OT: excellent book on information theory

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Thu Jan 19 09:08:49 CET 2006

Roger Upole wrote:
> "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 .....
No, not the comfy chair!
Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                     www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006                  www.python.org/pycon/

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