U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | the grammar of photographic writers

the grammar of photographic writers

I'm very bad at plurals... In my first language there is no
article and nouns have no plural form. In writing patent
applications, phrases such as "one or more of," "any number
of," and "a plural of" are more useful because being specific
without showing any detail is an important part of the game.

However, the spam quoted below reminds me of unnecessary
capitalization. This is actually a very common mistake among
writers of photographic processes. Some people unnecessarily
capitalize names of elements and compounds, e.g., Silver
Nitrate and Hydroquinone (these should not be capitalized). On
the other hand, some people fail to capitalize, e.g., metol,
phenidone and dimezone (these should be capitalized as they
are trade names).

Use of italics and hyphenation adds up to the issue. In
typesettnig N-methyl-p-aminophenol (Metol), N (always in
capital as it referrs to the nitrogen atom in the amino group)
and p should be italicized but not the rest. Unnecessary
hyphenation such as N-methyl-p-amino-phenol looks funny, but
things like tri-ethanol-amine look crazy, and worse
unnecessary hyphens are inserted in wrong places, like
benzo-tria-zole (when benzotriazole is benzo + tri + azole).
Then use of inappropriate acronyms... BTA is the acronym for
benzotriazole in photographic chemistry but some people
(non-chemists) used BTZ.

When typesetting pH, the p should be italicized in lower case
and H should be always roman capital, as it referrs to
hyrdogen. Same thing for pAg, pBr, etc.

Then there's confusion of words and concepts... e.g., absorb
v. adsorb.

Then there's a long list of misnomers that should be fixed and
historical artifacts that should be modernized (or modernized
form should be mentioned at least).

But I guess the biggest problem is high frequency of wrong
statements. Many photographic pages on Wikipedia contain
serious errors in addition to the above problems (and I
occasionally contribute my edits only to realize someone else
adds more errors). Articles/websites written by non-experts
suffer from the same.

And I still want to know what the "Prestigious non-accredited
Universities" refer to.

From: Judy Seigel <jseigel@panix.com>
Subject: Re: the grammar of spam
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2007 22:36:57 -0400 (EDT)

> Before I comment on Don's comment, I share some spam arrived in my inbox tonight:
> The sender was listed as "Cornell," I suppose to imply or associate with Cornell University. The message began, "Here's how much you can expect to earn in your life with the following degrees:"
> High School Diploma:  $1,100,000
> Bachelor's Degree:    $2,100,000
> Master's Degree:      $2,500,000
> Doctorate:            $4,400,000
> You Need a Better Degree, and we can Help!
> Obtain degrees from Prestigious non-accredited
> Universities based on you life experience.
> NO ONE is turned down.
> Call Now 7 days a week.