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Re: [ontolog-forum] tasteful tags...

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: ewallace@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 13:03:56 -0500 (EST)
Message-id: <200703091803.NAA02782@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Paola Di Maio wrote:    (01)

>> The original meanings of words are anything but sacred.
>Lucklily, in this world we can choose what is sacred to us, and what isnt
>(unless you want to deny me freedom of belief)
>    (02)

Differences in what people consider sacred lead to conflict.  Because
of this, experienced participants usually try to leave as much of this 
baggage as possible out of discussions in fora such as this.      (03)

>> Semantic shift is an ongoing diachronic linguistic phenomenon
>> that is not about to stop.
>Understanding the original meaning of words does not detract from the
>ecolutionary process of a language    (04)

Understanding that "original meaning" may be personally enrichening, but 
it also can be misleading when applied to domain-specific vocabularies.  
Coming to a speech community with its own established vocabulary and 
arguing about its terms based on their original or "true" meaning is 
almost always a waste of everyone's time.  The community understands
its terms and won't change until some force of change appears which 
is compelling.  Original meaning itself is not such a force,
although it certainly played a role in the term (the word or phrase) 
being chosen in the first place.    (05)

>> [Pat: note the possessive without ownership]. Moreover, any surface
>> similarities in terminology are, in fact, dangerous, because formally
>> a concept named, say, vehicle, in several ontologies will typically
>> mean different things in each.
>surely, that is context dependency
>luckly, in this world we can all have our view, except for given constraints    (06)

The surface similarities are dangerous when the context is insufficient
to distinguish the meaning.  Pat's example of Completeness is such a case.
Modern ontology languages include tools to make explicit which concept
is being identified, but in natural language the ambiguity can still be quite
confusing.    (07)

-Evan    (08)

Evan K. Wallace
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
NIST    (09)

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