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Re: [ontolog-forum] Language and logic

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Eddy <deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 13:21:29 -0500
Message-id: <1F65239C-E71A-4353-813C-47F0754D3230@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John -    (01)

On Dec 12, 2009, at 2:08 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:    (02)

> Note the word 'stationary'.  If you want to freeze all development,
> then it is possible to have static definitions.  But just look at
> any kind of computer application.  As software progresses from
> version 1.0 to 3.5, the same words are used at each stage, but their
> definition changes with every update.    (03)

For a major giggle, Google "stationery" (paper) and "stationary" (not  
moving).    (04)

The message is that one can sell "stationery" but not "stationary"...  
and that a lot of people don't know how to spell (gee... I wonder how  
I found this anomaly?).    (05)

Particularly in and around software where much of the writing (e.g.  
source code) is not subjected to professional editing or inspection/ 
peer review (if it works, no one's going to look at it), John is spot  
on regarding the "drift" of meaning.    (06)

As far as I've seen here, there is neither acknowledgement nor  
interest in this "drift" phenomenon.    (07)

I have been told that in the context of software portfolios, while  
synonyms are difficult & irritating (e.g. Social Security Number -->  
SIN, SSN, TIN, empl_no, EMP-ID, ...) homonyms are far more  
problematic.  Obviously most people have no formal eduction and less  
training for doing "good names"... so they just re-use what they're  
familiar with.  (e.g "In Silo A, I know that XYZ means cat... while  
in Silo B, XYZ means dog... & I know the difference.")    (08)

> FK> A concept? An object?  What do you mean by beginning? A boundary
>> in space or time?
> Please use a dictionary or try Google.    (09)

Plus a "final" wrinkle... the spell checker/dictionary I use hits on  
6 dictionaries, so there is significant probability that the  
definition I mentally select is different than what you meant.    (010)

David Eddy
Babson Park, MA    (011)

781-455-0949    (012)

deddy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx    (013)

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