Re: Can vs. May

Subject: Re: Can vs. May
From: "Meek, DavidX L" <davidx -dot- l -dot- meek -at- INTEL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 12:08:26 -0800

Susan W. Gallagher wrote:
>>>
Well, yeah. Kinda. While "may" suggests permission, it also
suggests possibility, as in "it may rain". Certainly, this
would not indicate my giving permission for rain.
>>>

Well, yeah. Kinda. Sorta. It's a matter of context and degree. "It may
rain" would indicate a likelihood, whereas "It might rain" would indicate a
lesser likelihood, and "It can rain" would indicate a possiblity to
consider. For an instruction or task, I would still use "can" when writing
to my users; the popular impression of "may" meaning permission is too
strong.

Dave
(Any statements made above are mine, and mine alone.)

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