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Martyn W

Jason Day's Bad Drops at Firestone

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

As @Rulesman says above, the "he must" applies to each action.  This isn't up for interpretation; the sentence literally is nonsense otherwise (the other actions would have no verb).

Must isn't a verb, it's an adverb.  The sentence makes perfect sense without it applying to all of the steps.

Unless the USGA specifies that it applies to all of the actions in that sentence, then I believe it IS up for interpretation.  If the USGA wanted the "must" to apply to all of the actions then they could have written it like @Rulesman wrote it above (without the parentheses). :)

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42 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Must isn't a verb, it's an adverb.  The sentence makes perfect sense without it applying to all of the steps.

Unless the USGA specifies that it applies to all of the actions in that sentence, then I believe it IS up for interpretation.  If the USGA wanted the "must" to apply to all of the actions then they could have written it like @Rulesman wrote it above (without the parentheses). :)

Since it is a continuing action, and each step is part of a contiguous process, the "must" needs only to be stated once to still apply to each action without any interpretation necessary.

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The sentence is simply a list of items separated by a comma or the word 'and'. It makes no sense if it is broken into separate sentences without the word 'must'.

He must stand erect. 

He hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length.

He drop it. 

Try to replace the absent word 'must' in the latter two by some other word.

He may/must not hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length.

He may/must not drop it. 

If the RBs had intended either to apply, they would have said so explicitly. What they have written is explicitly correct grammar.

Edited by Rulesman

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54 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Since it is a continuing action, and each step is part of a contiguous process, the "must" needs only to be stated once to still apply to each action without any interpretation necessary.

 

46 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

The sentence is simply a list of items separated by a comma or the word 'and'. It makes no sense if it is broken into separate sentences without the word 'must'.

He must stand erect. 

He hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length.

He drop it. 

Try to replace the absent word 'must' in the latter two by some other word.

He may/must not hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length.

He may/must not drop it. 

If the RBs had intended either to apply, they would have said so explicitly. What they have written is explicitly correct grammar.

Fair enough, I stipulate.  Well, I stipulate that it is correct grammar, but I don't know that I'm willing to say it's explicit.

Would it not also be correct grammar to repeat the "must" each time?  So why not, if it really matters that much, (to normal people, not just rules experts and English teachers) say:

"He must stand erect, must hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length, and must drop it?"

That is what I would consider explicit.

In my business (engineering - why I'm not an English expert ;)) we would not take a chance with something like that.  To put it in simplest terms, it makes more sense to me to be explicit and prevent the building from collapsing than it would to just be correct and be able to defend myself in court after it collapses.

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2 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Must isn't a verb, it's an adverb.

No, it's not.  It's a (auxiliary) verb.  :-P

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_verb

As @Rulesman describes, that use ("must" as an auxiliary to the subsequent verbs) is explicit in the English language - as written, it can ONLY mean that the "must" applies to all three verbs.

44 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Would it not also be correct grammar to repeat the "must" each time?

Sure, but that's typically only done if there is any chance for confusion.  There isn't here, since there's no other auxiliary, and as written, each verb requires one.

47 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

In my business (engineering - why I'm not an English expert ;)) we would not take a chance with something like that. 

Haha - architects aren't exactly known for their writing skills, either...I am certainly an anomaly in our office (my undergraduate liberal arts degree is to blame).

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51 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

 

Fair enough, I stipulate.  Well, I stipulate that it is correct grammar, but I don't know that I'm willing to say it's explicit.

Would it not also be correct grammar to repeat the "must" each time?  So why not, if it really matters that much, (to normal people, not just rules experts and English teachers) say:

"He must stand erect, must hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length, and must drop it?"

That is what I would consider explicit.

In my business (engineering - why I'm not an English expert ;)) we would not take a chance with something like that.  To put it in simplest terms, it makes more sense to me to be explicit and prevent the building from collapsing than it would to just be correct and be able to defend myself in court after it collapses.

We aren't worried about a 60 story skyscraper collapsing, or an industrial process becoming explosive.  In this case proper use of the English language is all that is necessary, and if the typical high school graduate can't comprehend that, it's an indictment of the educational system, not the Rules of Golf.  :~(

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10 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

We aren't worried about a 60 story skyscraper collapsing, or an industrial process becoming explosive.  In this case proper use of the English language is all that is necessary, and if the typical high school graduate can't comprehend that, it's an indictment of the educational system, not the Rules of Golf.  :~(

And yet this type of confusion and pedantry only seems to arise when discussing golf rules.

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20 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

And yet this type of confusion and pedantry only seems to arise when discussing golf rules.

Only when people struggle to understand plain English.  This one is so clear that to misunderstand is either a result of a lack of understanding of English grammar and syntax, or of simple overanalysis.

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My :offtopic:thought on that:

Spoiler
25 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

And yet this type of confusion and pedantry only seems to arise when discussing golf rules.

Maybe on this forum, but that's understandable, since it's a golf forum.

In the "real world", I've had construction claims based entirely on wording in our drawings/specifications.

There have been entire Supreme Court cases that hinged on the meaning of single words:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/us/14bar.html?_r=0

One of the earliest challenges to the ACA (Obamacare) was based on the meaning of four words in a 900-page law:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/26/us/politics/contested-words-in-affordable-care-act-may-have-been-left-by-mistake.html

Anywhoo...I know what you mean, but it just seems like the natural state of affairs when trying to interpret any document and apply it to a specific ruling, whether it's the RoG or a healthcare law or an architectural (or engineering!) specification.

 

Anyway, I don't think anyone here is (seriously) arguing that the rule gives any leeway.  The only thing up for debate is whether his drop was from "shoulder height".

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5 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Only when people struggle to understand plain English.  This one is so clear that to misunderstand is either a result of a lack of understanding of English grammar and syntax, or of simple overanalysis.

I could post more but I think being called an idiot twice in one day is enough for me, thanks. :beer:

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1 hour ago, Golfingdad said:

I could post more but I think being called an idiot twice in one day is enough for me, thanks. :beer:

Sorry... I was pointing the suggestion of "overanalysis" toward your previous statements, something we laymen see as a common failing of engineers (my brother is a PHD chemical engineer, so I have close experience with that).  The language issues come up in a lot of golf rules discussions, so I see that as a common failing on golf forums in general, not aimed at you at all.

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2 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

And yet this type of confusion and pedantry only seems to arise when discussing golf rules.

I agree, rules, like laws, should be written so that there is minimal need to interpret what the intent of the rule or law is.  Adding a few additional "must"'s to the rule would make it obviously clear what constitutes an acceptable "drop" under the ROG.  If someone really opposes a few extra words, then they could just write,

The golfer must;

  1. Stand erect,

  2. Hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length

  3. Drop it

 

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7 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I agree, rules, like laws, should be written so that there is minimal need to interpret what the intent of the rule or law is.  Adding a few additional "must"'s to the rule would make it obviously clear what constitutes an acceptable "drop" under the ROG.  If someone really opposes a few extra words, then they could just write,

The golfer must;

  1. Stand erect,

  2. Hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length

  3. Drop it .... 

 

(from that point).  Wouldn't want any confusion!   :hmm: ;-)

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22 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I agree, rules, like laws, should be written so that there is minimal need to interpret what the intent of the rule or law is.

The rule is already written that way...there's no way to interpret that sentence within the rules of the English language such that "must" doesn't apply to each verb.

Trust me, I understand the urge to make things more intuitive/obvious when discussing a single rule (especially one that may have been missed by a RO), but that would get ridiculous.

You'd have to rewrite everything.

Rule 1-3 (current):

"Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or to waive any penalty incurred."

Rule 1-3 (your proposal):

"Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule, and Players must not agree to waive any penalty incurred."

 

This is wandering off-topic again, but while it might seem nice to "clean up" this one Rule, what you're suggesting would probably double the length of the RoG with unnecessary language.

 

Edited by Hardspoon
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8 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

The rule is already written that way...there's no way to interpret that sentence within the rules of the English language such that "must" doesn't apply to each verb.

Trust me, I understand the urge to make things more intuitive/obvious when discussing a single rule (especially one that may have been missed by a RO), but that would get ridiculous.

You'd have to rewrite everything.

Rule 1-3 (current):

"Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or to waive any penalty incurred."

Rule 1-3 (your proposal):

"Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule, and Players must not agree to waive any penalty incurred."

 

This is wandering off-topic again, but while it might seem nice to "clean up" this one Rule, what you're suggesting would probably double the length of the RoG with unnecessary language.

 

Excellent point!

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Just grabbed a quick snippet of NY Law to support my point;

Quote

Reinstate Your NY Driver's License

If you're eligible for reinstatement (i.e. the DMV and court haven't decided to permanently revoke your driving privileges), you must:

  • Pay all applicable fines.
  • Complete any jail time.
  • Successfully complete the Drinking Driver Program, if ordered, as well as any ordered alcohol or drug treatment programs.
  • Keep your ignition interlock device for the ordered amount of time, if applicable.
  • Finish your suspension or revocation period.
  • Pay the suspension termination fee, if ordered.

When you're detailing a process that must be followed it's best to use this structure versus sentence structure where ambiguity could be interpreted.  

The ROG started out as a simple document but at this point it's already pretty large.  Add in the decisions portion and it's even larger.  Seems that a restructuring of the Rules overall would make them simpler to interpret and might not add as many pages as you suggest.  

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31 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

When you're detailing a process that must be followed it's best to use this structure versus sentence structure where ambiguity could be interpreted.   

I'm not going to argue that bullet points aren't clearer...they usually are.  But here's the thing: has ANYONE read this sentence:

"He must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it."

...and had difficulty understanding that it was a clear three-part directive?  I'm just not seeing it.  Your bullet-point solution is a good one, but it's a solution to a problem that simply does not exist.

OK, I'm dropping this now (pun very much intended). ;-)

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29 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

This is wandering off-topic again, but while it might seem nice to "clean up" this one Rule, what you're suggesting would probably double the length of the RoG with unnecessary language.

Agree, but I think the better way to clean it up is to not worry about being so precise with the interpretation.  As far as I've heard, the players and the referee seemed to have no problem with it, only some people on this forum.

Heck, if we are going to be so pedantic and take things so literally, I can also point out that the rule does not specify whose shoulder is being talked about.  It just says "shoulder height" knowing full well that that means something different to every player.  But it doesn't say "your" shoulder height, or "your FC's shoulder height."  Additionally, there is also no clarification as to exactly which part of the shoulder we're talking about, and since most of us are not doctors or anatomy experts, we wouldn't be expected to know if they mean a certain part of the clavicle, or the trap muscle, or whatever.

Also ...

bubbaslugger-847-condon.jpg

346532.jpg

golf-tours-news-blogs-local-knowledge-as

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Note: This thread is 1165 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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