back to article Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Welcome to the sixth instalment of "Who, me?", The Register's confessional for IT pros who managed to break stuff before it became the kind of user-generated mess story we run in On-Call. This week, meet "Don" who told us that "Back in very late 2012 I spent almost two hours debugging a front-end error on an app." That's well …

Re: I've never quite understood

Used to alias common things like color-colour but when auto completion appeared in programmers editors it became just pointless extra work. Can't remember if we ever 'corrected' Sony's hilarious MargePrim to the intended MergePrim in the PSX devkit... Sony never did.

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Re: I've never quite understood

> Honour is another one that I just do not understand. Why keep the silent h but drop the still pronouced u?

The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America where they can't pronounce the word 'Herb' properly either!

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Re: I've never quite understood

The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America

What nonsense, I've never heard it pronounced with a hard "H" ever, on either side of the Atlantic.

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Re: I've never quite understood

I have always used the H in honour

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Re: I've never quite understood

I have always used the H in honour

So you pronounce it hhonour?

How strange.

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Re: I've never quite understood

The British pronunciation of herb postdates the American. It was long pronounced 'erb' here, but a process of removing French pronunciations from English meant that the 'H' became sounded in British English.

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Re: I've never quite understood

The silent French H is long since gone from English, which seems to owe more to not wanting to drop our aitches ('arvy, arry, 'ill etc.) and sound common, even when they shouldn't actually be pronounced, than to deliberately avoiding French pronunciation. We see the h in hotel or herb, so we say it.

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Headmaster

Re: I've never quite understood

> @disgustedoftunbridgewells As any fule know, "colour" rhymes with "yellow".

However Nigel Molesworth wrote, "As any fule kno".

As any fule kno...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've never quite understood

"Mind you, colo(u)r has to be one of the more phonetically incorrect spellings out there."

Along with "pour"?

Some of the apparently incorrect phonetics depend on which regional accents are common. The Tudor court received pronunciation (RP) of English was very different from the BBC RP in the 1930s - and again nowadays. Even HM The Queen has changed her pronunciation over the course of her reign.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've never quite understood

My childhood regional pronunciation appeared to make no distinction between "ion" and "iron". In some areas of the UK the "r" is definitely there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've never quite understood

"As any fule kno..."

IIRC the "k" was sounded in words like "knife" in English in Shakespeare's time? In Swedish it still is in the exact equivalent "kniv".

When people have problems with some words starting "psy.." - it still amuses me to say "The P is silent - as in snow".

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Re: I've never quite understood

Or like P.G.Wodehouse's character Psmith.

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Re: I've never quite understood

"As any fule know, 'colour' rhymes with 'yellow'."

/me ponders for a moment... 'old yellow' - now you're making me foam at the mouth!

heh - only kidding... or?

coat, please

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Facepalm

Re: I've never quite understood

As a child from the frozen wastelands beyond the north of England, who's family moved south during his school age, I have experienced the blunt end of juvenile delight at the fact I made an audible pronunciation distinction between the nation 'Wales' and a school of 'Whales'.

I have also spent far more time than necessary attempting to determine the problem with an OAuth routine I was writing, which eventually turned out to be because I was passing a header requesting 'Authorisation'.

Oh what a frabjous day that was!

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Re: I've never quite understood

"The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America where they can't pronounce the word 'Herb' properly either!"

The only get too lazy to pronounce the H in 'erb when they are smoking it.

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Re: I've never quite understood

Why keep the silent h

Because (to a lot of people) it isn't a silent H..

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Re: I've never quite understood

I have always used the H in honour

Likewise.

I think it depends where you grew up and who you learned your English from..

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Re: I've never quite understood

The Tudor court received pronunciation

Indeed. That was during the great vowel shift that fundamentally altered some of the vowel sounds:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift

Some English dialects preserve the older ways of using the vowels.

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Re: I've never quite understood

The honourable thing to do is to honour the H.

The H may or may not be silent, but my spell checker thinks the U is invisible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've never quite understood

"should be call it CE (Commonwealth English) ?"

IIRC there was a BBC R4 programme that examined the various forms of English in the Commonwealth. Some of them are almost incomprehensible to each other's native speakers - not by accent but by usage and grammar. Within their own cultures they have an evolved consistency.

I suspect Swedish/Norwegian/Danish speakers in the old Scandinavian immigrant parts of the USA use an archaic form of the language compared to the modern Scandinavian country forms. Even in Stockholm "Rinkeby"*** Swedish is becoming prevalent amongst the young. That is modern Swedish reformed through the influence of different immigrants' native languages' grammars and word order.

A person can sound fluent in a foreign language but their choice of certain word orders can reveal their origins. A strength of English for non-native speakers is that it still tends to make sense even when the word order is non-standard.

***Rinkeby being a suburb of Stockholm with a particularly high long-established immigrant population.

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@CrazyOldCatMan Re: I've never quite understood

I think it depends where you grew up and who you learned your English from..

Or indeed from whom one learned English.

Would have chosen the Grammar Nazi icon but for a softening in my resolve against the mutation of the language - After all, it's not French!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @CrazyOldCatMan I've never quite understood

"After all, it's not French!"

A neighbour's German girlfriend was an English teacher in Bavaria. One day she was talking about the mistakes her pupils made in examinations. One example was in using "From where do you come?". She said that she failed the pupil because he had used a German word order - rather than "Where do you come from?".

She was a bit disconcerted when we pointed out that it was a perfectly good - some would say a very good - English word order avoiding a dangling preposition.

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What sort of environment doesn't give you a compile/link/runtime error for calling a function that doesn't exist ?

Or had Microsoft implemented a whole range of correctly-spelt functions & whatever that did almost, but not quite the same as the american-spelt ones ... just to be mean to the Canadians and Brits ?

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It's not a function, it's a markup language for designing interfaces. As it's XML, if a tag isn't an expected one it is simply ignored..

Really they shouldn't rely on Intellisense to sanitise the code.

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Facepalm

Can you C it?

I did this about a year ago:

int y = x^2; /* square of x */

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Def
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Re: Can you C it?

That's ridiculous. Who uses /* for comments outside of CSS these days? And that comment isn't even close to be being accurate.

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Re: Can you C it?

"int y = x^2; /* square of x */"

It's not often I have to code that sort of calculation. Doing it this week I went through n**2 and then n^2 and Math.pow(n,2) - before the compiler finally accepted pow(n,2)

***Guess what inappropriate language I had to use to write system utilities in the 1960s.

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Re: Can you C it?

> pow(n,2)

What's wrong with n*n ?

With pow(), if you're lucky your compiler will spot that the 2 is a constant and generate a multiply anyway. If you're unlucky it will do something horrible involving exp(). Less typing, works in every language, and better result to just write n*n.

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Facepalm

C fun

Early in my C programming career, I wrote the equivalent of

switch (some_enum_variable)

{

constant_a:

some_code1();

break;

constant_b:

some_code2();

break;

constant_c:

some_code3();

break;

}

and spent many hours wondering why none of the branches ever activated... (no, the compiler did not even warn about this. It is syntactically perfectly correct C).

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Angel

Re: C fun

> the compiler did not even warn about this

Nowadays they do. Even spurious indentation gets flagged, as in

if ( cond ) do_this(); do_that();

I have to admit this has saved me some time on occasion.

Modern compilers --->

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Re: C fun

switch (some_enum_variable)

{

constant_a:

some_code1();

break;

constant_b:

some_code2();

break;

constant_c:

some_code3();

break;

}

OK, looks like I'd be in the same situation you were. What's the problem?

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Re: C fun

There's no case statements, so no execution.

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Re: C fun

OK, looks like I'd be in the same situation you were. What's the problem?

Missing keyword "case" before each enumeration constant name. Without it, the names are interpreted as labels for use with goto statements.

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Re: C fun

Reminiscent of the alleged Fortran error in NASA satellite code, where what should have been written as a DO loop was written as something like:

DO 20 I=1.10

...do stuff with I here...

20 CONTINUE

One almost impossible-to-spot typo completely changed the code.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: C fun

IIRC there is a C typo that gives one apparent iteration rather than 10

for (i=0; i<10; i++);

{

// do something 10 times

}

Someone once wrote a list of the 10 most common errors for someone starting to write in C - when they had been fluent in Pascal. IIRC Pascal FOR loops always did at least one iteration irrespective of the stated loop end condition.

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Re: C fun

Without [case], the names are interpreted as labels for use with goto statements.

Oh good grief. I've no idea how I've never made that mistake (or perhaps it was picked up by the compiler).

Thanks Binky and MacroRodent.

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Re the passer-by noticing the problem instantly: Back in the seventies I wandered past the electronics guy who had a very large sheet of paper pinned up showing a very intricate maze of components he was designing.

"What's this?" I asked. "Output converter for a non-standard Gray code".

"Oh. Err ... why can't you use a lookup table in an EPROM?" "Aaaargh!"

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Boffin

74 TTL Series Logic

I was delighted by the revelation at college that you could implement logic functions from a mass of spaghetti wiring into a single chip solution by simply by using a multiplexer & tying up the inputs to +5 or 0V at college (Aided by a truth table).

I walked into a independent electronics store some years later with my notes while looking to create a circuit that would switch a Amstrad satellite receiver (SRD510 if memory serves), using the non existent 7 segment display (on that model) that any channel number over 50 would switch* on a 22KHz tone generator & switch to a second LNB for TV1000 & the like.

The shop assistant took one quick look at my notes & exclaimed "Blimey you really know your Boolean logic".

*I'm aware that there was a link (& fitted on my unit) on the board that would make it think it was a SRD520, that gave a switched output for driving an external frequency extender up to the full 2Ghz (There was also a later mod that gave that function without the use of an external frequency extender, possibly at the cost of some of the fine tuning of the frequency).

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Archimedes

Acorn built very British computers back then. The BASIC dialect for the Archimedes had a command for colour selection which was spelled "SETCOLOUR".

Never saw that anywhere else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Archimedes

It should be "spelt", not "spelled"!

I think some of the BBC Micro software accepted both spellings of "colour". The ZX Spectrum had documentation in British English, but I think it avoided both spellings in commands, using INK or something instead for setting the colour.

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Devil

Re: Archimedes

I've seen 'colour' and other things spelled that way in wxWidgets, as I recall...

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Re: Archimedes

It should be "spelt", not "spelled"!

Only if you are baking bread!

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Does the accidentally redefining 0 in a FORTRAN program count here? Because I genuinely did that in real life and spent a while puzzling over it.

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Trollface

In ftre the letter "u" will be dropped from the vocablary as the special snowflakes from across the pond seem to be too lazy in sing it when writing complete sentences.

Words like color and backgrond and seplchre shold be easier to spell and se for them.

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Joke

When the English rise again, the letter Z will be dropped to standardise. Without the left-pondian instinct to mis-utilise the letter, which I despize, the letter will no longer be needed.

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The Z will still be required, however Jay Zed will need to stop calling himself Jay Zee.

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MJI
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US Rappers

And of course 36p known in the rest of Europe as 0.41 Euro.

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Coat

Re: US Rappers

Would that be pronounced Ooro or Oyro?

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Dropping the Z

I foresee a lot of confused kids when going to the "oo"...

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Re: Dropping the Z

Dad, do they call it an 'oo because "ooh look a panda!" ?

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