Author Topic: Avast status bubble message  (Read 5302 times)

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hardwhiz

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Avast status bubble message
« on: April 02, 2012, 08:55:07 AM »
Hi to the great people at Avast!

One thing has been irking me for some time now, so pardon me if I share it with your team here.
The system message when I hover my mouse over the avast taskbar icon is "Your system is secured."
Shouldn't it be "Your system is secure"?
Or "Your system is now secure" or "Your system is being secured"?

"Your system is secured" doesn't sound grammatical, presumably because "is" is the present tense, while "secured" is in the past tense.
The present tense adjective form of the verb "secure" is "secure". Also, the word "secured" can have contradictory connotations: Saying something is secure means it is free from the risks of being secured by others. But, saying that something has been secured may actually imply that someone else (other than the owner of the system) got a hold of our system, taking control AWAY from us.

If you agree, I hope the system message bubble can be modified to sound a little more reassuring.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 08:57:26 AM by hardwhiz »

Offline George Yves

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 07:30:17 PM »
hardwhiz
I see that you are not good at English and know nothing about the Passive Voice. The construction "to be + Past Participle" means that the subject of the sentence is not the doer of the action. The structure "is secured" consists of two parts: "is" - a form of the auxiliary verb "to be" (Present Indefinite, 3rd person, singular), and "secured" - the Past Participle of the verb "to secure" (Past Participle and Past Indefinite forms are the same for regular verbs). The whole sentence "Your system is secured." means that somebody/something (no matter who or what really did it) has already secured your system.
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Offline CraigB

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 07:37:32 PM »
As the location of hardwhiz states Earth then he/she could be a new resident here and is still learning the language  ;D

Offline AntiVirusASeT

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 07:40:51 PM »
lol cute topic here  ;D

on a serious note, dun take things so seriously (by thinking too much) ;)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 07:42:42 PM by AntiVirusASeT »

hardwhiz

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 08:59:38 PM »
Haha what an irony, I am trying to raise some awareness about the words "secured" and "secure" out of concern but get a pseudo lesson in English instead. I think we are talking about contemporary English usage now, to prevent confusion or ambiguity. No matter, but let me cite some examples:

A sign that invites people to enter a cafe or eatery says, "Everyone is welcomed". Is that right? I say the sign should be "Everyone is WELCOME".

An old lady tells a thankful girl scout who just sold off some brownies for a good cause: "Glad I can help, and you're most welcomed!"

A couple in love are chatting. The girl says, "When I am around you, I feel secured." Please don't tell me that is PROPER ENGLISH!
I humbly assert that the correct meaning of what the girl is saying is, "When I am around you, I feel secure."

Finaly example: An army sergeant rushes up to his superior officer and announces: "The enemy territory has been secured, Sir!"
This means the officer and his men had just taken over an enemy stronghold. The word "secured" in this context means something has been taken or captured, against the will of the people initially holding the turf. This is in distinct contrast to the usual meaning of "secure", which means, something is now safe and resistant to harm from third parties. When the word is used as an adjective in a present tense, it means "the system is secure, and will be secure." When we say something "is secured", do we mean it is no longer secure (barring the jarring use of "is" when it should be "has been" or "was")?

In fact, in the form "is secured", the word secured is now a verb in the past tense, meaning that Avast has secured the system. It is not used as an adjective, and so is incongruent if used in the past tense right after a present-tense word such as "is". Therefore, a better way to say the same thing, but in a grammatically correct way, could be "Avast has secured your system". Using the traditional passive voice which the erudite George Yves prefers, would be something along the line of "Your system has been secured" (which is equivocal because it doesn't refer to Avast, but could mean that something else has secured my system". To paranoid users, it *does* matter WHO secured the system!)
And if I know anything about the passive voice, it is that we should avoid it (and switch to the active voice) when the the former could possibly lead to any ambiguity or doubt.


So, for the statement in question, regardless of what some people here are insisting, can we take a poll just for fun?

Which sounds grammatically and logically correct: Your system is SECURE, or Your system is SECURED?



« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 09:46:31 PM by hardwhiz »

hardwhiz

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 09:12:19 PM »
lol cute topic here  ;D

on a serious note, dun take things so seriously (by thinking too much) ;)

Glad you find the topic cute, but if we stop to notice the difference in meaning (if we made "secured" into "secure"), we might actually have less to think (or worry) about. :P

Offline CraigB

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 09:14:12 PM »
Really i believe either can be used so no point in dragging out something that isnt going to be changed as your the only person who has ever mentioned anything about it  ;)

hardwhiz

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 09:36:15 PM »
Really i believe either can be used so no point in dragging out something that isnt going to be changed as your the only person who has ever mentioned anything about it  ;)

Thanks for your comment. You have a point, of course. But as you yourself said, I'm the only person who has ever brought up this issue. That makes my cause all the more controversial, because elephants in the room aren't always noticed by most people. And controversy has been known to spur progress in spite of popular opinion/indifference.

Although linguistic precision isn't very important in many aspects of life (as long as people don't care, or they infer the right message on their own), I was hoping that bringing up the topic could make the elephant more noticeable in a software company that cares about precise communication :P

« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 09:43:46 PM by hardwhiz »

Offline George Yves

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2012, 10:22:51 PM »
hardwhiz
Please, stop playing with words. "Secured" here is NEITHER an adjective NOR a verb in the past form. It is the Past Participle of the verb "to secure" and is used in the form of Present Indefinite Passive.
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Offline George Yves

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 10:29:15 PM »
Which sounds grammatically and logically correct: Your system is SECURE, or Your system is SECURED?

The phrase "Your system is SECURE" means that your system can do no harm to anybody or anything. The phrase "Your system is SECURED" means that somebody/something has done everything to protect your system from threats. Should I now explain what phrase is logically correct?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 10:45:40 PM by George Yves »
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Offline bob3160

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 12:40:43 AM »
Really i believe either can be used so no point in dragging out something that isnt going to be changed as your the only person who has ever mentioned anything about it  ;)

Thanks for your comment. You have a point, of course. But as you yourself said, I'm the only person who has ever brought up this issue. That makes my cause all the more controversial, because elephants in the room aren't always noticed by most people. And controversy has been known to spur progress in spite of popular opinion/indifference.

Although linguistic precision isn't very important in many aspects of life (as long as people don't care, or they infer the right message on their own), I was hoping that bringing up the topic could make the elephant more noticeable in a software company that cares about precise communication :P

You happen to be totally correct. It should say "Your System is secure."
And, it becomes more secure with each Virus Data Base update.  :)
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Kilia

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 12:51:28 AM »
Really i believe either can be used so no point in dragging out something that isnt going to be changed as your the only person who has ever mentioned anything about it  ;)
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Offline bob3160

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 12:55:28 AM »
Just because either can be used doesn't change the fact that one is correct and the other is not.  :(
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hardwhiz

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 01:14:46 PM »
I''m glad someone else here shares my view. There are those who would claim "is secure" is in the present indefinite passive.
This is a correct example of present indefinite passive:

"The newspapers are delivered every morning". In our context, it becomes "Your system is secured by Avast at all times" or at its simplest, "Your system has been secured" and not "Your system is secured" which reverts "secure" to being an adjective, and a wrong one at that. The closest form of a correct version of present indefinite passive for the word "secure" I can think of is: "Your system is to be secured" (hopefully by Avast) if we have to insist on using the past tense of "secure". (That is, "is secured" is not a reasonable form of past passive" in this instance, as compared to "to be secured".)

So, "Your system is secure" is an incomplete form of the present indefinite passive, and is taken as a simple present tense that is grammatically incomplete or just awkward.

@Bob3160, how would you reason out in a convincing way that "secure" is the correct adjective in this context? Thanks again.  :D


(Edit: A search through wikipedia indicates that the passive voice in languages other than English (eg Venetian) does accept the use of dynamic passive words. E.g., "The door is opened." instead of "the door is open.". Are we dealing in some kind of cross-cultural intepretations of the passive voice? I am not sure...  In contemporary English, "The door is opened." is I think an incomplete sentence in any kind of passive voice, unless an additional qualifier is added, as in "The door is opened at 9 pm sharp everyday.")
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 01:45:08 PM by hardwhiz »

Offline bob3160

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Re: Avast status bubble message
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »
Quote
@Bob3160, how would you reason out in a convincing way that "secure" is the correct adjective in this context? Thanks again. 



The statement was most likely constructed by someone that doesn't use English as his/her native language.
There isn't any reasoning needed. In English (US) it should be "Your system is secure."

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