Terminology: "reference" versus "pointer"

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Sat Sep 12 19:08:31 CEST 2015

On Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:46 pm, Rustom Mody wrote:

> On Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 11:57:01 AM UTC+5:30, Ben Finney wrote:

>> You've clearly committed to some ontology that just doesn't match the
>> Python data model.
> How about lay-English ontology in which "point to" and "refer to" are
> fairly synonymous?

"Pointer" in English is also a synonym for 

- a type of dog;
- an instrument which pierces (as used by engravers, lace workers, etc); 
- an item of private information; 
- a hint or tip; 
- a caution or warning; 
- a recommendation; 
- the index finger; 
- a cricketer fielding at a specific position; 
- the hour/minute/second hand on a timepiece; 
- a compass needle; 
- two specific stars in the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major);
-  diagonal braces fastened across the hold of a ship;
- the small icon whose movement across the screen follows that of the 
  mouse, trackball or other pointing device; 
- a signpost or milepost; 

and more. I don't think that arguing on the basis of lay-English or plain
English terms is going to be terribly useful.


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