back at the same time that I did, btw? Pretty crappy coincidence, if so.
  54. Mar 12th 2011, 19:43
    Back on-topic, anyone?
  55. Mar 12th 2011, 19:44
    >Would you mind not using Nazi analogies any more? It's distasteful at the least.

    ???
  56. Mar 12th 2011, 19:48
    >uys, I'm sorry. I really don't want to get involved in this, but seriously. Why are you still bothering to write long messages to sacredceltic? I used to do this, and I can't say that anything productive ever came out of it for anyone. I understand users who are less familiar with him doing this, but you older guys... Come on. You know that it's just a waste of everyone's time.

    >sc, is it pure coincidence that you came back at the same time that I did, btw? Pretty crappy coincidence, if so.

    Well, you here ! I'm so surprised really! So the team is complete to come with a vengence? I thought you wrote to me you were too ashamed of your past behaviour on Tatoeba to reappear? So you swallowed your pride, eventually?
    Welcome to the kill! You now have a few new friends to pack with!
  57. Mar 12th 2011, 19:48
    FeuDRenais:
    I'm sorry for that. Maybe I'm a bit naive, but I always assume one could have reasonable discussions with *everyone*. Seems I'm wrong. Maybe it's just a matter of time that I can't bother with him anymore. Turns out people's warnings were true.
  58. Mar 12th 2011, 19:59
    @arcticmonkey: You accused me of using Nazi analogies. I dare you to refer to these analogies, NOW or otherwise apologise!
  59. Mar 12th 2011, 20:03
    @sc:

    I am ashamed, but Tatoeba is extremely useful. What other tool lets you practice so many languages at once in combinations that you may never even (practically) see? This is what keeps me coming back.

    But my question to you. Why are you still doing this? Doesn't it get boring having circular arguments for no reason whatsoever? I guess it must be fun when new users keep showing up and have no clue why they're suddenly getting attacked by you. Anyway, I don't see how you can live with all this stress.

    @Vortarulo:

    No, don't be sorry. I agree with you, but I've seen at least 20 threads like this one, and it's always the same: long chain of 30-40 messages, sc overreacting and misinterpreting, people trying to convince him with reason, failing, me telling sc to cut it out, other people trying to convince him with reason, moderators coming in to tell us to remember civility, sc mocking the moderators, me saying something inappropriate probably, then TRANG/sysko sending a big message to everyone reminding them that Tatoeba is an open community and that we must remain open-minded and tolerant of each other, and to handle everything non-sentence related in PMs. And, after ALL that, the sentence stays the same and there's no real outcome.
  60. Mar 12th 2011, 20:03
    @Vortarulo
    >Turns out people's warnings were true.

    Whose warnings?
  61. Mar 12th 2011, 20:17
    @arcticmonkey

    to "deport" is hardly the monopoly of the Nazi regime. Actually, what is considered the first modern deportation of civilians, was conducted in South Africa, by the British army, against the Boers during the eponymous war. Dozens of thousands of Boers womens and children were locked in the first modern concentration camps and starved to death by the Brits to break the Boers' spirit. And you should perfectly know this since you speak the Boers'language, Afrikaans...
    If you go back in history, the Brits also deported 300.000 french Acadians from what are now north-eastern Canadian states and was then former french Canada, to Louisiana, and 100.000 died en route, making it the first massive deportation and mass-crime in modern times...
    So I can't see why, just because you might be german and so might be Vortarulo, suddenly, every word that peopleuse somewhat refers to the Nazi recent past. Words predated the Nazi regime, including the word "Gauleiter", which etymologically means the ruler of a given territory, "Gau" being the actual equivalent of the english "Shire". So Gauleiter means the Lord of the shire.
    And after the Nazi regime, "Gauleiter" ended up to mean in English "any overbearing local official" which was appropriate in the case of Bravesentry, who wanted to impose English on the wall...
    So please!
  62. Mar 12th 2011, 20:24
    @FeuDRenais:
    Wow, that was an accurate resumee of that process.

    @sacredceltic:
    After our argument on the Wall about whether or not it's impolite to use a language different from the one the question was asked in, I almost instantly got private messages from 3 different users warning me not to bother arguing with you. I cosidered these warnings but thought when I argue civilized and with logic, we should get to an agreement. But the more we discuss, the more I tend to believe they were right.
    I begin to see that it has no sense arguing with you. It's really a waste of time. I could've finished my ANKI for today in the meantime or added some Klingon sentences (which seems so much more useful, ironically). Instead it became 3 am here very quickly. :-/

    Oh, and I will of course NOT tell you who those three people were. You'll just attack and insult them anyway.

    I'm discussing the sentence itself with CK, who said he stopped bothering with this discussion (understandable). It's not possible anymore to discuss the real issue here. I might just ask some native speakers what they think about the sentence and see what the outcome is, as I suggested to him. A kind of poll would be helpful. Maybe it seems just a little strange in CK's variety of English.
  63. Mar 12th 2011, 20:36
    >it's really a waste of time.

    Please don't bother, especially since I didn't convene you in this vacuous discussion on "non-finite sentence" silly tags...

    >A kind of poll would be helpful.

    Do as you wish, as I said earlier, I couldn't care less.
  64. Mar 12th 2011, 20:41
    Yeah, you didn't convene me. But someone else actually did (because of the linguistic topic, not because of you).
  65. Mar 12th 2011, 20:50
    >Yeah, you didn't convene me. But someone else actually did (because of the linguistic topic, not because of you).

    so feel free to leave!
    Cheers
  66. Mar 12th 2011, 21:26
    Regarding the sentence:

    There's nothing wrong with it, IMO. But if people want to tag it based on its grammatical properties, then they should be able to do so.
  67. Mar 12th 2011, 21:55
    >Some people might use the word in a broader sense

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gauleiter see 2.
    +
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauleiter : "It has since become a term used to refer to any overbearing local official, especially one prone to the dictatorial use of political or bureaucratic power."

    >Gauleiter was a position created by the Nazis

    Indeed, but they build the title on the old "Gaugraf", replacing the aristocratic "Graf" by "Leiter" which is self-explanatory.
    The fact remains that this noun was later on adopted in the english language to mean what I mentioned above.

    >throwing it at a German national is more than ill-considered.

    I don't care from what nationality Bravesentry is (and who knows what he actually is?)
    I could use the phrase for anybody. For instance, I ignore the nationality of CK, but I can say that he is a gauleiter of the tags, because, according to the above definition, he is an overbearing local official of Tatoeba for tags...
    And you may call me the gauleiter of language equitableness if you please!

    >True. However, you were again specifically addressing German nationals

    I do not wonder, when debating with people on unrelated subjects, whether they are german (and how do I know Vortarulo doesn't just pretend to be one ?) or not. Germans can recover from their Nazi past, and anyway, not every word used by the Nazis were their monopoly.
    "to deport" people is an activity that has been conducted many times over history and that the Germans didn't invent. They actually took the idea of concentration camps from the Brits.
    If you're too sensitive on this matter, and consider that as a German - if so you are - you feel villified each time someone uses words like "gauleiter" or "deport", you should consult or live with it, because these words are in the english languages to stay for a long time. Alternatively, stop participating in debates in this language.

    >and you were talking about German in the very preceding sentence

    That was the language Bravesentry and Vortarulo chose to censor on the wall. Not my choice...I'm not going to be sorry for being factual.

    >It's at best a very poor choice of words.

    If I was to choose my words according to your nationality, I would be a xenophobe.
  68. May 5th 2011, 23:53
    You cannot ask a non-finite question in English.

    Take away the question mark and what have you got?

    "How to track the least visited pages and what to do with them."

    This would be a valid heading for a section in an instruction manual, for example.

    However, with the question mark in place it is simply not English.
  69. May 5th 2011, 23:59
    "For instance, in the French version, although there is no tense, person, number (although this is debatable) and mood (which is rarely the case in most sentences), there is absolutely no ambiguity as to what this sentence means:"

    Yes, because that's permissible in the rules of French.

    "in what sense is that sentence "non-finite" ? It is perfectly self-explanatory and doesn't need any addition to be understood. I got it the second I saw it. But the web is my job. Maybe you experience difficulties with web-English?"

    You do realise that most "web-English" is written by non-native speakers, right...?
  70. May 6th 2011, 07:43
    >You do realise that most "web-English" is written by non-native speakers, right...?

    Of course, and so? English has been given "as a present to the world" by Gordon Brown! The world uses it...

    >Yes, because that's permissible in the rules of French.

    So this valid French sentence needs translating and it is a question. Here we are.


    >"in what sense is that sentence "non-finite" ? It is perfectly self-explanatory and doesn't need any addition to be understood.

    Rejoice, you've got your "non-finite" tag, so you can organise a "non-finite sentences" busting party!
  71. May 6th 2011, 10:50
    The valid French sentence needs translating *to a valid English sentence*. This is not a valid English sentence.
  72. May 6th 2011, 10:56
    >The valid French sentence needs translating *to a valid English sentence*. This is not a valid English sentence.

    But the French sentence and all the others are questions. Questions must be translated into questions...
  73. May 6th 2011, 12:02
    > Questions must be translated into questions...

    No more than they have to be translated literally. Some expressions simply cannot be conveyed properly in a translation without taking a different form.

    The English “I wonder why…” is such an example. It can be translated into Icelandic with words expressing that one is wondering/asking oneself about something, but quite often this would be expressed in Icelandic as a question such as “Hvers vegna ætli …?”

    Granted, related languages such as French and English will often have very similar structure (as will Icelandic -- I'm sure speakers of non-European languages could have some interesting insight on this matter) but there is no need to force it.

    I've commented above on how I can see this as turning up in conversation and guess it could match the German (though I reckon it would be worded slightly differently) but will leave it to those more proficient to hash this out. My impression was, however, that this had been resolved.
  74. Aug 3rd 2011, 01:35
    I've been directed to this sentence by arcticmonkey and I saw the mistake straight away.

    I've seen that at least one native speaker addressed it (Cainntear) but I just want to put this to bed.

    I'm not doing this because I don't like you sacredceltic. In fact, your English is usually flawless and I'm very impressed that somebody can learn so many different languages to such a high level.

    However, the sentence just doesn't make any sense. As Cainntear suggested, you could make it into a heading for a manual etc. by removing the question mark. Otherwise, it's incorrect and it would not be used by NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS.
    I'm not going to bother throwing around syntax and finite/non-finite or any other flashy linguistics words. I don't need them to tell you why the sentence is wrong.

    The sentence looks like exactly what it is - a failed attempt by a non-native at writing a coherent English sentence. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm just stating what it is.

    I don't even need to look at the French sentence because I can see the issue straight away.

    In fact, I saw the issue long before I even looked at the mammoth comment thread below.

    It's not about whether people can understand what it means when they see it. If that was the case I could just write sentences like..

    "HEY. WIFE. FOOD. HERE. NOW"

    You can see that I want my wife to give me some food but you wouldn't for one second say it's correct.





  75. Aug 3rd 2011, 01:38
    >I've been directed to this sentence by arcticmonkey

    Good boy...
  76. Aug 3rd 2011, 01:56
    comments follow now the same rule as the wall, thanks for you two to understand this,
  77. Aug 3rd 2011, 01:58
    @Some comments on this thread have been deleted@
  78. Aug 3rd 2011, 02:10
    @Sysko

    Thanks for clearing it up.
  79. Aug 4th 2011, 05:30
    I understand American English quite clearly, but I'm new to this site. Not sure what the argument is because any native speaker can see it is incorrect.

    INCORRECT: "How to track the least visited pages and what to do with them?"

    You can't start a sentence with "how to". From a linguistic analysis, it sounds like a noun phrase, not a complete sentence.

    This is the correct way to use "how to":

    CORRECT: "Is this how to track the least visited pages and IS THIS what SHOULD BE DONE with them?"
    CORRECT: "This is how to track the least visited pages and what to do with them."
  80. Aug 4th 2011, 09:54
    @Glossika: I think there is a confusion as to what a "sentence" is, here. A "sentence" in my view and the view of many contributors here is whatever is currently used by the various users of the corresponding language in different situations, not limited to conversation...
    The fact that this sentence is "non-finite" has already been documented (see tags).
    Sentences starting with "How to..." abound : Google references over half a billion of them http://www.google.fr/search?hl=...70&bih=699

  81. Aug 4th 2011, 10:03
    @sacredceltic:

    You even proved it yourself as the google link you provided shows that "How to" is never used a question (but rather as a title) and if it is, it must have been written by a non-native. Of course I haven't bothered to look at every individual page but I don't feel any need to do so.

    I really don't understand why you haven't changed the sentence yet. Nobody will laugh at you for getting it wrong.

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