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May 16th, 2004

(s) and (es)

You know, Ryan and I have been using computers for a long time. Back in the Olden Days some things were common. Floppy drives. Booting. BASIC. And my favorite, the “this programmer couldn’t figure out how to code for plural words.”

That is… let’s say you were searching for something. You got a large number of results. The program, or web page, said, “4,500 result(s).” Now that “(s)” is going to be there whether you’ve found 1 result or 4,500. But – this is the crux of my argument – it doesn’t have to be.

It’s really just a few lines of code, if that, to determine how many results came back. It’s easy. It’s simple. I’ve done it many times, to satisfy both the grammar snob within and the programmer within.

I mention all of this because I just came from a site where I have “1 Saved Searches.” At least they didn’t even bother with the parentheses there; they know they’re wrong, and they’re dealing with it in the worst way possible. C’mon folks, this has been around for years. Computers can add and subtract – and that’s all we need for a little proper English.

Posted in Technology

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