Language fleeting thoughts

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2297
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:54 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:I guess the way in which they are equivalent is that both mean "I'm not talking about specific cases", but in a different way in each case.
They generally mean the same, you mean? ;)

Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity. "I'll whitewash your fence only when you get me some whitewash or pay me an advance on my fee so I can buy it myself" does not mean that being handed a tin of whitewash with an envelope full of cash on top negates the prospect of you starting work. And "I am not staying in a hotel holding a jazz convention or hosting a school party on their way back from the alps" isn't an XNOR function.

Though "You can tell my ex-partner's solicitors that I will not accept taking custody of my beloved family dog or the house with the large yard" is clearly XOR. It has to be stressed to make this clear, though. (I even modified the dog description to indicate it wasn't unwanted, but in my head it still needed the explicit verbal stress.)

No real argument, just the result of mulling it over in my mind, and therefore subject to the same vagaries and imprecise threshold-mechanics as everything else that gets processed through wetware processors, no doubt.

User avatar
flicky1991
Like in Cinderella?
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Location: London

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:01 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity.
It does depend on context, I admit. I was thinking of sentences like "You can choose orange juice or apple juice".
Discord for Forum Games posters
(Please let me know if the link doesn't work)
----
avatar from marionic

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2297
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:22 pm UTC

Yup, that implies exclusivity. Perhaps its the threshold of "having chosen one, the other now doesn't figure - logic complete!". Now, if you get to tap it yourself from a manual dispensor/jug, and can mix half'n'half (which I might in a breakfast buffet situation!), nobody's gonna complain. Ditto if refills are allowed (even if partial servings aren't), without some explicit restraints over sticking or switching. But that probable says more about my breakfasting habits, when in such situations.

(A few Rice Crispies in the bowl, some All-Bran atop that, a few Corn Flakes, topped off with Bran Flakes. Or whatever selection I have available to dispense and whatever order suits my "looks (healthy/unhealthy) but secretly (plainer/healthier)". Hidden Frosties/etc below a bran-like layer, or vice-versa, is a nice trick.)

Still no argument. If you're picking up a single box of (single) juice, then the threshold thing makds it unavoidably XOR, obviously.

User avatar
Liri
Healthy non-floating pooper reporting for doodie.
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Liri » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:17 pm UTC

...are you adding half & half to juice?

Or, are you discussing manufacturing your own (as Brits have generally failed to recognize its brilliance as an additive)?
kalira wrote:But your own butt is always in the past, because it's behind you.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2297
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:54 pm UTC

It was just a 50/50 proportion thing, I'm afraid.

Spoiler:
Many of the "official" half and halves sound interesting, but not my usual fare for breakfast, including the Welsh food option.

For the milk one, I tend to be a semi-skimmed person, and I try not to mix that with my juice anywhere before the stomach. I don't tend to drink milk at all, save for the remaining slurps at the bottom of a cereal bowl if I've miscalculated saturation and then the spooning effort to not end with just the right amount of soaking cereal.

But this isn't the place for that discussion, really. Sorry!

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:02 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:I guess the way in which they are equivalent is that both mean "I'm not talking about specific cases", but in a different way in each case.

Sounds about right, but they must have meanings related to the same thing in order to be antonyms. "Not talking about" has an ambiguous meaning here: either excluding or not limited to.

Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").

I think the OR sense is around as common as the XOR sense tbh, though I don't have any data on that.

User avatar
ThirdParty
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
Location: USA

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:35 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity.
It does depend on context, I admit. I was thinking of sentences like "You can choose orange juice or apple juice".
It's not obvious to me that the "or" in that sentence is exclusive.

"And" can conjoin nouns to make sets, but "or" can't; "or" only conjoins propositions. So there's clearly some ellipsis going on in the sentence.

The simplest possible way to fill in the ellipsis is "You can choose orange juice or you can choose apple juice." If this is the correct interpolation, then the "or" is inclusive. The second person has the ability to choose orange juice, or he has the ability to choose apple juice, or he has both of those abilities. The sentence says nothing one way or the other about whether he might have an ability to choose orange-juice-and-apple-juice. (Though the implicature is that he does not, since that third ability, if he did have it, would have been mentioned alongside the other two.)

User avatar
Eugo
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 5:38 am UTC
Location: here
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eugo » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:23 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:I've mentioned elephant gun three times on this forum, but I've never--in text form--considered the many possibilities to what the noun 'elephant gun' could be.

Elephant gun (n.)
[list=i][*]A gun used specifically to fire ammunition at elephants..


Thanks for this... far better than what I come up with. Your contribution is duly noted at http://ndragan.com/lange/dvosmisleno_E.html
United we stand politically corrected, divided we fall in love


Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests