Breaking barriers

Richard Wordingham richard.wordingham at
Fri Oct 22 18:07:04 CDT 2021

On Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:30:51 -0600
Doug Ewell via Unicode <unicode at> wrote:

> Miscommunication can happen in almost any translation situation, even
> between two educated, literate, fluent humans, and for that matter
> even within a single language.
> Translating between Spanish and English is supposed to be one of the
> easiest scenarios in the field, but there is still the Spanish verb
> 'deber' which can mean either "must" or "should" in English. Getting
> this right can be tricky; getting it wrong can cause any number of
> problems.

Indeed, I have trouble with the auxiliary 'should' in TUS.  If I read
TUS as a specification, vast swathes evaporate.  For the
specification language I am used to, a Lucifer's lexicon will interpret
it as an auxiliary cancelling a sentence in which it appears in the
principal clause.

Can't Spanish 'deber' mean 'shall' in the language of specifications?


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