Friday November 5, 2004

SFnal Linguistic Tricks

While googling to make sure I'd spelled sfnal correctly in the previous post, I came across this interesting thread (still active) on the newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written.

[Tangent:  When making a noun phrase into a hyperlink, should the determiner be included in the link or not?  I can't decide.]

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Re: tangent: that's an interesting question! I always have to think about it. I seem to favor including the determiner (even the preposition in prepositional phrases; and in the case of "DP's DP", each with different hyperlinks, I go "DP</a>'s <a ... >DP").

Posted by: Angelo at Nov 5, 2004 5:15:44 AM

For utterly non-linguistic usability reasons, it is good to have the largest link-area possible: bigger target to click on. So, sure, include the determiner.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo at Nov 5, 2004 5:45:15 AM

I lean towards a preference for keeping the whole DP together, like Angelo. But I also think it depends on whether you want the determiner to sort of offset/introduce the NP or be unified with the NP. In that vein, I want to say that I almost always include articles but often don't include demonstratives (which is, interestingly, opposite of what you did in your post!).

(Pretend that WORDS IN CAPS ARE HYPERLINKED.) You could link THE NOUN PHRASE or A NOUN PHRASE, keeping the whole DP together, but use a demonstrative to set off this NOUN PHRASE or that NOUN PHRASE. Another option available with demonstratives is to hyperlink the demonstrative but not the NP--"see THIS interesting thread." Kind of like, "Get the article HERE." Whereas you would never write "see THE previous post." Makes me feel like demonstratives can serve a different purpose in hyperlinkage than articles. [In other words, what does your determiner MEAN to you? Isn't that really the question?] [Also I just looked at my blog and realized I am completely inconsistent on this matter. Huh.]

Wow. Somebody wrote way too much on an entirely too nerdy topic. This would make a fascinating study in internet style, though, for real.

Posted by: polyglot conspiracy at Nov 5, 2004 3:23:10 PM

Wow. I never expected anyone to discuss this. I think about it almost every time I link to something - what's the most frequent category of people's linked phrases, and why?

Posted by: Rachel at Nov 5, 2004 4:43:23 PM