gotten = participial adjective?

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Phil R Lawrence
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#1
Report 17 years ago
#1
Please comment on the use of "gotten" in the following paragraph:

---------
The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user. This is accomplished via a
simple API, wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user, as well as "checks" with
which gotten data will be validated.
---------

I chose the word "gotten" to keep parallel structure with "get" in the first sentence. Based on
a quick google I believe this is correct usage, but I'd like to get the opinion of any
interested parties. Then there's the issue of whether it is too jarring to be used. *I* like it
at any rate! :-)

Thanks, Phil R Lawrence
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Kristina Lim
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"Phil R Lawrence" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Please comment on the use of "gotten" in the following paragraph:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> ---------[/q1]
[q1]> The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user. This is accomplished via a[/q1]
[q1]> simple API, wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user, as well as "checks"[/q1]
[q1]> with which gotten data will be validated.[/q1]
[q1]> ---------[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I chose the word "gotten" to keep parallel structure with "get" in the[/q1]
first
[q1]> sentence. Based on a quick google I believe this is correct usage, but[/q1]
I'd
[q1]> like to get the opinion of any interested parties. Then there's the issue of whether it is too[/q1]
[q1]> jarring to be used. *I* like it at any rate! :-)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
I believe "gotten data" is an acceptable phrase used in technical writing. If you're looking for
less jarring language, you can use "obtain" and "obtained" in place of "get" and "gotten." -Kristina
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Einde O'Callagh
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Phil R Lawrence wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Please comment on the use of "gotten" in the following paragraph:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> ---------[/q1]
[q1]> The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user. This is accomplished via a[/q1]
[q1]> simple API, wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user, as well as "checks"[/q1]
[q1]> with which gotten data will be validated.[/q1]
[q1]> ---------[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I chose the word "gotten" to keep parallel structure with "get" in the first sentence. Based on[/q1]
[q1]> a quick google I believe this is correct usage, but I'd like to get the opinion of any[/q1]
[q1]> interested parties. Then there's the issue of whether it is too jarring to be used. *I* like it[/q1]
[q1]> at any rate! :-)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
It may be acceptable in certain circles (and there's certainly nothing grammatically wrong with it),
but it jars on my sensibility. I'd prefer something like "received", perhaps even "data received",
replacing teh "get" in the first part with "receive" if you want to retain the parallel structure.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
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Owain
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Einde O'Callaghan wrote
[q1]> Phil R Lawrence wrote:[/q1]
[q2]> > The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user. This is accomplished via[/q2]
[q2]> > a simple API, wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user, as well as "checks"[/q2]
[q2]> > with which gotten data will be validated.[/q2]
[q1]> It may be acceptable in certain circles (and there's certainly nothing grammatically wrong with[/q1]
[q1]> it), but it jars on my sensibility. I'd prefer something like "received", perhaps even "data[/q1]
[q1]> received", replacing teh "get" in the first part with "receive" if you want to retain the parallel[/q1]
[q1]> structure.[/q1]

I don't like (not that I'm an arbiter of style or taste) "to interactively get"; "wherein" seems
archaic in a computing environment; ""checks"" in quotes is poor style; and "gotten" sounds
aggressively American.

To my mind, something like the following reads more naturally:

The module prompts for and receives user input, validates it and returns it interactively. [Assuming
'interactive' refers to the interoperation between the module and the program, rather than between
the user and the program.] The module is implemented as a simple API with user prompts, validation
rules, and returned data, passed as parameters.

And it's six words shorter.

Owain
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Cybercypher
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#5
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[email protected] (Owain) burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]>Phil R Lawrence wrote:[/q1]

[q2]>> Please comment on the use of "gotten" in the following paragraph:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> ---------[/q2]

[q2]>> The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user. This is accomplished via[/q2]
[q2]>> a simple API, wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user, as well as "checks"[/q2]
[q2]>> with which gotten data will be validated.[/q2]

[q2]>> ---------[/q2]

[q2]>> I chose the word "gotten" to keep parallel structure with "get" in the first sentence. Based on[/q2]
[q2]>> a quick google I believe this is correct usage, but I'd like to get the opinion of any[/q2]
[q2]>> interested parties. Then there's the issue of whether it is too jarring to be used. *I* like it[/q2]
[q2]>> at any rate! :-)[/q2]

Begin commentary:

Your grammar is fine, but the style of the paragraph needs work. It isn't idiomatic English and
seems just a bit awkward. The meaning is clear, however.

[q2]>> The module enables you to interactively get validated data from a user.[/q2]

This sentence needs a bit of changing if you want to keep something like it.

"This interactive module enables you to accept validated data from a user". {While I have no quarrel
with splitting infinitives, I think the rewrite says what you mean a bit more clearly and
accurately.}

[q2]>> This is accomplished via a simple API,[/q2]

"It uses a simple API

[q2]>> wherein you specify various parameters for prompting the user,[/q2]

"that permits you to specify parameters for the information you want,

[q2]>> as well as "checks" with which gotten data will be validated.[/q2]

"as well as checks to validate the input data."

My suggested revision:

"This interactive module enables you to accept validated data from a user. It uses a simple API that
permits you to specify parameters for the information you want, as well as checks to validate the
input data."

This keeps your original order, does not change any ideas, and simplifies the English so that even a
non-geek can understand after looking up "API" and "parameter".

[,,,]

Begin commentary 2:

[q1]> I don't like (not that I'm an arbiter of style or taste)[/q1]

If you aren't trying to put us all on here, you should either practice what you preach or stop being
hypocritical.

[q1]> "to interactively get";[/q1]

This is

[q1]> "wherein" seems archaic in a computing environment;[/q1]

It is archaic English regardless of the environment, but the word appears in a paragraph about
computers, not in a computing environment. Wouldn't it be more straightfoward to say "when writing
about computers" instead of the vague phrase you used here?

[q1]> ""checks"" in quotes is poor style;[/q1]

"poor" style? Does that mean anything to you beyond "I don't like it"? Please explain instead of
dismissing things on the basis of personal taste. I certainly agree with you that like almost
everything in scare quotes is bad style because it is unnecessary and distracting. I also agree that
your rewrite of the offending geekese is 100% better, but it also could use some revision:

"The module prompts for and receives

{How about using 'accepts' here? It doesn't 'receive' anything unless something is put in, so this
word seems a less than optimal choice}

user input, validates it{,}

{You are apparently not a fan of the Oxford comma, but I am, so I suggest this little punctuation
alternative.}

and returns it interactively.

[. . .] The module is implemented as a simple API

{"implemented as a' seems verbose to me. Why not simply 'The module is a simple API'?}

with user prompts, validation rules, and returned data, passed as parameters

{'passed as parameters' is murky English to me even though I understand what you mean by it, and
'parameters' seems to be in the wrong place in the paragraph. Also, the way in which it is expressed
here omits the notion that the module allows the programmer to set the parameters for desired user
input, an important fact about the module, I think. One would not want to give the programmer the
mistaken idea that the module itself already comes with preset parameters.}

[q1]> and "gotten" sounds aggressively American.[/q1]

"gotten" is just normal American English and sounds no more aggressively American than "got" would
sound aggressively British -- unless, of course, there is some brand new and hitherto undiscussed
intermediate form of the past participle that favors neither dialect, eg "gott" or "gotte". There is
no need to be so chauvinistic and xenophobic in your arbitrary judgments of style and taste. All you
need to say is that "get" has been removed from the initial sentence, so there no longer a need for
"gotten". After all, the poster likes the verb form "gotten" even though you don't.

--
Franke: Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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