Long Live Python!

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 14 10:42:44 CEST 2001

"phil hunt" <philh at comuno.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:slrn9kuvac.vde.philh at comuno.freeserve.co.uk...
> On Fri, 13 Jul 2001 12:29:32 -0700, James_Althoff at i2.com
<James_Althoff at i2.com> wrote:
> >
> >Granted, I used "only".  On the other hand, if someone says "good for
> >programs <100 lines" -- mentioning a specific number ("100" in this case)
> >-- wouldn't common sense dictate that the intention was also to indicate
> >something like "Python is something *different than good* for programs
> > >=100 lines (or let's say *significantly* greater than 100 lines -- to
> >reasonable and fair)?
> No it would not. If I say "my car is convenient for journeys <10 miles",
> it doesn't mean it is inconvenient for journeys >10 miles, does it?

Sure, and if I say "I never strangle British citizens on Saturdays", that
cannot be taken as meaning that you are at risk on other days of the
week, nor that people of other nationalities are at risk today -- however,
depending on context, there is a *fair inference* (in human language
usage, although not in the Aristotelic logic simplification thereof) that
I'm likely to have a specific reason for what would be overqualification
of my sentence IF I never strangled anybody at all on any day of the week.

It takes a small but non-zero amount of effort to append to a
general statement some specific qualification, thus, the general
assumption that effort is not purposelessly spent affords the fair
inference of some motivation behind this effort-expenditure (assuming,
a different but similar simplificating working-hypothesis to Aristoteles',
that the speaker behaves 'sensibly' by the usual definitions applied
in economics -- of course, enough of us like 'hearing the sound of our
own voices', or the Usenet equivalent thereof, that the hypothesis is
fairly suspect when applied to Usenet postings).


More information about the Python-list mailing list