OT: excellent book on information theory

Alex Martelli aleax at mail.comcast.net
Thu Jan 19 08:06:22 CET 2006

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...


More information about the Python-list mailing list