Kent M Pitman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
| I noticed in prep for the ISO ISLISP spec that many Europeans, and
| particularly the Germans, were really worried every time I'd even say
| "something will happen" and wanted me to rewrite this as
| "something shall happen" as if somehow this made it stronger.
| This week in German class we were looking at the German word "will"
| and I found myself wondering if this was just a false cognate for them;
| in my dialect of English, "will" is either imperative or unconditionally
| predictive, which amounts to the same in computerspeak. I know in some
| English dialects there is a subtle difference, but it's lost on me.
If I'm recalling correctly (and I'm not at all sure it's 100% correct),
what I was taught in high school English was that which of "shall/will"
meant indicative/imperative depended on the "person" of the sentence:
Singular Plural Singular Plural
1st-person I shall... We will... I/we will... We shall...
2nd-person You will... You will... You shall... You shall...
3rd-person He/She shall... They will... He/She will... They shall...
Though clearly the subtleties of the 1st- & 3rd-person forms have been
generally lost in recent common usage....
Rob Warnock, 8L-855 email@example.com
Applied Networking http://reality.sgi.com/rpw3/
Silicon Graphics, Inc. Phone: 650-933-1673
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy. FAX: 650-933-0511
Mountain View, CA 94043 PP-ASEL-IA