Wednesday, May 06, 2009

multiplexing choice

I wonder how many users of either ... or realise that the expression can accommodate exactly two choices. Think of an exclusive or in logic, if you wanted some way to remember this. Abuse of the expression to stuff more choices is rife in usage, especially in conversations. A little popup in Eclipse today offered evidence that the Javadoc in Sun's JDK was not immune; Here's the extract from the documentation for the getTimeZone(String) method in the java.util.TimeZone class in J2SE 5.0 (I have underlined the guilty snippet):

public static TimeZone getTimeZone(String ID)

Gets the TimeZone for the given ID.

ID - the ID for a TimeZone, either an abbreviation such as "PST", a full name such as "America/Los_Angeles", or a custom ID such as "GMT-8:00". Note that the support of abbreviations is for JDK 1.1.x compatibility only and full names should be used.
the specified TimeZone, or the GMT zone if the given ID cannot be understood.

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