Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

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Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Bret Busby-2
Hello.

I have observed that, in the Detailed Descendants Reports, and, in the
Detailed Ancestors (Ascendants?) Reports, a child is referred to as
"the" son or daughter, regardless of whether one or many exist.

For example, if a pair of parents, have ten children; four sons and
six daughters, each of each gender will be mentioned in the applicable
report, as "the" <son or daughter> of the parents.

"The", in this context, is usually interpreted to mean "the only", and
so, I believe that the narration would be more appropriate, if the
word "the" would be replaced with the word "a", so that, for example,
in the case of (I think) Donald Duck,

"Huey is a son of Donald", and
"Dewey is a son of Donald", and
"Louie is a son of Donald"

would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;

"Huey is the son of Donald", and
"Dewey is the son of Donald", and
"Louie is the son of Donald"

with the sons thence fighting and arguing; each claiming "No, I am!"
:)

So, with GRAMPS being reviewed insofar as changes needing to be made,
could this change, please, be considered?

Thank you in anticipation.

--

Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia

..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Gil da Costa

On 2016-12-19 15:21, Bret Busby wrote:


"Huey is a son of Donald", and
"Dewey is a son of Donald", and
"Louie is a son of Donald"

would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;

"Huey is the son of Donald", and
"Dewey is the son of Donald", and
"Louie is the son of Donald"

My English is far from perfect, but talking about me, I would say "I am the son of my parents", even if I have ten brothers and sisters...


G.Da Costa

PS: No Walt Disney's character has sons. Only nephews.


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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Paul Franklin-5
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
https://github.com/gramps-project/gramps/blob/master/gramps/plugins/lib/libnarrate.py

is where the strings for both reports are, and where
the conditions for which string is chosen are tested.

As you will see, there is no test for the number of
children in a family.  So that would need modification.

Furthermore, some people (speaking English) would
not like it if a single child ("only child") were called "a
child of" so all the strings dealing with the child to
parent relationship would need modification, would
need to be doubled probably.

That said, you -- or anybody else -- should feel free to
submit a patch to modify that file to have it do what you
want (or a pull request, etc.), and we will consider it.

Until then, I would guess that your best bet would be to
select some output type (plain text or OpenOffice say)
which will allow you to edit the result to say what you
want.

p.s.  All "feature requests" are better submitted on the
gramps bug tracker.  They are less likely to be lost, etc.

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Darren Petrie
In reply to this post by Gil da Costa
"Huey is the son of Donald” is proper and more commonly used than “a son"

> On Dec 19, 2016, at 9:55 AM, Gil da Costa <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 2016-12-19 15:21, Bret Busby wrote:
>
>>
>> "Huey is a son of Donald", and
>> "Dewey is a son of Donald", and
>> "Louie is a son of Donald"
>>
>> would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;
>>
>> "Huey is the son of Donald", and
>> "Dewey is the son of Donald", and
>> "Louie is the son of Donald"
>>
> My English is far from perfect, but talking about me, I would say "I am the son of my parents", even if I have ten brothers and sisters...
>
>
>
> G.Da Costa
>
> PS: No Walt Disney's character has sons. Only nephews.
>
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Paul Franklin-5
> "Huey is the son of Donald” is proper and more commonly used than “a son"

So since it seems to be subjective, any proposed patch
should allow the user to choose which usage they prefer.

And of course should allow for translations into all the
languages which gramps is available in -- which may
not be as simple as "a" and "the" in English.

Yet more reasons why something like this has never
happened.

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

John Paton
In reply to this post by Gil da Costa
I agree with Gil. I am the son of my parents and so is my brother.

On 19/12/16 14:55, Gil da Costa wrote:

> On 2016-12-19 15:21, Bret Busby wrote:
>
>>
>> "Huey is a son of Donald", and
>> "Dewey is a son of Donald", and
>> "Louie is a son of Donald"
>>
>> would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;
>>
>> "Huey is the son of Donald", and
>> "Dewey is the son of Donald", and
>> "Louie is the son of Donald"
>>
> My English is far from perfect, but talking about me, I would say "I am
> the son of my parents", even if I have ten brothers and sisters...
>
>
> G.Da Costa
>
> PS: No Walt Disney's character has sons. Only nephews.
>
>
>
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> engaging tech sites, SlashDot.org! http://sdm.link/slashdot
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>
>
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

John Paton
In reply to this post by Paul Franklin-5
Not too sure that it is subjective.

I am pretty sure that Historical references would say that eg 'George
the Sixth was the son of George the Fifth' or indeed that 'George W Bush
was the son of George Bush' so to that extent I think that correct
English usage is 'X is the son of Y and Z'.

Equally, I am fairly sure, that in French the usage would be 'Jean est
le Fils de Pierre'.

If one wished to be less specific one might say that 'I am one of the
sons of my father'

John Paton

On 19/12/16 20:47, Paul Franklin wrote:

>> "Huey is the son of Donald” is proper and more commonly used than “a son"
>
> So since it seems to be subjective, any proposed patch
> should allow the user to choose which usage they prefer.
>
> And of course should allow for translations into all the
> languages which gramps is available in -- which may
> not be as simple as "a" and "the" in English.
>
> Yet more reasons why something like this has never
> happened.
>
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Alain Pastor
Le 19/12/2016 à 22:48, John Paton a écrit :
> Not too sure that it is subjective.
>
> I am pretty sure that Historical references would say that eg 'George
> the Sixth was the son of George the Fifth' or indeed that 'George W Bush
> was the son of George Bush' so to that extent I think that correct
> English usage is 'X is the son of Y and Z'.
>
> Equally, I am fairly sure, that in French the usage would be 'Jean est
> le Fils de Pierre'.
Although this seems correct to me, I guess the usage depends on the
context. For the historical references that you have mentionned above, I
think you're right. Now, if you imagine a crowd of guys all with
different parents, indeed you will say: "John est le fils de Peter", but
if the crowd contains another son of Peter, I think you should say:
"John est un des fils de Peter" or "John est un fils de Peter" even
though "John est le fils de Peter" is still a true and formally correct
assertion regarding the French language. I believe this has something to
see with the concept of enumeration or something like that and this
might be even more relevent in a narrative context.

The translation in French would be more demanding not only because of
the number of people involved in the situation but also because of their
gender:
- when there's only one son: "John est le fils de Peter" ;
- more than one son: "John est un des fils de Peter" or "John est un
fils de Peter" ;
- one daughter only: "Rose est la fille de Peter" ;
- more than one daughter: "Rose est une des filles de Peter" or "Rose
est une fille de Peter"

To bypass the gender issue, one might use the word "enfant" (usually
used for young people) which goes for the sons as well as for the daughters:
- one child only: "Rose est l'enfant de Peter" ;
- more than one child: "John est un des enfants de Peter" or "John est
un enfant de Peter"

However, we can miss some important information when the child has a
rare and exotic first name or a christian name that goes for both sexes.
In French, Dominique, Claude, Camille come to mind.

Cheers,

Alain

> If one wished to be less specific one might say that 'I am one of the
> sons of my father'
>
> John Paton
>
> On 19/12/16 20:47, Paul Franklin wrote:
>>> "Huey is the son of Donald” is proper and more commonly used than “a son"
>> So since it seems to be subjective, any proposed patch
>> should allow the user to choose which usage they prefer.
>>
>> And of course should allow for translations into all the
>> languages which gramps is available in -- which may
>> not be as simple as "a" and "the" in English.
>>
>> Yet more reasons why something like this has never
>> happened.
>>


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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

jerome
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
In theory, I should be able to also provide a patch for issues like:

https://gramps-project.org/bugs/view.php?id=6243
https://gramps-project.org/bugs/view.php?id=3386#c11715

... but I still make some horrible mistakes
 on sentences in present tense... :-(

So, even valid issues, I often have problems for going further.
Sure, in french we sometimes need to play with wording.


Jérôme


--------------------------------------------
En date de : Jeu 22.12.16, Alain Pastor <[hidden email]> a écrit :

 Objet: Re: [Gramps-users] Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports
 À: [hidden email]
 Date: Jeudi 22 décembre 2016, 8h16
 
 Le 19/12/2016 à 22:48,
 John Paton a écrit :
 > Not too sure that
 it is subjective.
 >
 >
 I am pretty sure that Historical references would say that
 eg 'George
 > the Sixth was the son of
 George the Fifth' or indeed that 'George W Bush
 > was the son of George Bush' so to that
 extent I think that correct
 > English
 usage is 'X is the son of Y and Z'.
 >
 > Equally, I am fairly
 sure, that in French the usage would be 'Jean est
 > le Fils de Pierre'.
 Although this seems correct to me, I guess the
 usage depends on the
 context. For the
 historical references that you have mentionned above, I
 think you're right. Now, if you imagine a
 crowd of guys all with
 different parents,
 indeed you will say: "John est le fils de Peter",
 but
 if the crowd contains another son of
 Peter, I think you should say:
 "John
 est un des fils de Peter" or "John est un fils de
 Peter" even
 though "John est le
 fils de Peter" is still a true and formally correct
 assertion regarding the French language. I
 believe this has something to
 see with the
 concept of enumeration or something like that and this
 might be even more relevent in a narrative
 context.
 
 The translation in
 French would be more demanding not only because of
 the number of people involved in the situation
 but also because of their
 gender:
 - when there's only one son: "John est
 le fils de Peter" ;
 - more than one
 son: "John est un des fils de Peter" or "John
 est un
 fils de Peter" ;
 - one daughter only: "Rose est la fille de
 Peter" ;
 - more than one daughter:
 "Rose est une des filles de Peter" or "Rose
 
 est une fille de Peter"
 
 To bypass the gender issue,
 one might use the word "enfant" (usually
 used for young people) which goes for the sons
 as well as for the daughters:
 - one child
 only: "Rose est l'enfant de Peter" ;
 - more than one child: "John est un des
 enfants de Peter" or "John est
 un
 enfant de Peter"
 
 However, we can miss some important information
 when the child has a
 rare and exotic first
 name or a christian name that goes for both sexes.
 In French, Dominique, Claude, Camille come to
 mind.
 
 Cheers,
 
 Alain
 >
 If one wished to be less specific one might say that 'I
 am one of the
 > sons of my father'
 >
 > John Paton
 >
 > On 19/12/16 20:47,
 Paul Franklin wrote:
 >>> "Huey
 is the son of Donald” is proper and more commonly used
 than “a son"
 >> So since it
 seems to be subjective, any proposed patch
 >> should allow the user to choose which
 usage they prefer.
 >>
 >> And of course should allow for
 translations into all the
 >> languages
 which gramps is available in -- which may
 >> not be as simple as "a" and
 "the" in English.
 >>
 >> Yet more reasons why something like
 this has never
 >> happened.
 >>
 
 
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Gil da Costa
Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the

definite article
1. (used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an):

Thus, I am the son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each a sister of their parents.



On 12/19/2016 03:32 PM, John Paton wrote:
I agree with Gil. I am the son of my parents and so is my brother.

On 19/12/16 14:55, Gil da Costa wrote:
On 2016-12-19 15:21, Bret Busby wrote:

"Huey is a son of Donald", and
"Dewey is a son of Donald", and
"Louie is a son of Donald"

would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;

"Huey is the son of Donald", and
"Dewey is the son of Donald", and
"Louie is the son of Donald"

My English is far from perfect, but talking about me, I would say "I am
the son of my parents", even if I have ten brothers and sisters...


G.Da Costa

PS: No Walt Disney's character has sons. Only nephews.


-- 
World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Darren Petrie
In other use cases yes, that is how a definite article works. But in the case of genealogy it isn’t applied that way, but don’t ask me why.  Look at how Luke reads in the Bible.  These were not the only son in these cases but in most every case they were simply one of many sons of their father.

the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri, 28the son of Melki,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon,
the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David, 32the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
the son of Salmon,d the son of Nahshon,
33the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,e
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
the son of Kenan, 38the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,

> On Dec 22, 2016, at 2:23 PM, Ron Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.
>
> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the
>
> definite article
> 1. (used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an):
>
> Thus, I am the son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each a sister of their parents.
>
>
>
> On 12/19/2016 03:32 PM, John Paton wrote:
>> I agree with Gil. I am the son of my parents and so is my brother.
>>
>> On 19/12/16 14:55, Gil da Costa wrote:
>>
>>> On 2016-12-19 15:21, Bret Busby wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> "Huey is a son of Donald", and
>>>> "Dewey is a son of Donald", and
>>>> "Louie is a son of Donald"
>>>>
>>>> would be more appropriate than, as would currently be shown;
>>>>
>>>> "Huey is the son of Donald", and
>>>> "Dewey is the son of Donald", and
>>>> "Louie is the son of Donald"
>>>>
>>>>
>>> My English is far from perfect, but talking about me, I would say "I am
>>> the son of my parents", even if I have ten brothers and sisters...
>>>
>>>
>>> G.Da Costa
>>>
>>> PS: No Walt Disney's character has sons. Only nephews.
>>>
>>>
>
> --
> World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification
>
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Bret Busby-2
On 23/12/2016, Darren Petrie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In other use cases yes, that is how a definite article works. But in the
> case of genealogy it isn’t applied that way, but don’t ask me why.  Look at
> how Luke reads in the Bible.  These were not the only son in these cases but
> in most every case they were simply one of many sons of their father.
>
> the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat,
> the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
> the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
> 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
> the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
> the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath,
> the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
> the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
> 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
> the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
> the son of Neri, 28the son of Melki,
> the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
> the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
> 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
> the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
> the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon,
> the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
> the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
> 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
> the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
> the son of David, 32the son of Jesse,
> the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
> the son of Salmon,d the son of Nahshon,
> 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,e
> the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
> the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob,
> the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
> the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
> 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
> the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
> the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan,
> the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
> the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
> 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
> the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
> the son of Kenan, 38the son of Enosh,
> the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
>

I would go into the question of whether "the bible" can validly be
regarded as an absolute authority for anything, but, with the nature
of most of the responses in this thread, thus far, I do not want to
further inflame things, by leading to the start of a potential
religious war, for which, this list is not appropriate.

--

Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia

..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Bret Busby-2
In reply to this post by Ron Johnson
On 23/12/2016, Ron Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.
>
> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the
>
>     definite article
>
>     1. (*used*, especially before a noun, *with a specifying or
>     particularizing effect*, *as opposed to* the *indefinite or
> generalizing
>     force* of the *indefinite article **/a/**or **/an/*):
>
>
> Thus, I am *the* son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each *a* sister of
>
> their parents.
>
>

Further to that, in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English,
8th Ed, 1990, is, for "the";


"serving to describe as unique".

--

Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia

..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

paul womack
In reply to this post by Darren Petrie
Darren Petrie wrote:
> In other use cases yes, that is how a definite article works. But in the case of genealogy it isn’t applied that way, but don’t ask me why.  Look at how Luke reads in the Bible.  These were not the only son in these cases but in most every case they were simply one of many sons of their father.

If we're discussing language, what you're citing is merely a particular translation, done at a particular time, by a particular induividual (or small group).

  BugBear

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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

John W. Kitz
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
Bret,

I've installed the software and have been subscribed to this mailinglist
since only a couple of days, so this is one of the first discussions I've
been following. I'm not a native English speaker, but for what it's worth,
and considering that implementing Bret's suggestion may require additional
changes to the software to test if the number of children of the same
parents is equal to or more than one (see Paul's comment), I agree with Bret
and second his change request.

To settle this one might also consider that the use of "a" vs. "the" doesn't
seem to be just a matter of the meaning and use of "the" per:

"http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the

    definite article

    1. (*used*, especially before a noun, *with a specifying or
    particularizing effect*, *as opposed to* the *indefinite or generalizing
    force* of the *indefinite article **/a/**or **/an/*):"

but also a matter of perspective.

E.g. the statement "Huey is the employee of ACME corporation." is IMHO
generally interpreted to mean that Huey is the one and only employee of that
company, while stating "Huey is an employee of ACME corporation." is IMHO
generally interpreted to mean that ACME corporation has more employees, one
of which being Huey. Dutch being my first language I would say the same to
be true in Dutch (while others may argue that : ). As for German and French;
I'm pretty sure the same interpretation of the example given would typically
apply in those languages.

Of course there are languages, such as German and French, in which the
software would also have to test for the gender of the child to come up with
the appropriate form, irrespective of that would have to be of "a" or "the".

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Nicholas Robinson
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
Oxford lost any moral high ground long before 1990 and have only recently reiterated their complete dumbing-down by including ‘moobs’, apparently a contraction of the equally dubious ‘man-boobs’, in the most recent edition.

I think the use of ‘the’ is always correct in this context. An individual, defined person and the relationship to his/her parents are being specified. Trying to use ‘a’ in this context turns the person into a commodity. It would be better all round if the software reported that ‘Cecil is the only son of…’, which is the normal way of describing that state of uniqueness.

Must go, I’ve got to go out to buy the turkey for Christmas - or should that be a turkey? I’m only interested in one, so it is ‘the’, but then it will be one of a number in the butcher's (I’m unusually organised this year), so that would make it ‘a’.

Anyway, definitely have a good Christmas!

Nick

> On 23 Dec 2016, at 06:26, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 23/12/2016, Ron Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.
>>
>> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the
>>
>>    definite article
>>
>>    1. (*used*, especially before a noun, *with a specifying or
>>    particularizing effect*, *as opposed to* the *indefinite or
>> generalizing
>>    force* of the *indefinite article **/a/**or **/an/*):
>>
>>
>> Thus, I am *the* son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each *a* sister of
>>
>> their parents.
>>
>>
>
> Further to that, in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English,
> 8th Ed, 1990, is, for "the";
>
>
> "serving to describe as unique".
>
> --
>
> Bret Busby
> Armadale
> West Australia
>
> ..............
>
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
> you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
> Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
> "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
> A Trilogy In Four Parts",
> written by Douglas Adams,
> published by Pan Books, 1992
>
> ....................................................
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Developer Access Program for Intel Xeon Phi Processors
> Access to Intel Xeon Phi processor-based developer platforms.
> With one year of Intel Parallel Studio XE.
> Training and support from Colfax.
> Order your platform today.http://sdm.link/intel
> _______________________________________________
> Gramps-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/gramps-users
> https://gramps-project.org


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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Alan Heywood-Jones
Hoorah, Nick has poured a dose of common sense on this subject.  I hope that it stops this ploughing of a furrow in barren soil.  The only negative aspect of such an aspiration is that I shall miss the cherry-picking of authoritative definitions of ‘a’ and ‘the’ few of which explore the many semantic nuances of the use of articles in English.  

Nick, enjoy the turkey.

-Alan
TIME is Precious - Waste it Wisely

> On 23 Dec 2016, at 11:19, Nicholas Robinson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Oxford lost any moral high ground long before 1990 and have only recently reiterated their complete dumbing-down by including ‘moobs’, apparently a contraction of the equally dubious ‘man-boobs’, in the most recent edition.
>
> I think the use of ‘the’ is always correct in this context. An individual, defined person and the relationship to his/her parents are being specified. Trying to use ‘a’ in this context turns the person into a commodity. It would be better all round if the software reported that ‘Cecil is the only son of…’, which is the normal way of describing that state of uniqueness.
>
> Must go, I’ve got to go out to buy the turkey for Christmas - or should that be a turkey? I’m only interested in one, so it is ‘the’, but then it will be one of a number in the butcher's (I’m unusually organised this year), so that would make it ‘a’.
>
> Anyway, definitely have a good Christmas!
>
> Nick
>
>> On 23 Dec 2016, at 06:26, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 23/12/2016, Ron Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.
>>>
>>> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the
>>>
>>>   definite article
>>>
>>>   1. (*used*, especially before a noun, *with a specifying or
>>>   particularizing effect*, *as opposed to* the *indefinite or
>>> generalizing
>>>   force* of the *indefinite article **/a/**or **/an/*):
>>>
>>>
>>> Thus, I am *the* son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each *a* sister of
>>>
>>> their parents.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Further to that, in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English,
>> 8th Ed, 1990, is, for "the";
>>
>>
>> "serving to describe as unique".
>>
>> --
>>
>> Bret Busby
>> Armadale
>> West Australia
>>
>> ..............
>>
>> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>> you'll know what the answer means."
>> - Deep Thought,
>> Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>> "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>> A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>> written by Douglas Adams,
>> published by Pan Books, 1992
>>
>> ....................................................
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Developer Access Program for Intel Xeon Phi Processors
>> Access to Intel Xeon Phi processor-based developer platforms.
>> With one year of Intel Parallel Studio XE.
>> Training and support from Colfax.
>> Order your platform today.http://sdm.link/intel
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>
>
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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Nick Hall
In reply to this post by Nicholas Robinson
On 23/12/16 10:19, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
> I think the use of ‘the’ is always correct in this context.

I agree.  No changes are required for English.

Nick.



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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Martin Steer-2
In reply to this post by Alan Heywood-Jones
On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 02:02:38PM +0100, Alan Heywood-Jones wrote:
>Hoorah, Nick has poured a dose of common sense on this subject.  I hope that it stops this ploughing of a furrow in barren soil.  The only negative aspect of such an aspiration is that I shall miss the cherry-picking of authoritative definitions of ‘a’ and ‘the’ few of which explore the many semantic nuances of the use of articles in English.

You might avoid the issue altogether:

Jesus, Son of God
Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph

Another day, another furrow.

M.


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Re: Request For Change - issue of singular and plural narration in Descendants and Ascendants Reports

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2

You are buying a turkey from the butcher.  Your wife (or you) will put the turkey in the oven.

(Merry Xmas and make sure to get inside before Santa Bot goes on his yearly rampage!)

On 12/23/2016 04:19 AM, Nicholas Robinson wrote:
Oxford lost any moral high ground long before 1990 and have only recently reiterated their complete dumbing-down by including ‘moobs’, apparently a contraction of the equally dubious ‘man-boobs’, in the most recent edition.

I think the use of ‘the’ is always correct in this context. An individual, defined person and the relationship to his/her parents are being specified. Trying to use ‘a’ in this context turns the person into a commodity. It would be better all round if the software reported that ‘Cecil is the only son of…’, which is the normal way of describing that state of uniqueness.

Must go, I’ve got to go out to buy the turkey for Christmas - or should that be a turkey? I’m only interested in one, so it is ‘the’, but then it will be one of a number in the butcher's (I’m unusually organised this year), so that would make it ‘a’.

Anyway, definitely have a good Christmas!

Nick

On 23 Dec 2016, at 06:26, Bret Busby [hidden email] wrote:

On 23/12/2016, Ron Johnson [hidden email] wrote:
Gramatical authority agrees with Bret.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the

   definite article

   1. (*used*, especially before a noun, *with a specifying or
   particularizing effect*, *as opposed to* the *indefinite or
generalizing
   force* of the *indefinite article **/a/**or **/an/*):


Thus, I am *the* son of my parents.  My half-sisters are each *a* sister of

their parents.


Further to that, in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English,
8th Ed, 1990, is, for "the";


"serving to describe as unique".




-- 
World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification

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