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If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474467] Mon, 06 September 2010 11:23 Go to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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In this thread:

http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/161319/0/unread/43710/#msg_474425

Littlefoot mentioned that many people misuse CSV to mean something other than the comma-separated values that it stands for, using it to means values separated by any delimiter. I agree that this is a common point of view. This is one of many examples where if enough people say something wrong long enough, people consider it right.

When I was a kid, I was taught to say "isn't", not "ain't", because I was told that "ain't" is incorrect, but now some dictionaries include "ain't". I wonder if someday somebody will be saying that "isn't" is wrong because nobody says that anymore. Most of the differences between the American language and the original English language consist of incorrect usage of English that have become part of American. The more this continues, the more different the languages become, and the harder it becomes to understand one another.

This concept of if you do something wrong long enough it becomes right extends to other things besides language. If you camp out on somebody's land illegally, it is trespassing, but if you get away with it for seven years, you then own that portion of the land or have established a right-of-way to pass through it that cannot be fenced off by the original owner of the land.

Most of these things, whether language or laws, do not seem right to me. I have always been inclined to try to correct the the incorrect usage in the hopes of stopping the spread. The more things we allow where when people say one thing they could mean that or something else, the more confusing communications get.

So what makes something right, the way it was originally, the way most people use it currently, or the way that makes most sense or what? What do the rest of you think?



Re: If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474475 is a reply to message #474467] Mon, 06 September 2010 11:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michel Cadot
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I agree with you and tend most of the time to correct the behaviour and use the correct one but from time to time it becomes hard and tiresome when the usage becomes global.
We have many examples of this in French and after years of bad usage it enters in the dictionary (like transitive verb "pallier quelque chose" (to offset, to compensate for something) which is mostly use in an intransitive way "pallier à quelque chose", or "événement" which is wrote "évènement"... they all got into the dictionary after years of bad usage).

Quote:
but if you get away with it for seven years, you then own that portion of the land...

7! It is 30 in France! You have to be patient.

Regards
Michel
Re: If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474488 is a reply to message #474475] Mon, 06 September 2010 13:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Forsooth! Yon lass raiseth a point. Shall we make arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them? 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

But, prithee, as man thinketh, God (or the mob) steereth.

In the CSV case it was probably dozens of implementations that named them "CSV Files" (Like Excel), and then replaced the comma with something else when they were ported to languages that use the comma as decimal seperator. (The German Version of Excel for example only opens "CSV" files correctly automatically when they are semicolon-separated, unless you use the import wizard to manually set the separator to comma.)

There's somewhat of a dilemma between sticking to the correct terms, but not get too stuck when the basis for those terms changes. For the CSV part I have started to refer to them as "Character Separated Values" in my projects whenever they somehow have to fit the CSV acronym for some reason and I can't use DSV for Delimiter Separated Values. (Like when I have to write a .CSV file with ; a seperator so that the German MS Office can handle it out of the box).

That's easier than to handle all the "How can I open as DSV file?" Support calls.

In that vein I usually stick to the "the way most people use it currently", at least when that usage has been around for years without any sign of change.
Re: If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474495 is a reply to message #474488] Mon, 06 September 2010 14:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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ThomasG wrote on Mon, 06 September 2010 11:43

I have started to refer to them as "Character Separated Values" in my projects whenever they somehow have to fit the CSV acronym for some reason


I like that! That interpretation matches the acronym and makes it an accurate description, regardless of what character is used as the delimiter.


Re: If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474496 is a reply to message #474495] Mon, 06 September 2010 14:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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In the meanwhile, the original poster on this thread:

http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/161319/43710/

is still unable to understand why his "case2.csv" file containing the following data:

7785 | clerk | <blank> | 58643 |
6352 | mgr | 35 | 85329 |

will not load using a control file containing:

Fields terminated by ','

since he has been told to use that with csv files, despite the fact that he has been told to use:

Fields terminated by '|'

with the pipe delimited data that he has and it has been explained multiple times.





Re: If enough people say it wrong long enough, does that make it right? [message #474505 is a reply to message #474496] Mon, 06 September 2010 15:11 Go to previous message
Littlefoot
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Barbara

If you camp out on somebody's land illegally, it is trespassing


NO TRESPASSING
Violators will be shot
Survivors will be shot again



Any persons (except players)
caught collecting golf balls
on this course will be
prosecuted and have their
balls removed


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