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Comment Re:Nope, I'll use he, she, they, there, their etc. (Score 1) 300

To be honest, I've been translating from English for a decade, for money, and this is the first time even I see "reasoning" like the one you're displaying in the second paragraph. I've seen group plurals for institutions, and I've seen singular they, in both less or more fortuitous usages, but this is the first time ever I see anyone justifying singular they of an authority figure with an institutional plural. Maybe you should push it into textbooks so that us dumb foreigners could learn it at your level of detail.

Comment Re:Can't blame NASA (Score 2) 165

A rocket is not just its physical construction; there's a huge amount of cost in research, design, testing, and support infrastructure - in the case of SLS

The problem is that in case of SLS, which recycles half of the STS equipment, if you need to do so much extra research, maybe it was a wrong idea from the very start. One of the things I found utterly laughable was the recent engine testing campaign for the limited amount of engines that already flew (and will be thrown away), just because they've decided to run them slightly hotter. These things sum up in a nasty way. You could have designed and developed not one but several new launchers for the total sum of incremental SLS expenses, any of them more prospective than the SLS.

Comment Re:I'm not sure this is progress. (Score 1) 300

Brain development is not solely about DNA. If it were, you wouldn't have these problems. The real problem is that at current state of medical development, we can't change the mind easier than the body; no matter how limited our options of changing the body are, the mind alterations seem even more elusive. Whether a medical intervention is better than living like that is anyone's guess. I suspect this is a "there's no good options" kind of situation. Some people are just screwed. Well, nothing new under the sun!

Comment Re:"While this is a victory for common sense" (Score 1) 300

That's not politics, that's linguistics. The languages are related in structure, and the gender structure is largely compatible, hence it makes perfect sense for learners to stick with it so as to avoid confusion. Exceptions may be present in case of languages that collapsed the masculine-feminine axis instead of the animate-inanimate axis in the unstable late-PIE tri-gender system (some languages such as Czech instead extending it into four effective genders with retaining indeterminate/generic masculines). I believe that's some Scandinavian languages, which, however, have many fewer speakers than either of Spanish, French, German, or Russian and other Slavic languages which are definitely compatible with the IE gender structure.

Comment Re:Shows the arbitrariness of style books (Score 1) 300

Compared to personal pronoun use, especially in situations with multiple potential referents, "less" and "fewer" have a lesser (heh!) potential for creating confusion because changing one for the other doesn't obviously change the amount or kind of information. Even if the use feels wrong ("there were less people") it's still clear what was meant.

Also, there's nothing implicitly wrong with liberal arts, as mathematics is one of them. ;)

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