As far as I'm concerned, being able to understand English is crucial to 
meaningful interpretation of literature written in that language, and being 
able to write and speak English with mastery is crucial to effective 
self-expression as a critic. So English mastery is not just "incidental and 
important", it is absolutely vital to the success of the English major who 
aspires to more than mediocrity.

I feel the same way about software development. Writing software sloppily 
results in software the functional objectives of which can be subverted, either 
accidentally or intentionally. Such software cannot be said to satisfy those 
objectives, and thus it must be seen as failing, at least partially. It's only 
because we have accepted such partial failure for as long as there has been 
software that our standards for what we consider "goodness" for software are so 
poor. If we applied the same poor standards to safety-critical mechanical 
systems a heck of a lot more of us would be reading this mailing list from 
hospital beds, nursing home rooms, or the afterlife. That's if they even have 
Internet access in the afterlife.

Karen Mercedes Goertzel, CISSP
From: [] On Behalf 
Of Matt Bishop []
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:27 AM
To: Secure Coding List
Subject: Re: [SC-L] What is the size of this list?

...So I agree with what Rob posted, and I did have one thought. Is
writing good English a "minor" objective of an English major?
Probably, in the sense English curricula focus on interpretation of
literature, literary criticism, and other aspects of literature. But
it's an essential one. So perhaps "incidental and important" describes
how I feel better than "minor".

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