age of Python programmers

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sat Aug 21 05:55:01 CEST 2004


Reid Nichol wrote:

> Peter Hansen wrote (about "quantum"):
>> And at least some dictionaries give it as a synonym for "large"
>> or "significant".  (www.m-w.com for one)
> 
> Such things are only the result of a misunderstanding of the word some 
> time ago.  Even though it is wrong, it has become common use, thus the 
> incorrect definition definition(s).

Whatever... the point is that you can be prescriptive or descriptive
about the meanings of words... and *descriptively speaking*, it is
used as "large" and at least one dictionary accurately notes that
fact.  Nobody really cares whether it results from a misunderstanding
or mistake... if they did, Americans would properly use "fewer"
in all those cases where they now use "less" incorrectly.

-Peter



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