bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Tim Lee
The last paragraph/sentence in the documentation of 'insert-file-contents' is:

> In addition, this function decodes the inserted text from known formats
> by calling `format-decode', which see.

It looks like there is something wrong about this sentence.

"... which see." — See what?

The sentence was introduced by commit bb085aed9593 (2012-12-21).



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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Philipp Stephani


> Am 26.03.2021 um 19:12 schrieb Tim Lee <[hidden email]>:
>
> The last paragraph/sentence in the documentation of 'insert-file-contents' is:
>
>> In addition, this function decodes the inserted text from known formats
>> by calling `format-decode', which see.
>
> It looks like there is something wrong about this sentence.
>
> "... which see." — See what?

Apparently this is correct English.  "... X, which see" means roughly "To find out more, look up X."


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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Gregory Heytings-2
In reply to this post by Tim Lee

>
> The last paragraph/sentence in the documentation of
> 'insert-file-contents' is:
>
>> In addition, this function decodes the inserted text from known formats
>> by calling `format-decode', which see.
>
> It looks like there is something wrong about this sentence.
>
> "... which see." — See what?
>
> The sentence was introduced by commit bb085aed9593 (2012-12-21).
>
See the Emacs manual Glossary: q.v. Short for "quod vide" in Latin, which
means "which see".  There are about 400 occurrences of "which see" in the
Emacs documentation, it means "look at the documentation of the previous
word/function to find more information".
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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Glenn Morris-3
In reply to this post by Tim Lee

It's one more archaism that Emacs refuses to remove.

Ref https://debbugs.gnu.org/28790



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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Eli Zaretskii
> From: Glenn Morris <[hidden email]>
> Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:42:30 -0400
>
> It's one more archaism that Emacs refuses to remove.

It's unfair and unkind to use derogatory language for past decisions
just because you disagree with them.  Please just let go.



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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Gregory Heytings-2

What about replacing "which see" with "quod vide"?  It's not longer (eight
letters and one space), and is easier to look up than both "which see" and
"q.v.".



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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Gregory Heytings-2

>> What about replacing "which see" with "quod vide"?  It's not longer
>> (eight letters and one space), and is easier to look up than both
>> "which see" and "q.v.".
>
> ISTR that past discussions concluded that q.v. would be even more
> cryptic.  With "which see", at least native English speakers and those
> who are used to scientific literature would immediately understand what
> it means.
>

The only thing I see in that discussion (bug#28790) is: ""Quod vide" (qv)
is arguably more conventional, but for those who haven't encountered the
abbreviation or learned its meaning, it's a much tougher nut to crack."
So it's about the abbreviation, not about the expression in full.  I just
tried, finding the meaning of "q.v." is difficult, but finding the meaning
of "quod vide" is immediate.

I tried to find recent occurrences of "which see" in Google Books and
Google Scholar, there are none.  There are some occurrences of "on which
see <reference>" or "for {examples, a discussion, an overview, an
assessment, ...} of which see <reference>".  It seems that all occurrences
of "which see" are from the 19th century.



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bug#47416: Strange sentence in documentation of 'insert-file-contents'

Richard Stallman
In reply to this post by Tim Lee
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  > > In addition, this function decodes the inserted text from known formats
  > > by calling `format-decode', which see.

  > It looks like there is something wrong about this sentence.

  > "... which see." — See what?

See `format-decode'.

"which see" after some nominal says to go look at that nominal.
It is slightly old-fashioned usage but not obsolete.

There is no obstacle to stating that sentence some other way if that
is clearer.

--
Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)