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Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

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  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
    In the example about driving, in the United States when a manual says, This vehicle should be driven by people over 16, it is equivalent to saying, This
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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      In the example about driving, in the United States when a manual says, "This
      vehicle should be driven by people over 16," it is equivalent to saying, "This
      vehicle must be operated by licensed drivers." Sixteen is the age when most
      Americans get their driver's license, unless they have not taken a driver's
      training course, in which case the age is usually 18.

      So, when Americans say, "No one under 16 should operate this," it's generally
      an unconscious euphemism for, "Only licensed drivers should operate this."

      Jamie


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jirka Bolech
      ... Czechs say the English word for it is mustn t , but that is hardly ever used in America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if you
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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        Jamie wrote:

        > One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesmí".
        Czechs
        say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used in
        America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if you
        want to
        use a modal, is "shouldn't".

        How about 'BE not allowed to INFINITIVE'?

        Jirka Bolech
      • Helga Humlova
        No, no, no, no, no. Imagine you translate a must-should as should-should and something happens, because the user saw it as recommendation only and for
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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          No, no, no, no, no. Imagine you translate a "must-should" as
          "should-should" and something happens, because the user saw it as
          "recommendation only" and for various reasons did not do what he was
          "recommended" to do because you translated it as "should-should" which
          showed it as not being imperative.
          On the other hand, if you translate a "should-should" as "must-should"
          and it is actually only a "should-should" you might get in trouble with
          someone for excluding him/her from something because he/she does not
          fulfill this "must-should" requirement, even though it is only a
          "should-should" requirement and this person, had he/she known that it is
          only a "should-should" requirement would not have had to refrain from
          doing/using because of the non-fulfillment of a requirement, which
          actually was not meant to be an imperative requirement.

          It seems that something I never saw as being a problem is actually more
          than a problem.

          H.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Terminus Technicus [mailto:czechlist@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:22 PM
          To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

          Ahoj Helgo,

          Don't think we're that desperate... in contracts, if the author wants to
          say
          "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
          something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In
          notices
          and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by
          the
          meaning/context of the sentence...

          In the bus driver example you gave, I think it's safe to assume it means
          MUST, or at least it SHOULD mean must :), otherwise the sentence would
          not
          have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and
          instinct
          should be enough to carry you trhough most problems... but I've got a
          feeling that your question/discussion comes from a German-speaking group
          and
          the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
          "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?

          Matej


          > So, how in the world a non native speaker of E knows, when "should" is
          > actually "must" and in which cases it is "recommend". I am so
          suspicious
          > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love"
          law
          > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about
          _how_
          > they say things. So, if I were a US company I would avoid the word
          > "should" when I mean "must" because any US lawyer would interpret
          > "should" as just being a recommendation and as we all know,
          > recommendations are not binding. So if I only "recommend" something,
          > this is not binding for my client and therefore he can sue me that I
          > have not told him that this and that is absolutely imperative.
          >
          > From what I have said so far I come to the point, that for the purpose
          > of _correct_ translation it is extremely important for us to exactly
          > understand what a certain word stands for, or the translation may be
          > totally wrong. I think you would agree with me, that it is definitely
          > wrong to say "musite udelat/mit/...." when the author actually meant
          > "byloby dobre, kdybsyste...." and vice versa it would be even worse.
          >
          > So, what am I supposed to do, think, believe??????
          >
          > Helga
          >
          >
          > > The basic concern is: does this "should" express a "must" or a "is
          > > recommended"
          > >
          > As when my ESL students ask an "either/or question", my answer is
          "yes".
          >
          > > Examples:
          > >
          > > Before riding with a passenger, the driver should become highly
          > familiar
          > > with the operation of the vehicle.
          > >
          > Translation: "You can run the vehicle without being highly familiar
          > with
          > its operation, but you could get yourself into big trouble if you
          don't
          > orient
          > yourself first. So you had better get familiar with it."
          >
          > > Protective clothing that should be worn by the operator:
          > >
          > In this case, it means "must".
          >
          > > No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.
          > >
          > In this case it means "had better".
          >
          > In general speech, "should" usually means "ought to" or "it is
          > recommended".
          > However, it can sometimes mean "you had better, if you don't want
          > trouble,
          > but it's still your choice". Occasionally, someone uses the word to
          > sound
          > friendly when they really mean "must", or at least where a German or a
          > Czech
          > would want to say "must".
          >
          > Remember that in English we don't say "must" as much as the Germans or
          > Czechs, possibly because we have a longer history of egalitarianism.
          > German
          > managers coming to the US often have to be trained to stop saying
          "must"
          > unless they
          > are being extremely forceful. It is to be replaced with "should" or
          > "have
          > to", so that, as in one case I know, the German does not end up with
          the
          > office
          > nickname of "The Gestapo".




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • spektrum2002
          Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit should do cestiny nebo nemciny. Nicmene Jamieho vetu Better
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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            Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v
            anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit "should" do cestiny nebo nemciny.
            Nicmene Jamieho vetu "Better to be safe than sorry" bych aplikoval i
            tady. Je urcite lepsi, kdyz strana A vezme doporuceni strany A jako
            prikaz (vozidlo nesmi ridit osoba mladsi 16 let), nez kdyz prikaz
            strany A pochopi jako doporuceni (vozidlo by nemela ridit osoba
            mladsi 16 let).
            Petr A.
            --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
            > If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression
            that shows it is imperative. If it's only a recommendation,
            use "should". Better to be safe than sorry.
            >
          • Helga Humlova
            Jamie, what you say is for the direction into E. I am curious about the direction from E into another language. As we all know, most translators have a better
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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              Jamie, what you say is for the direction into E. I am curious about the
              direction from E into another language. As we all know, most translators
              have a better knowledge of the language they translate into than of the
              language of the source text. So, what I understand from your explanation
              is that I would need an extremely deep insight of E on most various
              everyday and contract situations to be able to judge when a "should" is
              a "should-should" and when a "must-should".

              H.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: JPKIRCHNER@... [mailto:JPKIRCHNER@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:26 PM
              To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

              You can use various expressions instead of "must".

              For example:

              "Protective clothing is required when handling..."
              "Wear protective clothing when handling..."
              "It is necessary to wear protective clothing when..."

              "Do not allow anyone under 16 to operate this vehicle."
              "This vehicle is to be driven by people 16 and over."

              One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesm�".
              Czechs
              say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used
              in
              America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if
              you want to
              use a modal, is "shouldn't".

              I don't know how US courts have interpreted "should". For all I know
              they
              may have interpreted it as equivalent to "must" in some cases. Or else
              it's
              possible that some courts interpret it one way, and others interpret it
              another. Besides, in a country where you can be sued for "excessive
              eye contact",
              "insufficient eye contact", or even for saying, "Excuse me, ladies,"
              there is
              no way to completely eliminate your exposure to lawsuits.

              If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression that
              shows it
              is imperative. If it's only a recommendation, use "should". Better
              to be
              safe than sorry.

              Jamie


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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            • vollams
              ... I m currently working on a translation based in part on standards issued by the US-based Institute of Internal Auditors. These standards are full of
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                > I don't know how US courts have interpreted "should". For
                > all I know they
                > may have interpreted it as equivalent to "must" in some
                > cases. Or else it's
                > possible that some courts interpret it one way, and others
                > interpret it
                > another.

                I'm currently working on a translation based in part on standards issued
                by the US-based Institute of Internal Auditors. These standards are full
                of 'should', and right at the end there's an explanatory note:

                "The use of the word 'should' in these Standards represents a mandatory
                obligation."

                I only mention this to add weight to the argument that even native
                speakers are not always sure how to interpret the word.

                Simon
              • Helga Humlova
                No Petre, to by zrovna nerekla, protoze pak by se nekdo mohl citit jako excluded a muze te za to zalovat, kdyz kvuli nekorektniho prekladu on ma zakaz neco
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                  No Petre, to by zrovna nerekla, protoze pak by se nekdo mohl citit jako
                  "excluded" a muze te za to zalovat, kdyz kvuli nekorektniho prekladu on
                  "ma zakaz" neco delat, i kdyz ho vlastne nema, protoze se jednalo
                  "pouze" o doporuceni nikoliv o zakaz.

                  H.

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: spektrum2002 [mailto:padamek@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:43 PM
                  To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [Czechlist] Re: What does "should" actually mean??????

                  Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v
                  anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit "should" do cestiny nebo nemciny.
                  Nicmene Jamieho vetu "Better to be safe than sorry" bych aplikoval i
                  tady. Je urcite lepsi, kdyz strana A vezme doporuceni strany A jako
                  prikaz (vozidlo nesmi ridit osoba mladsi 16 let), nez kdyz prikaz
                  strany A pochopi jako doporuceni (vozidlo by nemela ridit osoba
                  mladsi 16 let).
                  Petr A.
                  --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
                  > If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression
                  that shows it is imperative. If it's only a recommendation,
                  use "should". Better to be safe than sorry.
                  >






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                  Helga, now you re getting into the absurdity that the American trial law system has sunken to. In fact, anyone who breathes can get sued. Or as a lawyer
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                    Helga, now you're getting into the absurdity that the American trial law
                    system has sunken to. In fact, anyone who breathes can get sued. Or as a
                    lawyer told me, "If you have a lawyer and a premise, you have a lawsuit." Since
                    we cannot live without exposing ourselves to the possibility of a lawsuit, and
                    our estate could get sued if we kill ourselves, then the only thing you can
                    really do is use your best judgment and err on the side of caution.

                    Think of this:

                    1. If an employer allows harassment to occur among his workers, either a
                    worker or the government (state civil rights department, federal Equal
                    Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]) can sue him, even if the harassment went on
                    in a language he did not understand.
                    2. If the employer forbids his employees from speaking languages he does
                    not understand, he can be sued for discrimination by the EEOC, which persists in
                    bringing such lawsuits even though the Supreme Court has ruled more than once
                    that such restrictions are legal.

                    So, a restaurant owner in a current case found that some of his employees
                    were harassing others, and he couldn't keep tabs on it, because it was going in
                    in Navajo. Worried about a harassment suit, he figured he'd better set
                    conditions that allowed him to know whether anyone was being harassed. The only
                    way to do this was to forbid the employees to speak Navajo, except with
                    customers who did not speak English well. Even though this is legal, the EEOC has
                    sued him.

                    In my linguistics courses, I have to discuss a dialect called "African
                    American Vernacular English". This is the politically correct term, and I explain
                    the dialect in the most politically correct manner possible. Nonetheless, my
                    department, the university legal team and I had to waste a lot of time last
                    year dealing with an official racism complaint against me by a student who was
                    angry that I discussed "African American Vernacular English" but then turned
                    around and said there was no dialect called "Caucasian English". I'm sorry;
                    there just isn't!

                    So they have you coming and going. You can be sued for anything you do,
                    including laughing. Just be cautious and do your best.

                    Jamie


                    In a message dated 3/2/04 8:45:13 AM, prekladatelka@... writes:

                    > No, no, no, no, no. Imagine you translate a "must-should" as
                    > "should-should" and something happens, because the user saw it as
                    > "recommendation only" and for various reasons did not do what he was
                    > "recommended" to do because you translated it as "should-should" which
                    > showed it as not being imperative.
                    > On the other hand, if you translate a "should-should" as "must-should"
                    > and it is actually only a "should-should" you might get in trouble with
                    > someone for excluding him/her from something because he/she does not
                    > fulfill this "must-should" requirement, even though it is only a
                    > "should-should" requirement and this person, had he/she known that it is
                    > only a "should-should" requirement would not have had to refrain from
                    > doing/using because of the non-fulfillment of a requirement, which
                    > actually was not meant to be an imperative requirement.
                    >
                    > It seems that something I never saw as being a problem is actually more
                    > than a problem.
                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                    ... Yes, you re right. I mean a word-to-word correspondence, not an idiom. Jamie [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                      In a message dated 3/2/04 8:46:16 AM, jirka.bolech@... writes:


                      > > One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesmí".
                      > Czechs
                      > say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used in
                      > America and it sounds humorous to us.   The only close replacement, if you
                      > want to
                      > use a modal, is "shouldn't".
                      >
                      > How about 'BE not allowed to INFINITIVE'?
                      >
                      Yes, you're right. I mean a word-to-word correspondence, not an idiom.

                      Jamie


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Terminus Technicus
                      Jo jo jo jo jo :) To uz prece davno vime, ze existuji areas kde nejde prelozit ABC jako DEF tak, aby to melo absolutne stejny vyznam a jeste aby to znelo
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                        Jo jo jo jo jo :)

                        To uz prece davno vime, ze existuji "areas" kde nejde prelozit ABC jako DEF
                        tak, aby to melo absolutne stejny vyznam a jeste aby to znelo jako original
                        veta v cilovem jazyce... nerikam, ze je to jasne nebo jednoduche, ale od
                        toho tu jsme, abychom posoudili a prelozili jak nejlip umime...

                        Vim, ze se mnou v tomhle nesouhlasis, Helgo, a tohle je jeden z prikladu,
                        kde bychom mohli diskutovat do zblbnuti...

                        Cestina je tady IMHO asi tak stejne striktni jako Nemcina - i nase povahy -
                        pokud jde o prikazy a zakazy - jsou rekl bych blize nes ty za
                        oceanem/Anglickych mluvcich..., ale presto mi to nepripada jako takovy
                        problem....

                        ve vetsine pripadu proste zhodnotim, co tim autor myslel (see Jamie's
                        comments) a pak to nejak pojednam... pokud by na tom jedinem sluvku zavisel
                        zivot, (neco us oudu, nebo ten priklad co uvadel Simon) - prelozim to stejne
                        tak (aby to bylo co nejblize zamyslenemu vyznamu - pokud jej znam), plus
                        dodam poznamku podobnou jako uvadi Simon (ze jako v A neni nekdy jasne,
                        jestli should je muset nebo moci, nebo melo by.., takze at si daji
                        pozor...)... ale jak rikam, troufam si tvrdit, ze tak v 90% mych prekladu
                        (smlouvy delam bezne, ale na soud ani podobne veci se nespecializuji) tenhle
                        problem nenestava - tedy alespon pokud si zachovam chladnou hlavu a nezacnu
                        ve tri rano zmatkovat a vymyslet 99 verzi jedne vety zavisejicich na
                        drobnych nuancich kazdeho slova v ni (coz se nekdy stava)..

                        A vim, ze se mnou nebudes souhlasit :), ber to jako muj nazor, zivot neni
                        skoro nikdy nalinkovany a cernobily, tak proc by takove mely byt i vsechny
                        popsane papiry (i kdyz nektere by takove SHOULD byt :)

                        Matej



                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Helga Humlova" <prekladatelka@...>
                        To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:41 PM
                        Subject: RE: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????


                        > No, no, no, no, no. Imagine you translate a "must-should" as
                        > "should-should" and something happens, because the user saw it as
                        > "recommendation only" and for various reasons did not do what he was
                        > "recommended" to do because you translated it as "should-should" which
                        > showed it as not being imperative.
                        > On the other hand, if you translate a "should-should" as "must-should"
                        > and it is actually only a "should-should" you might get in trouble with
                        > someone for excluding him/her from something because he/she does not
                        > fulfill this "must-should" requirement, even though it is only a
                        > "should-should" requirement and this person, had he/she known that it is
                        > only a "should-should" requirement would not have had to refrain from
                        > doing/using because of the non-fulfillment of a requirement, which
                        > actually was not meant to be an imperative requirement.
                        >
                        > It seems that something I never saw as being a problem is actually more
                        > than a problem.
                        >
                        > H.
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Terminus Technicus [mailto:czechlist@...]
                        > Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:22 PM
                        > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????
                        >
                        > Ahoj Helgo,
                        >
                        > Don't think we're that desperate... in contracts, if the author wants to
                        > say
                        > "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
                        > something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In
                        > notices
                        > and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by
                        > the
                        > meaning/context of the sentence...
                        >
                        > In the bus driver example you gave, I think it's safe to assume it means
                        > MUST, or at least it SHOULD mean must :), otherwise the sentence would
                        > not
                        > have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and
                        > instinct
                        > should be enough to carry you trhough most problems... but I've got a
                        > feeling that your question/discussion comes from a German-speaking group
                        > and
                        > the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
                        > "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?
                        >
                        > Matej
                        >
                        >
                        > > So, how in the world a non native speaker of E knows, when "should" is
                        > > actually "must" and in which cases it is "recommend". I am so
                        > suspicious
                        > > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love"
                        > law
                        > > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about
                        > _how_
                        > > they say things. So, if I were a US company I would avoid the word
                        > > "should" when I mean "must" because any US lawyer would interpret
                        > > "should" as just being a recommendation and as we all know,
                        > > recommendations are not binding. So if I only "recommend" something,
                        > > this is not binding for my client and therefore he can sue me that I
                        > > have not told him that this and that is absolutely imperative.
                        > >
                        > > From what I have said so far I come to the point, that for the purpose
                        > > of _correct_ translation it is extremely important for us to exactly
                        > > understand what a certain word stands for, or the translation may be
                        > > totally wrong. I think you would agree with me, that it is definitely
                        > > wrong to say "musite udelat/mit/...." when the author actually meant
                        > > "byloby dobre, kdybsyste...." and vice versa it would be even worse.
                        > >
                        > > So, what am I supposed to do, think, believe??????
                        > >
                        > > Helga
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > > The basic concern is: does this "should" express a "must" or a "is
                        > > > recommended"
                        > > >
                        > > As when my ESL students ask an "either/or question", my answer is
                        > "yes".
                        > >
                        > > > Examples:
                        > > >
                        > > > Before riding with a passenger, the driver should become highly
                        > > familiar
                        > > > with the operation of the vehicle.
                        > > >
                        > > Translation: "You can run the vehicle without being highly familiar
                        > > with
                        > > its operation, but you could get yourself into big trouble if you
                        > don't
                        > > orient
                        > > yourself first. So you had better get familiar with it."
                        > >
                        > > > Protective clothing that should be worn by the operator:
                        > > >
                        > > In this case, it means "must".
                        > >
                        > > > No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.
                        > > >
                        > > In this case it means "had better".
                        > >
                        > > In general speech, "should" usually means "ought to" or "it is
                        > > recommended".
                        > > However, it can sometimes mean "you had better, if you don't want
                        > > trouble,
                        > > but it's still your choice". Occasionally, someone uses the word to
                        > > sound
                        > > friendly when they really mean "must", or at least where a German or a
                        > > Czech
                        > > would want to say "must".
                        > >
                        > > Remember that in English we don't say "must" as much as the Germans or
                        > > Czechs, possibly because we have a longer history of egalitarianism.
                        > > German
                        > > managers coming to the US often have to be trained to stop saying
                        > "must"
                        > > unless they
                        > > are being extremely forceful. It is to be replaced with "should" or
                        > > "have
                        > > to", so that, as in one case I know, the German does not end up with
                        > the
                        > > office
                        > > nickname of "The Gestapo".
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Czechlist Users' Guide:
                        >
                        > http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7953/newfaq.html
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                      • Josef Hlavac
                        ... I second that. Many Internet-related standards (RFCs) contain a section that defines the exact meaning of terms such as must , must not , should ,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 8, 2004
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                          > I only mention this to add weight to the argument that even native
                          > speakers are not always sure how to interpret the word.

                          I second that. Many Internet-related standards (RFCs) contain a section
                          that defines the exact meaning of terms such as "must", "must not",
                          "should", "may", etc.

                          In this case, "should" usually means "recommended".

                          Joe

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