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From: Rob Stewart (stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-09-15 11:53:37

From: David Abrahams <dave_at_[hidden]>
> "Jonathan Turkanis" <technews_at_[hidden]> writes:
> > David Abrahams wrote:
> >> "Jonathan Turkanis" <technews_at_[hidden]> writes:
> >>
> >>> I have exactly the same situation in Iostreams. I give each function
> >>> its own page of documentation, with tables demonstrating how the
> >>> semantics depends on the properties of the template parameters. For
> >>> example:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >> not bad. A nit:
> >>
> >> The semantics of read depends on the category of T as follows
> >> ^
> >> ^
> >> "semantics" is plural, so drop the "s" here.
> >
> > Are you sure? I'd say it's a mass noun.
> What's a mass noun? e.g., "Water?"

I'd never heard of "mass noun" before, either. (If I did, it was
in elementary or middle school and I don't recall learning it. I
don't recall a lot from back then!)

I looked at to get more
information (I'm going to have to edit that page; there are some
awkward things on it!). I certainly know about mass nouns, but
never knew what they were called.

Thanks for the grammatical lesson Jonathan!

> seems to indicate
> it could go either way, if I am reading it correctly. Oh, well.

I think "semantics" being "the study..." means that it should be
treated as a mass noun. I can't grok M-W's "noun plural but
singular or plural in construction."

> I guess it would read more easily if you'd replace "semantics" with
> "effect."

Indeed. That would resolve the matter handily.

Rob Stewart                           stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer           
Susquehanna International Group, LLP  using std::disclaimer;

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