Re: [v6ops] Comments on draft-ietf-v6ops-ipv6-ehs-packet-drops-01: "can" vs "may" in English usage.

tom petch <ietfc@btconnect.com> Fri, 04 December 2020 17:09 UTC

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From: tom petch <ietfc@btconnect.com>
To: Fernando Gont <fgont@si6networks.com>, Fred Baker <fredbaker.ietf@gmail.com>
CC: Gorry Fairhurst <gorry@erg.abdn.ac.uk>, IPv6 Operations <v6ops@ietf.org>, "draft-ietf-v6ops-ipv6-ehs-packet-drops.authors@ietf.org" <draft-ietf-v6ops-ipv6-ehs-packet-drops.authors@ietf.org>, Fernando Gont <fernando@gont.com.ar>
Thread-Topic: [v6ops] Comments on draft-ietf-v6ops-ipv6-ehs-packet-drops-01: "can" vs "may" in English usage.
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Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2020 17:09:10 +0000
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Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/v6ops/4NqML1B_sTTcQBNkozXKnkRX6P4>
Subject: Re: [v6ops] Comments on draft-ietf-v6ops-ipv6-ehs-packet-drops-01: "can" vs "may" in English usage.
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From: v6ops <v6ops-bounces@ietf.org> on behalf of Fernando Gont <fgont@si6networks.com>
Sent: 03 December 2020 19:29

On 3/12/20 14:11, Fred Baker wrote:
>
>
>> On Dec 2, 2020, at 9:52 AM, Fernando Gont <fgont@si6networks.com> wrote:
>>
>> ("can" = ability, "may" = possibility)
>
> I tend to use "can" in the sense of capability, which may correspond to your word "ability". "May", however, is about permission. "You can get get hot water from the kitchen" indicates that hot water is to be found there, and that you have the capability of trotting off there - whether or not you're interested in hot water or have any desire to go to the kitchen. "You may get hot water from the kitchen" gives you permission to go to the kitchen for that purpose.
>
> Note that this differs from colloquial usage. "Can" is often used in the sense of "may" in common usage ("can I please have some candy?" with the meaning "may I please...?"), which can be very confusing. In written communications, I try to keep theses straight.

Thanks for the note! I will definitely go back to my grammar book and
try to save everyone's time -- I do remember that the last year I took
English lessons there was a unit about "need" vs "must" vs "have to" vs
"may" vs "can" vs "might". I also remember another on "that" vs "which".
Definitely need to check both of these, since I've been getting both of
them wrong lately :-(

<tp>

My pet hate is those who say something cannot be done when it patently can; they just do not want to say they will not do it.
You might want to add to your list 'e.g.' versus 'i.e.' a choice which does change the meaning and which I think is wrong in some I-D.  A statement that an option can be signalled by an IGP e.g. OSPF is very different to saying that an option can be signalled by an IGP i.e OSPF.   I came across one such earlier this week.

Tom Petch


Thanks for the help!

Regards,
--
Fernando Gont
SI6 Networks
e-mail: fgont@si6networks.com
PGP Fingerprint: 6666 31C6 D484 63B2 8FB1 E3C4 AE25 0D55 1D4E 7492




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