Just wanted to point out that the explanatory text on the app is pretty wonky, it's missing a verb:
"Light is making your body earlier" is referring to the circadian effect that light is likely having on your body. I think it's based entirely on what your selected "earliest wake time" is - or rather, how long you've been awake and what light f.lux is exposing you to.
I get that, but it still doesn't make sense grammatically...
I get that, but it still doesn't make sense grammatically...
No, it's grammatically correct due to what it is saying, or due to what it means.
There's no other way to say what it's saying without being long-winded.
@TwoCables I guess I'll take your word for it. The problem in my eyes is that "earlier" and "later" are adverbs and not adjectives. They cannot qualify the body. In any case, it's not something of importance, I just thought it might have been an automatic word not being inserted, but I guess I was wrong.
Think about it: it will say "Light is making your body later" if you are being exposed to too much blue light about 12+ hours after you woke up. When you see it saying that, it all makes perfect sense. If you delay your melatonin production, you're going to make your body later.
If you avoid being exposed to alerting/blue light during the time when you are becoming more and more sensitive to light (starting at roughly 12 hours after you wake up) and if you also make sure you get plenty of bright alerting/stimulating light first thing after you wake up and for the first like ~6 hours of your day (my estimate), then you will be able to go sleep earlier. Your body will be earlier.
Interested to hear what verb/adverb you are hearing when you read? I love to know how people read things we write, because usually it is not obvious at all why it's wrong to the person who wrote it. It's really common for UI to have words intended as nouns that people read as verbs and things like that. But I actually do not know what you are seeing here, so please explain (word by word if you have to)?
To explain: the intended interpretation is "this light is setting your internal circadian clock to a later time" (but even so, it's complicated).
For roughly half your day, light you see will make your clock "advance" to an earlier time, and for the other half it will "delay" to a later time. Normally these cancel out and your body stays in roughly the same place, so what we really are trying to capture is when you are doing something unusual that will cause your day to adjust substantially tomorrow. But here, we only have so much space in the UI...so we don't get to use very many words.
fwiw: a circadian biologist would say the light is "delaying" your clock (or "advancing" it), and probably this person would not like my use of "early" and "late" this way (because they use these words to describe early birds and night owls). But I have written this UI text many times by now, and I'm still not sure it's right. So any explanations of what you are reading here would help.
@herf Hey there,
So even after knowing exactly what it means, it still sounds wrong in my ears. I think it's just an instinctive impulse to see the words "early" and "late" as adverbs and not as adjectives.
If we break down the sentence to its skeleton, MAKING (verb) SOMETHING(object) EARLY(?), early is understood as an adverb qualifying the verb (MAKING) and not the object.
When I'm reading your sentence ("Light is making your body earlier"), my first reaction is to connect "earlier" to "making". This doesn't really make sense however; it would if it was a different verb, such as "waking".
Not finding sense there, my second reaction is to think that a verb is missing between body and earlier ("Light is making your body [DO SOMETHING] earlier").
While making people see "early" and "late" as adjectives qualifying the body might be possible, I feel that using their comparative forms ("earlier" and "later") makes it even less intuitive.
English is my 3rd language, so I can't pretend to be a master in the subject. I do believe however that this sentence is bound to be misunderstood. My suggestion would be to perhaps use "delay" and "advance" (like you also mentioned), but it would indeed probably require more words in total.
In any case, this is just a minor detail. I love f.lux, especially now that you've added the 'disable for app' feature on windows. Keep up the good work!
@anguo thanks I can totally see what you're saying (looking for the verb...). We'll try to adjust it.
It's a curious detail, but I've been trying to avoid implying that "circadian time" affects sleep directly, even though it's an important component. So while it would be easy to use "wake up earlier" this is not what happens for everyone. "feel sleepy earlier" might be a little closer, but even so, a very sleep-deprived person might feel sleepy in the middle of the day. Will have to work on it.
@herf Now that he has mentioned it, I do have to agree that is rather odd sounding. However, it doesn't even bother me all that much. What if you changed it to something like these instead?
"Light is making you late"
"Light is making you early"
"F.lux is keeping you awake"
"F.lux is making you sleepy"
"F.lux is dialing you up"
"F.lux is dialing you down."
"Light is winding you up"
"Light is winding you down"
Something along those lines should be sufficient for a wider audience. I'd be great if the phrases could cycle like tidbits or friendly reminders (each time the window is opened).
Now, since English is his third language, I'm not sure if he's learned about omissions yet. Hopefully, this will help.
"The only downside is there are tons of programs all over the Internet (that I've seen so far) with minor cosmetic issues, grammatical issues, and bugs (as in errors, loopholes, flaws, oversights, glitches, and etc). So, it's (nice to see) a community (of people that are so kind to offer assistance). Omissions can be a real killer sometimes (and are often hard for both non-native and native speakers alike to pick up at times). If one can not master the art of withholding information (a.k.a. using omissions) appropriately, then life in itself can be very difficult." -me
On another note, I posted my first topic earlier today. So, yeah, I'm not sure if anyone will respond yet. However, I'll finish looking up the information on the monitor/display/television that I use with F.lux sometime tomorrow. I think it's a Proscan 1080p 32" LED TV if I'm not mistaken.
~Keep up the good work, Godspeed
@herf Thanks for taking the time to answer, it wasn't my intention to start a long debate!
I understand how finding a short sentence that is both informative and punchy can be hard work, especially in a complex subject such as this. Don't delay your cycle over it!