Friday, September 24, 2021

Proposal: This has bothered me for years

Self-killed - Ienpw III

Adminned at 26 Sep 2021 16:12:43 UTC

Change the definition of the keyword Should to “is recommended to”.


Kevan: Drone he/him

24-09-2021 15:00:45 UTC



24-09-2021 15:07:57 UTC


lemon: she/her

24-09-2021 15:11:30 UTC



24-09-2021 15:12:10 UTC


Josh: he/him

24-09-2021 15:18:03 UTC


SupernovaStarbright: she/they

24-09-2021 15:22:18 UTC


Darknight: he/him

24-09-2021 15:57:29 UTC


Brendan: he/him

24-09-2021 16:08:55 UTC

// Josh has entered the chat

Brendan: he/him

24-09-2021 16:09:11 UTC


SupernovaStarbright: she/they

24-09-2021 16:19:05 UTC

I’m curious why you’re opposed, Josh? Just seems like a clarification thing to me.

Josh: he/him

24-09-2021 16:23:28 UTC

“I can Distim” > “I am able to Distim”  for
“I shall Distim” > “I am required to Distim”  for
“I should Distim” > “It is recommended that I Distim” for
“I should Distim” > “I am recommended to Distim”  against 

The English language is a ghastly mutt and striving for arbitrary markers of consistency is silly.

SupernovaStarbright: she/they

24-09-2021 16:32:29 UTC

Gotcha, it’s about the direct substitution of the words. Grammatically, it still works, though, no? There may be cases where it doesn’t, but we can fix those on a case by case basis.

Josh: he/him

24-09-2021 16:55:32 UTC

I mean, this is just a grammar fix, it doesn’t change the meaning of the rule at all; in my view it’s making the wording consistent, but I think that that consistency actually erodes the readability of the rule.

But also, that’s just my single vote! I don’t like it but I expect that it’ll still pass and I don’t feel a strong need to persuade anyone else to change with me. I’ll just be mildly disgruntled and then maybe try to change it back in a decade or so

redtara: they/them

24-09-2021 18:16:22 UTC

@josh let’s look at some actual ruletext examples.

Example 1: “Make an Ascension Address by posting an entry in the ‘Ascension Address’ category. This should specify the Drone’s chosen theme for the new Dynasty…”

At present, this would read “an Ascension address… is recommended that specify the Drone’s chosen theme…”. This is plainly ungrammatical.

With my change, it would read “an Ascension address… is recommended to specify the Drone’s chosen theme…”. Far better.

Example 2: “Citizens should vote against any DoV that relies on having broken a fair play rule.”

At present, “Citizens [are] recommended that vote against any DoV…”

With the change, “Citizens [are] recommended to vote against any DoV…”

Your example sentence requires you to significantly alter the syntax by inserting an expletive and putting the sentence in the passive voice. “is recommended to” is a little stodgy but at least it’s grammatical. It’s not about consistency for me - if you can come up with a better phrasing that doesn’t force us to rewrite the sentence I’m all for it.

Josh: he/him

24-09-2021 18:34:56 UTC

I genuinely don’t care, I just wanted to throw in my against vote, why can’t you all just leave me alone

(I don’t mind changing syntax to get to the best possible read of a sentence, so while “Citizens [are] recommended that vote against any DoV…” might be < “Citizens [are] recommended to vote against any DoV…”, I think both are < “It is recommended that Citizens vote against any DoV”. But also I don’t care! I;m not trying to persuade anybody! I just want to stand on my abstract principle god damnit)

redtara: they/them

24-09-2021 19:03:35 UTC

I just think that as far as abstract principles go, not requiring changes in syntax to be inferred for rules to have effect is probably a good one!

Josh: he/him

24-09-2021 19:21:24 UTC

Well you can have your abstract principles and I’ll have mine, how about that

redtara: they/them

24-09-2021 19:26:02 UTC


Chiiika: she/her

24-09-2021 21:49:11 UTC


SupernovaStarbright: she/they

25-09-2021 02:05:41 UTC

against Changing just because there could be a spot where this completely breaks the core rules and I don’t feel like checking whether future fixes to the phrasing will be legal or not. If something fundamental breaks because of incorrect grammar, it could theoretically render the game unplayable.

Kevan: Drone he/him

25-09-2021 10:50:56 UTC

This may actually have no effect under the Tags rule, since it’s modifying Appendix without using the Tag for it, and it doesn’t (under a strict reading) quite meet either of the two Tag exemptions.


25-09-2021 17:01:09 UTC


redtara: they/them

25-09-2021 18:11:51 UTC

Hmmm. I guess it depends on what we take a “section” to be. Keywords aren’t sections as defined by “Rules and Gamestate”, but the keyword for Rule suggests that there are other types of sections. Specifically, it talks about numbered sections, but it doesn’t explicitly comment on whether there can be sections that aren’t numbered, and if so what they might be. As section isn’t defined I guess we’d fall back on the plain English usage of the word. And from my point of view, a portion of the ruleset with its own title and separate indentation is differentiated enough from the rest of the ruleset that it would constitute its own section. (Although I would support a proposal narrowing the terminology.)

Kevan: Drone he/him

25-09-2021 18:30:52 UTC

The ruleset is certainly a bit careless when it talks of what a “section” is, but it does only ever use the word in two senses: when referring to the big Core/Dynastic/Appendix chunks of the ruleset, and also to individual numbered parts of the wiki page.

That’s enough definition to get us over the bar of “A keyword defined by a rule supersedes the normal English usage of the word”, I think. A definitional list element within a rule is never described as being a section.

I too would welcome a better definition.

Josh: he/him

25-09-2021 18:31:20 UTC

Mm, I think I’d accept Ruleset and Gamestate as a difinitive source on that

redtara: they/them

25-09-2021 20:26:48 UTC

OK, this is a bit trivial to do a CFJ over so I will probably just S/K once preceding proposals have been processed and repropose eventually.

redtara: they/them

26-09-2021 03:30:05 UTC

S/K against