Opened 4 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#5197 closed defect (bug) (maybelater)

Install still isn't a noun

Reported by: johnbillion's profile johnbillion Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: low
Component: Profiles Keywords:


On the Plugins tab of a user profile screen (eg. Active Installs is incorrectly used as a plural noun. This should say Active Installations.


Change History (15)

#1 @Otto42
4 years ago

Install is a noun. So is "installs". Again,use better dictionaries.

#2 @Presskopp
4 years ago

It's kind of an abbreviation, not? But since we decided to go for "Installation", we should keep it like that, I'd say. Also "Installation" is not as potentially ambiguous.

#3 @johnbillion
4 years ago

@Otto42 Please stop doing this. What does that even mean? Are you trying to make a joke or what? I don't get it.

#4 @Otto42
4 years ago

@johnbillion I'm not making a joke, I'm disagreeing with your premise. I consider "install" to be a valid noun with this usage, and so I will continue to state my disagreement when I disagree with things.

Obviously, this is a trivial case and not worthy of attempting to prevent such a change or anything similar to that, but I do disagree with the premise and so I will state that I disagree with it when the topic comes up.

#5 @johnbillion
4 years ago

This isn't an opinion, there's nothing to disagree with. Install is literally not a noun.

#6 @Otto42
4 years ago

Your premise about whether a word is a noun or not assumes that language is a static fixed construct. I disagree with that. So does the OED, which bills itself as "The definitive record of the English language", and not as the creator or definer of it.

Language evolves over time, and whether a word is a noun or not is indeed a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact.

#7 follow-up: @Presskopp
4 years ago

Just wanted to mention that we still use "Install" in the readme

<h2>Installation: Famous 5-minute install</h2>


also see
7 times "Install script" there ..

Last edited 4 years ago by Presskopp (previous) (diff)

#8 follow-up: @johnbillion
4 years ago

Right and we all learnt about fluidity on day one of our language studies, except for any widely accepted current definition of the word, for example those in widely published English language dictionaries, install is not a noun. Saying "use better dictionaries" then quoting the OED which defines install as a verb makes no sense.

A software project which powers a third of the web and is translated into 150 languages needs grammatical consistency otherwise we risk confusion and errors. You're right that this particular bug is a minor one, but arguing against it when the project's own best practices reminds people that install is not a noun is not productive, neither is this the correct venue for such an argument.

The reason grammar style guides exist is because language is fluid and needs some level of consistency and constraint in a formal setting. This is the reason the WordPress documentation cites the GCC for technical terminology. This is the reason the WordPress handbooks have guides on spelling, grammar, capitalisation, and consistency.

#9 in reply to: ↑ 7 @johnbillion
4 years ago

Replying to Presskopp:

Just wanted to mention that we still use "Install" in the readme

<h2>Installation: Famous 5-minute install</h2>

This is interesting because the structure of that sentence allows for either a noun or a verb as its subject. "Famous 5-minute journey" and "Famous 5-minute drive" both make sense. I would change the support handbook though, although as far as I know we can't change headings as it will cause URL anchors to break. Might need to check with the docs team about that.

#10 @jonoaldersonwp
4 years ago

+1 for using established language norms ('installations', for the avoidance of doubt) for all the reasons above.

Established language conventions and terminology are not somewhere where we should be 'paving the cowpath' at the expense of clarity, accessibility and SEO.

Last edited 4 years ago by jonoaldersonwp (previous) (diff)

#11 in reply to: ↑ 8 @Otto42
4 years ago

Replying to johnbillion:

but arguing against it when the project's own best practices reminds people that install is not a noun is not productive

Many of the "best practices" are wrong in a number of ways, this is but one more of them.

I also don't believe in best practices, style guides, language norms, and like 90% of automated testing. Do you want to have debates about each of those things too? I don't.

neither is this the correct venue for such an argument.

Then bring it up for discussion or debate in the proper setting and I'll be happy to continually tell you that you are wrong there instead.

Until that happens, I disagree, I will state so when it is brought up, and I only will argue about it if argued back against. You don't see me preventing changes, or reverting commits, or anything of that sort. But you also will not see me making patches for changes I disagree with.

I was perfectly happy to simply tell you that yes, install is a noun. Nothing more complicated than that.

#12 @johnbillion
4 years ago

Otto, you are indirectly preventing change by the continued toxic nature of your attitude throughout the WordPress project. You've been a part of the WordPress community for almost its entire history yet you still fail to grasp respectful and effective communication that doesn't intentionally or unintentionally alienate contributors.

Who in the world would want to contribute to a project where its long-standing members tell you to "get a better dictionary" in response to a change which brings it inline with its own standards?

Nobody here is debating best practices, but you decided to use this ticket as a platform to voice your opinions in a venue which you know full well, through your years of involvement, is neither an appropriate nor productive one. I'm not the one who "doesn't believe in best practices", so why would I bring it up for discussion?

I've been waiting fifteen years for your shitty attitude to improve but it hasn't happened. How much longer shall I wait?

#13 @Otto42
4 years ago

Well, if that's how you feel, fine, then I'll drop it. I was simply disagreeing with the need for changing the wording, not trying to make some kind of major issue out of it.

All I said was that install is a noun. Didn't expect to be straight up attacked for saying that. But if you feel that strongly about it, fine.

#14 @matt
4 years ago

  • Resolution set to maybelater
  • Status changed from new to closed

Let's stop this discussion for now, it's not our best.

#15 @madhazelnut
4 years ago

Laborio drummer in the trolley butt. Me - no horrei, but ma' meeh installs!

@Otto42 that was for you. I just made it up. I just like my language to evolve faster. As far as "Active Installs" are concerned however, I would much prefer it to be "Active Installations", because, as your friend John correctly suggested, is an actual word, as defined by the dictionaries.

@matt You rush to push last-minute features into WordPress that confuse 90% of users, yet you close this clear-cut ticket with a "maybelater" tag.


Last edited 4 years ago by madhazelnut (previous) (diff)
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