1535: "Words for Pets"

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1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Linux0s » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:25 am UTC

Image

Title text: "Seventh year: Perfectly coherent words, but in the pet's language, not mine."

Dude, I thought your dog's name was Blarkey?
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby sfmans » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:32 am UTC

It takes Randall's pets seven whole years to get him trained to that extent? Either Randall is particularly resistant, or his dog needs to step its game up.

I say dog, because cats don't give a stuff what you call them, whether you call them at all, or indeed about the very fact of your existence.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:45 am UTC

At first I thought this was supposed to be a Venn diagram, but that doesn't scan. I get the basic idea of what Randall's trying to convey here. I've had several dogs over the years, and I've watched how their "vocabulary" expands over time. By the second year most of my dogs (all female) realized that when we said "she" we were talking about her and got a reaction. But beyond that, I think Gary Larson had the right idea.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby higgs-boson » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:07 am UTC

I'd tend to disagree. It is not about addressing the pet; it is about refering - so the cat model may be just as fine, since if you could teach my cats their names and even to say yes and no, they would most certainly still just ignore me.

For me, the graph works. At first, it was the cats' names, even down to using each cat's name for corresponding cat (as if they would care, which they didn't). Quite a while later, it was "cat", "furball", and such, usually derived from the currently most significant/disturbing cat attribute. Now I'm at whatever words or tissue packs are available to throw at the cats with. Feline feedback, if provided at all, seems to depend on prosodic features and accompanying measures (said tissue packs or water for activating the duck-for-cover protocol, the noise of cat food falling in the feeding bowl for flushing them out of whereever they were sleeping, or some tender strokes for throwing the purring switch), and not on the formal reference.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby jozwa » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:42 am UTC


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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby wayne » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:30 am UTC

or some tender strokes for throwing the purring switch)


All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol.

Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is not possible, because this trap has fish hooks affixed to its jaws.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:58 am UTC

I always called my dog "puppy" even when she was 14 years old.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:25 am UTC

wayne wrote:
or some tender strokes for throwing the purring switch)


All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol.

Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is not possible, because this trap has fish hooks affixed to its jaws.

Your cat may in fact be an asshole. Something to look into, I think.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Shoaler » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:05 pm UTC

wayne wrote:
or some tender strokes for throwing the purring switch)


All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol.

Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is not possible, because this trap has fish hooks affixed to its jaws.


Are you scratching the cat's little tummy? How cute!

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:16 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:I always called my dog "puppy" even when she was 14 years old.


All dogs are 'puppy.' :D Sometimes I call Raz (Erasmus Darwin) " puppy," sometimes "old man" since he's 15. My daughter calls him "weasel."

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby orthogon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:50 pm UTC

higgs-boson wrote:[...] if you could teach my cats their names and even to say yes and no, they would most certainly still just ignore me. [...]

wayne wrote:All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol.

Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is not possible, because this trap has fish hooks affixed to its jaws.


Glad to see even cat-owners coming out and saying it. Do you ever think maybe we should just admit that cats are awful pets and everyone's just pretending?
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:22 pm UTC

Whereas I've always been genuinely confused by the "haha, cats are jerks who ignore and don't care about their humans" group. It's wildly at odds with my own experience with cats. My dear, recently departed critter was practically codependent on me.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:22 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
higgs-boson wrote:[...] if you could teach my cats their names and even to say yes and no, they would most certainly still just ignore me. [...]

wayne wrote:All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol.

Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is not possible, because this trap has fish hooks affixed to its jaws.


Glad to see even cat-owners coming out and saying it. Do you ever think maybe we should just admit that cats are awful pets and everyone's just pretending?


Or better yet, this warning, or A complete manual
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby cjm » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:39 pm UTC

I am confused as to how this diagram clearly has four distinct areas and only three labels.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby madaco » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:00 pm UTC

cjm wrote:I am confused as to how this diagram clearly has four distinct areas and only three labels.


The outermost region represents "everything else" (i.e. things(presumably "words" which are not coherent words of any kind)
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Echo244 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

madaco wrote:
cjm wrote:I am confused as to how this diagram clearly has four distinct areas and only three labels.


The outermost region represents "everything else" (i.e. things(presumably "words" which are not coherent words of any kind)


I was assuming that it took the label on the outer box: "Words I use to refer to a pet over the years I live with it", somewhat interpolated to mean "Words I use to refer to a pet" in the context of each year-based grouping.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby chalkie » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:08 pm UTC

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”


― Winston S. Churchill

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby peewee_RotA » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:29 pm UTC

So that's why I can remember the name of all of the mayflies I ever had.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:15 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:So that's why I can remember the name of all of the mayflies I ever had.


I remember the name of every mayfly I have ever had. I have forgotten the name of every mayfly I have ever had.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Mattman » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:36 pm UTC

sfmans wrote:It takes Randall's pets seven whole years to get him trained to that extent? Either Randall is particularly resistant, or his dog needs to step its game up.

I say dog, because cats don't give a stuff what you call them, whether you call them at all, or indeed about the very fact of your existence.


That's interesting. I immediately assumed this means that Randall has a cat. Because for the 13 years I had my dog, I never stopped using his name. Because he responded to it.

On the other hand, if you were calling an animal that never responded to its name (i.e. a cat), you'd probably stop calling it over time, since it's completely ineffective.

The alt-text also gives a big hint in that the owner is learning the animal's language - another indication that the owner is being dominated and not dominating. Sure sounds like a cat.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Nyktos » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:47 pm UTC

I think I got stuck in the "second year" phase. For the last few years of my friend Catherine's life I pretty much always just called him "cat".

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby LockeZ » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:13 pm UTC

Cat name: Shoelace

Cat referral year 1: Shoelace, Kitty
Cat referral year 2: Shoelace, Kitty, Kitty-Witty, Meowmix, Fuzzball
Cat referral year 3: Shoelace, Shoeface, Leatherface, Tunaface, Kitty, Kibbledeekitty, Kitnado, Fluffball, Fuzzball, Meowmix, Clawbag, Honey, Baby, Snookums, Meowsers Bowsers, Dooglegoogle, Wuuuwuwuwuwugoogoogoo, Milady, Your Highness, Assassin's Kitteed
I fear for year 4+

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby orthogon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:32 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:So that's why I can remember the name of all of the mayflies I ever had.


I remember the name of every mayfly I have ever had. I have forgotten the name of every mayfly I have ever had.

I'm not convinced that you can express vacuous truth in English like that. Every is not a mere universal qualifier. It also has an existential function: it very strongly implies that you have had at least one mayfly; actually I'd argue it implies at least two. However, I can say that I've never had a mayfly whose name I've remembered, not one whose name I've forgotten.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby madaco » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:01 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:So that's why I can remember the name of all of the mayflies I ever had.


I remember the name of every mayfly I have ever had. I have forgotten the name of every mayfly I have ever had.

I'm not convinced that you can express vacuous truth in English like that. Every is not a mere universal qualifier. It also has an existential function: it very strongly implies that you have had at least one mayfly; actually I'd argue it implies at least two. However, I can say that I've never had a mayfly whose name I've remembered, not one whose name I've forgotten.


I think it is not particularly unusual to consider "every" to be usable as a universal quantifier, provided that, if it is only vacuously true, one implies that?

So, essentially, I'm under the impression that it isn't all that unusual to consider it to be "technically correct" in fitting with the denotation, but to be extremely misleading, as it violates the connotation?

So, if you had some villainous fictional character who "never lied" (in a sense), I'm not sure people would object if they used the word "every" in that way. They might think said character was a jerk, but I think there's a real case for what they said being "accurate".

In this case, because what rmsgrey said would contradict itself if one assumed the connotation, it is clear enough that they meant the denotation, so it would not be misleading?

idk these are just the perceptions I've had of how people use words.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby orthogon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:38 pm UTC

Actually, on reflection I think the quantifier is a red herring. To make an indicative statement about something is not only to assert the truth of the statement but to declare the existence of the thing itself. When the person you are chatting up says "my boyfriend works for Reuters", she is telling you that she has a boyfriend. In no sense can it be a correct statement if she doesn't. Using every just takes this a step further. I reckon that if you put rmsgrey's first statement to a sample of native English speakers, then asked how many mayflies he'd had: none, one, two, more than two, or impossible to say, they would all go for "more than two".
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:31 pm UTC

Every English speaker I've ever talked to (and I have talked to some ;] ) has found the notion that "all x are F" might be true if there are no x's completely ridiculous at first, even after explaining the logical reasoning that it's equivalent to "no x is non-F" which is definitely true when there are no x's at all.

IIRC in Aristotelian logic it was held that "all" did imply "some", and that only changed fairly late in the game in the history of logic, 18th or 19th centuries I think. And for most of that time nobody was speaking English when they talked about these things, so it's definitely not just an English quirk.

Now that I think about it, even a negative universal proposition like "none of my children have graduated high school" does seem to connote a positive existential one too, e.g. "I have some children".
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby aerion111 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:55 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Every English speaker I've ever talked to (and I have talked to some ;] ) has found the notion that "all x are F" might be true if there are no x's completely ridiculous at first, even after explaining the logical reasoning that it's equivalent to "no x is non-F" which is definitely true when there are no x's at all.

IIRC in Aristotelian logic it was held that "all" did imply "some", and that only changed fairly late in the game in the history of logic, 18th or 19th centuries I think. And for most of that time nobody was speaking English when they talked about these things, so it's definitely not just an English quirk.

Now that I think about it, even a negative universal proposition like "none of my children have graduated high school" does seem to connote a positive existential one too, e.g. "I have some children".

Another way to aproach that, though, is to consider those kinds of statements true if and only if you can apply the 'individual' and non-inverted version to each instance.
As in, 'None of my shoes fit' is true if and only if you can apply 'This shoe does not fit' to each individual shoe.
If you own no shoes, you cannot apply the label at all, which implies it not being possible to apply it to each instance.
So, if you have no shoes, 'None of my shoes fit' is a false statement.

I tend to look at it a third way, where it's nonsensical to refer to something that does not exist (in this context, fictional items exist in the form of 'the idea of' the object. Which is what you're usually referring to anyway: I can say that Harry Potter owns a wand and an owl without it being nonsense, but that's because it's implied I meant that it's part of the fiction that the fictional character has those 'labels')
It is one thing to refer to something that might exist but happens not to (and in those cases, I'd subscribe to the first alternative I gave)
But to say 'None of my shoes' when you have no shoes makes as much sense as 'None of my flarbel-burgles', since in either case there's no way to interpret it that will let you know what the 'object' of their sentence is (since it doesn't exist) - you could interpret it as an attempt at deceit, I suppose, but a sentence that makes sense only when lying seems close enough to 'nonsense' for me.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:19 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Every English speaker I've ever talked to (and I have talked to some ;] ) has found the notion that "all x are F" might be true if there are no x's completely ridiculous at first, even after explaining the logical reasoning that it's equivalent to "no x is non-F" which is definitely true when there are no x's at all.

IIRC in Aristotelian logic it was held that "all" did imply "some", and that only changed fairly late in the game in the history of logic, 18th or 19th centuries I think. And for most of that time nobody was speaking English when they talked about these things, so it's definitely not just an English quirk.

Now that I think about it, even a negative universal proposition like "none of my children have graduated high school" does seem to connote a positive existential one too, e.g. "I have some children".


People also think that the idea that when someone says "If I am telling the truth, then it is raining", if it's a meaningful statement, then it must be raining is crazy, despite it being a logical consequence of how they interpret the phrase - suppose the person saying it is telling the truth - then they are telling the truth, and its true that if they are telling the truth, it is raining, so it must be raining. But because we just deduced that if they're telling the truth, then it is raining, either our reasoning is faulty, or it is true that if they are telling the truth, then it is raining. Since that's exactly what they said, then they must be telling the truth, and so, since they must be telling the truth, it must also be raining. So either it's raining, or our reasoning has gone wrong somewhere, or their utterance is not actually meaningful.

Just because people find it hard to accept an idea, doesn't mean it's not true, even if it's an idea about their beliefs.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:02 am UTC

I'm having a little trouble parsing your sentences, but it doesn't seem like what you're saying in that example is true.

Given the truth of "if I am telling the truth, then it is raining", then either it is raining, or the one saying that is not telling the truth. Since the latter would contradict the premise of it's truth, then if that statement is true -- not just meaningful, but actually true -- then it must be raining.

But that statement might be false, yet meaningful. It might be not raining, in which case that statement has to be false, but that doesn't make it meaningless; the contradiction of that statement is just "I am telling the truth and it is not raining", which is perfectly meaningful, and true if it is in fact not raining (which is the exact falsity condition of the statement it's a contradiction of, which is what we want out of a contradiction). The antecedent is pretty vacuous, but the whole proposition seems basically equivalent in meaning to just "it is raining": either it's raining (and either proposition, the conditional or the blanket statement, is true) or the proposition (whichever) is false.

Which is about what I'd think we'd expect of a sentence like that, just on colloquial connotation without any though to the logic of it. Consider your friend says "If I'm right, then Bob's about to walk through that door", and a sufficient amount of time later later Bob still hasn't walked through that door; that just means your friend wasn't right, and Bob didn't walk through that door, not any kind of weird logic bomb.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Sprocket » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:03 am UTC

and the show has hit a new low.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:31 am UTC

Vacuous assertions about empty sets do occasionally figure in non-mathematical discourse. I'm thinking of the situation where one issues a quitclaim deed transfering all ownership in a piece of property to some person. The instrument is a valid legal document even when the person signing the deed never had any ownership in that property to begin with, and the recipient is in a lot of trouble if he assumes that the mere existence of the deed implies that he had, and (for example) builds on the specified parcel assuming he's now its owner.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby orthogon » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:26 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:IIRC in Aristotelian logic it was held that "all" did imply "some", and that only changed fairly late in the game in the history of logic, 18th or 19th centuries I think. And for most of that time nobody was speaking English when they talked about these things, so it's definitely not just an English quirk.

I'm sure it isn't just true of English, but I didn't want to go so far as to say it was a language universal. I was thinking for example of Japanese, with its lack of articles, invariant plurals and verbs that don't inflect with person or number: it's plausible to me that a language like that may allow one to construct an affirmative statement that's vacuously true. Also there may be languages where conditionals and subjunctives are less clearly distinguished, so that "I would send all my children to a state school [if I had any]", "I will send all my children to a state school" and "I send all my children to a state school" could all be covered by the same utterance.
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:22 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:the contradiction of that statement is just "I am telling the truth and it is not raining", which is perfectly meaningful, and true if it is in fact not raining (which is the exact falsity condition of the statement it's a contradiction of, which is what we want out of a contradiction).


But if the contradiction of the actual statement made is true, then the guy isn't telling the truth, so "I am telling the truth and it is not raining" is not true, because it isn't what was said. To get a valid negation of the original statement, you need to say something like "I would be telling the truth if I said 'If I am telling the truth, then it is raining' and it is not raining". You also need to have a stronger definition of what the "if ___ then ___" construction means than for my argument.

And you yourself agree that if the original statement is true, then it must be raining. Having concluded that, how can you then say that that might not be the case?

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Kit. » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:39 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:It might be not raining, in which case that statement has to be false,

The statement "IF I am telling the truth, THEN it is raining" is logically equivalent to the statement "I am telling the truth OR it is NOT raining" (edit, fixed later), which is true when it is not raining.

However, that reminds me of https://xkcd.com/169/
Last edited by Kit. on Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:50 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:It might be not raining, in which case that statement has to be false,

The statement "IF I am telling the truth, THEN it is raining" is logically equivalent to the statement "I am telling the truth OR it is NOT raining", which is true when it is not raining.

However, that reminds me of https://xkcd.com/169/


Those two statements can't be equivalent - if it's not raining then the second one is true, but the first one can only be true if it is raining.

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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Kit. » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:It might be not raining, in which case that statement has to be false,

The statement "IF I am telling the truth, THEN it is raining" is logically equivalent to the statement "I am telling the truth OR it is NOT raining", which is true when it is not raining.

However, that reminds me of https://xkcd.com/169/


Those two statements can't be equivalent - if it's not raining then the second one is true, but the first one can only be true if it is raining.

Sorry, my bad. The correct one is "It is raining OR I am NOT telling the truth".

rmsgrey
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:It might be not raining, in which case that statement has to be false,

The statement "IF I am telling the truth, THEN it is raining" is logically equivalent to the statement "I am telling the truth OR it is NOT raining", which is true when it is not raining.

However, that reminds me of https://xkcd.com/169/


Those two statements can't be equivalent - if it's not raining then the second one is true, but the first one can only be true if it is raining.

Sorry, my bad. The correct one is "It is raining OR I am NOT telling the truth".


Which can only be false if you are telling the truth (and it's not raining) which is a contradiction, so it can only be true (or paradoxical).

thegricean
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby thegricean » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:46 am UTC

I sent this comic to a friend who it reminded me of. He responded by sending me the trajectory he's been on for referring to his dog: "Marcel" --> "Marsupial" --> "Stinky man" --> "Stinker" --> "Stinkbug" --> "Stink" --> "Bug" --> "Beefcake" --> "Beef" --> "Belly" --> "Pork belly"
It made me think it would be kind of cool to collect these chains (if people even remember them...) and build a little database similar to the one that came out of the men's vs women's words for color issue.

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Baccar Wozat
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Baccar Wozat » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:11 am UTC

I never got a chance to call my long-lived cat and dog "cat" and "dog", respectively, but after that I got some parakeets and we never named any of them, just called them "bird". (If we had two or more at a time, they were "green bird", "yellow bird", et al. This sounds racist, but they were all of the same race so never mind.)

Mikeski
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Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:32 am UTC

Baccar Wozat wrote:I never got a chance to call my long-lived cat and dog "cat" and "dog", respectively, but after that I got some parakeets and we never named any of them, just called them "bird". (If we had two or more at a time, they were "green bird", "yellow bird", et al. This sounds racist, but they were all of the same race so never mind.)

Same species. Or have you discussed race with parakeets? (It would probably make more sense than discussing it with your fellow humans, actually.)


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