OT: excellent book on information theory
rupole at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 19 02:47:06 EST 2006
"Alex Martelli" <aleax at mail.comcast.net> wrote in message news:1h9duoa.zid3pp1ue00g0N%aleax at mail.comcast.net...
> Steven D'Aprano <steve at REMOVEMEcyber.com.au> wrote:
>> I mean, when you read "He sat on the chair" do you need
>> to look up the dictionary to discover that chairs can
>> have arm rests or not, they can be made of wood or
>> steel or uphostered springs, be on legs or coasters,
>> fixed or movable? If it mattered, a good author will
>> tell you, and if it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.
> But if in their dialects of English "chair" strongly implies a hard,
> straight-backed, no-arms sitting-device, they won't elaborate, even if
> it DOES matter, exactly because it's already implied in the word they
> used. Not sure if this is true of any dialect of English, today, but it
> might be in Italian (for "sedia", the exact translation of "chair").
> So, you've just learned that "He" chose to sit in a chair rather than a
> sofa; depending on subtle nuances of the English dialect used (varying
> with time and space), this may have very different implications in
> defining the character and mood of this individual...
Hmm, and what if your context for "chair" was that unless you were
to confess, you would be placed in a comfy one ? And furthermore,
what if you were told that while in this chair thing, you would be seeing
the sketch about the penguin on the telly ? Lets see, "sketch" means
a rough line drawing, and the only "telly" I know of is Telly Savalas,
but I'm fairly sure I know what a penguin is.
So while in this "chair" I am to be shown a crudely drawn picture
of a bald man with a fat flightless bird perched upon his overlarge head.
Torture indeed .....
(who has obviously had too much coffee)
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