Bike shed colour (was: cvs commit: src/sys/ufs/ufs ufs_vnops.c)

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at
Tue Jun 6 01:47:19 UTC 2006

On Monday,  5 June 2006 at 18:30:19 +0000, Andrea Campi wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 05, 2006 at 08:52:21AM -0700, Kevin Oberman wrote:
>>>>> Shouldn't that be "Which colour?" or even "Which color?" *duck*
>>>> I don't think so.  Why should it?
>>> Somewhere in my brain there's this notion that if one is choosing amongst a
>>> set of items one should use 'which' rather than 'what', e.g. 'which floor' in
>>> an elevator rather than 'what floor'.
>> Would someone with a copy of "Elements of Style" look this up and paint
>> the damned shed!
> My copy of "Practical English Usage" (great book, BTW) says:
> Which and what are often both possible, with little difference of
> meaning. Which is preferred when the speaker has a limited number of
> choices in mind. When the speaker is not thinking of a limited number
> of choices, what is used.

Excellent advice, apart from the use of the passive.  This is very
close to what I had decided to answer jhb, with a reference to the GUI

- "which" is a menu selection.
- "what" is a synthesis.

I was certainly not planning to restrict myself to a choice from a
menu, so "what" seems appropriate.

See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
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