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Hello everyone,

I was reading an ISO standard concerning OSI, Open System Interconnetion, and stumbled over an unusual use of the indefinite article.

These three sentences follow one after another in that document:

1. The release of an (N)-connection is normally initiated by one of the (N+1)-entites associated in it.

2. The release of an (N)-connection may also be initiated by one of the (N)-entites supporting it as a result of an exception condition iccuring in the (N) layer or the layers below.

3. Depending upon the conditions, release of an (N)-connection may result in the discard of (N)-user-data.

And the question is: Why in sentences #1 and #2 they write "_the_ release of..." and in the third sentence simply "release of...".

I don't see any difference in the term's meaning and context, so I need your help.

My only hypothesis is that that was done due to "considerations of style", to save the sentence from overloading with definite articles...

Thanks in advance,
Anton

P.S.: Hope these terms, probably unfamilliar to you, won't seriously hamper answering.
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Ant_222Hello everyone, I was reading an ISO standard concerning OSI, Open System Interconnetion, and stumbled over an unusual use of the indefinite article. These three sentences follow one after another in that document: 1. The release of an (N)-connection is normally initiated by one of the (N+1)-entites associated in it. 2. The release of an (N)-connection may also be initiated by one of the (N)-entites supporting it as a result of an exception condition iccuring in the (N) layer or the layers below. 3. Depending upon the conditions, release of an (N)-connection may result in the discard of (N)-user-data. And the question is: Why in sentences #1 and #2 they write "_the_ release of..." and in the third sentence simply "release of...". I don't see any difference in the term's meaning and context, so I need your help. My only hypothesis is that that was done due to "considerations of style", to save the sentence from overloading with definite articles... Thanks in advance, Anton P.S.: Hope these terms, probably unfamilliar to you, won't seriously hamper answering.
I think you're right.
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Why in sentences #1 and #2 [do] they write "_the_ release of..." and in the third sentence simply "release of...".
This may seem like a silly answer, but they wrote it that way because they meant it that way (or feltit that way). Emotion: smile The difference is so slight that it's also possible that the choice was almost unconscious. Or ... the writer was inattentive to subtleties at the time and made some arbitrary choices. Whether through an unconscious impulse or through inattentiveness, neither of these explanations is consistent with the theory that the writer had in mind any "considerations of style" or made any effort to avoid overloading the text with definite articles. In my opinion this is an overly charitable interpretation!
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We can claim that the first two are the same because of parallelism, of course.

The release ... normally ...
The release ... also ...


And there's no need to preserve this effect in the third case since the sentence structure is different there. Maybe the conditionality of the third sentence affects the choice.
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Nevertheless, I do think it was a matter of the writer's feeling the meanings -- as written -- at the time of writing.

the release individuates and makes the occurrence clearly countable; whereas simply release suggests any releasing occurence in a more general and abstract way -- almost in a non-countable way. I think it isrelated to the conditionality here. But who knows why the writer felt it one way in the first two cases and the other way in the third case?! He or she could certainly have done otherwise without any loss of information. Emotion: smile

CJ

(The fewer the words to explain, the longer the discussion necessary to explain them!)

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Thank you, CJ. It's very interesting!
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