1652 "Conditionals"

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1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:15 pm UTC

Image

Alt: 'If you're done being pedantic, we should get dinner.' 'You did it again!' 'No, I didn't.'

So...

Code: Select all

self.location.tomorrow = (target.hangout.willing==true)?target.location.habitual:undefined;
group(self,target).tasks.append("meal") unless (target.currentstatus.pedantry==true);


(edit: Oh, good, it posted... "The connection has timed out. The server at forums.xkcd.com is taking too long to respond." But then I look at the sub-board to check for no duplications and find 7 views already! Don't know how many of those were mine...)
Last edited by Soupspoon on Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:20 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Aardwizz » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:19 pm UTC

The one that always gets me is at a restaurant and the waitress says, "If you need anything, my name is Angela."

But what's her name if I DON'T need anything?

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Apeiron » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:22 pm UTC

I'll be in your city. Do you want to hang out?

Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.
Last edited by Apeiron on Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby jc » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:27 pm UTC

If I were such a pedant, I'd predict that almost all the posts here will start with "If".

Oh, wait; I have occasionally made just a reply to someone else's conditional statement. In a few cases, they answered with a grin and an alternate conclusion.

[edit] ... and I see that while I was typing that, someone else made a post not starting with "If". I conclude that I must not be such a pedant.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby dp2 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:30 pm UTC

Can you stop being so pedantic?
Yes, I can, any time I want to.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Apeiron » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:32 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:Can you stop being so pedantic?
Yes, I can, anytime I want.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby dp2 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:36 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:
dp2 wrote:Can you stop being so pedantic?
Yes, I can, anytime I want.

A true pedant would have also called out "anytime".

Otherwise, you did good.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:58 pm UTC

I do this regularly, primarily to piss off the Spousal Unit -- which really is a bad idea, and you'd think I'd have learned by now that in this case, correlation does mean causality. :cry:

There are other ways to play with this. Road signs:

"Right lane ends." so the wrong lane continues?

"Road work ahead," no, actually, Road Not Work Ahead.


BTW, of all disgusting strips, Andy Capp, or whatever that was, beat Randall by 50 years. IIRC:

Man1 , to himself: "we're losing our ability to communicate"
Man1, to Andy: "Hi, my wife doesn't understand me. Does yours?"
Andy: "I doubt it; she doesn't even understand me"
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:05 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:"Road work ahead," no, actually, Road Not Work Ahead.

Terry Pratchett book spoiler:
Spoiler:
It was one of the many jokes in the Gnome (or Bromeliad) Triology.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Jackpot777 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:05 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:"Road work ahead," no, actually, Road Not Work Ahead.


Reminds me of the Postman Plod comic strip in Viz magazine, where the postman gets an envelope that says PHOTOS DO NOT BEND. "Yes they do", he says, and goes on to prove it.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby dp2 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:11 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:
cellocgw wrote:"Road work ahead," no, actually, Road Not Work Ahead.


Reminds me of the Postman Plod comic strip in Viz magazine, where the postman gets an envelope that says PHOTOS DO NOT BEND. "Yes they do", he says, and goes on to prove it.

Or the classic "'Do Not Touch Willie'. Good advice!"

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby speising » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:14 pm UTC

"Data, shoot at will!"

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Vroomfundel » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:43 pm UTC

Oh me yarm, I thought I'm obsessing over correct use of the English language when I replace my ifs with 'in case'-s but now I realize I've just been obsessing over correct use of conditionals. On an xkcd forum that's just about equal but for society at large the latter is frowned upon.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:03 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.


People I converse with online are more likely to invoke the "you idiot, don't you realise that language EVOLVES?!" response, which gets under my skin even more.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby dp2 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:13 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Apeiron wrote:Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.


People I converse with online are more likely to invoke the "you idiot, don't you realise that language EVOLVES?!" response, which gets under my skin even more.

Anybody who uses that argument has Sarah Palin in their corner.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:18 pm UTC

When I see a road sign that reads "END ROAD WORK THANK YOU" I imagine it was erected by a frustrated driver. The Department of Transportation never seems to respond. And so it goes.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Callback » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:20 pm UTC

But he said if, not iff.

People are ignoring the fact that there never was a problem with his logic. We assume his being in the city to be true, so p→T≡T regardless of p.

It's a mathematically valid implication already. It doesn't need to be rephrased.
Last edited by Callback on Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:39 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:
CharlieP wrote:People I converse with online are more likely to invoke the "you idiot, don't you realise that language EVOLVES?!" response, which gets under my skin even more.

Anybody who uses that argument has Sarah Palin in their corner.
" 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

Your each both rite, m8's, and I could of decimated all who aks u to except this.

<shudders at what I just writ (with ten deliberate errors!), but all the sentiment of the corrected version is still mine...>

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby john smith » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:57 pm UTC

That's not being a pedant, that's being context blind. Natural language is not first-order logic.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Bassarid » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:21 pm UTC

This is interesting, though, linguistically, because it looks like a conditional sentence, but the condition actually applies to an ellipsis, left out because it's redundant or too obvious (i.e. "if you want to hang out, we can hang out"), and the first part of the sentence is just a preamble.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby ATCG » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:33 pm UTC

"But where will you be if I don't want to hang out?"

Disney cats reply.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Yablo » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:01 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Your each both rite, m8's, and I could of decimated all who aks u to except this.

<shudders at what I just writ (with ten deliberate errors!), but all the sentiment of the corrected version is still mine...>

Yeah. I had to force myself to read that, and even then I had two false starts.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:24 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:Terry Pratchett book spoiler:
Spoiler:
It was one of the many jokes in the Gnome (or Bromeliad) Triology.

Nome*

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Keyman » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:59 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.

As is "nazi"? :wink:
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:20 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:Oh me yarm, I thought I'm obsessing over correct use of the English language when I replace my ifs with 'in case'-s

I have also started agonising over this construction recently, for some reason. 'In case' doesn't really solve the problem: you presumably aren't going to the city just on the offchance that the person wants to hang out. You're going there for some other reason. It's more "I'm telling you this in case you want to hang out". I think Bassarid nailed it that there's a whole elliptical thing going on with all these phrases.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby xtifr » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:56 pm UTC

john smith wrote:That's not being a pedant, that's being context blind. Natural language is not first-order logic.

Exactly. Misapplying the grammar of one language (e.g. formal logic) to another (e.g. English) is not being pedantic. It's being unclear about categories.

But maybe I'm being too pedantic. :mrgreen:

Bottom line, if you want to understand English, talk to a linguist, not a mathematician! (And I say this as someone who's closer to being a mathematician than a linguist.)
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:(And I say this as someone who's closer to being a mathematician than a linguist.)


Code: Select all

      .------- You can be anywhere within this range, then? ------.
      |                                                           |
...==================================================================================...
     ^                              ^                              ^         ^
     |                              |                              |         |
    ???                       Mathematician                     Linguist  Potter?

:D

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby xtifr » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:47 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
xtifr wrote:(And I say this as someone who's closer to being a mathematician than a linguist.)


Code: Select all

      .------- You can be anywhere within this range, then? ------.
      |                                                           |
...==================================================================================...
     ^                              ^                              ^         ^
     |                              |                              |         |
    ???                       Mathematician                     Linguist  Potter?

:D

Heh, pretty much, yeah.

More specifically (in case anyone cares), my work as a software developer makes me pretty sympathetic with the formal logic guys, but having worked with Natural Language Processing (NLP) has given me a deep interest in the works of linguists.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:03 am UTC

While curiosity about the individual's location should the condition be false is natural, a reasonable answer is "It's irrelevant to you".

I suppose if the respondent wishes to avoid chance encounters, the location may be relevant, but the risk is fairly low anyway.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:42 am UTC

Apeiron wrote:I'll be in your city. Do you want to hang out?

Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.
The fact that being called racist, sexist, homophobic, or Islamophobic will lead people to leave a conversation, when the other side evidently didn't leave due to the racism, sexism, homophobia, or Islamophobia that started it, says a lot about which group of people is really oversensitive about having their feelings hurt.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby RogueCynic » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:15 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Apeiron wrote:Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.


People I converse with online are more likely to invoke the "you idiot, don't you realise that language EVOLVES?!" response, which gets under my skin even more.


Language does not evolve, people devolve.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:32 am UTC

Ouch. I mean, ouch, ouch. That hurt on both levels. Well played.

gmalivuk wrote:
Apeiron wrote:I'll be in your city. Do you want to hang out?

Calling someone pedantic, a grammar snob/nazi reminds me of people using the accusation of racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamaphobe to shutdown conversation.
The fact that being called racist, sexist, homophobic, or Islamophobic will lead people to leave a conversation, when the other side evidently didn't leave due to the racism, sexism, homophobia, or Islamophobia that started it, says a lot about which group of people is really oversensitive about having their feelings hurt.
I'm sure that's often an ironic bonus feature of disagreements over accusations of offensiveness, but I don't think anyone offending anyone has much to do with the point. Labels like that really do signal the end of productive discussion, which should really be immediately clear to both parties. It's either being made unnecessarily personal (you are racist instead of this action is racist) or it's precisely as personal as intended and a rejection of the possibility of any common ground to negotiate on.

I do think the "grammar nazi" thing does have that one aspect in common with the other scenario, but it's not an accusation of moral fault. It was certainly enough that I read Apeiron's post, thought "ugh, you're one of those," and didn't really feel any urge to reply.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby tehtmi » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:22 am UTC

john smith wrote:That's not being a pedant, that's being context blind. Natural language is not first-order logic.

I completely agree. Presumptively, I call this the Mathematician's Fallacy (as if there was only one :)).

This does seem to be something real mathematicians wrestle with -- see for example the controversy over the "Boy or Girl paradox". If the terms are given in formal logic, people can agree to the resolution. If the terms are given in natural language, people start to disagree.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby not baby Newt » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:54 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:People I converse with online are more likely to invoke the "you idiot, don't you realise that language EVOLVES?!" response, which gets under my skin even more.

If you mean that not all changes to the language are good, then sure.

If you mean that 'evolve' always refer to natural selection, then no. 'Evolve' as a word is older than Darwin, so I don't think this is incorrect at all.

If you mean that *they* meant natural selection the sure they are wrong. But if we payed attention to what people meant we wouldn't be having the discussion anyway :P.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Diadem » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:53 am UTC

The variation of this that always annoys me is answering yes to an or-question.
Q: "Do you want coffee or tea?"
A: "Yes".

Yes, I get it, you understand formal logic. Very good. I congratulate you on your superior intellect. Now please answer the fucking question.
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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:15 am UTC

Diadem wrote:The variation of this that always annoys me is answering yes to an or-question.
Q: "Do you want coffee or tea?"
A: "Yes".

Q takes out notepad, tallies this latest statistic and moves the conversation to the next point...

Also don't forget "Those who want don't get!", from frustrated mothers/grandmothers/aunties fed up with the pestering children stating a want that is not a need.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby AndrewGPaul » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:31 am UTC

And yet, following that up with "in that case I want <vegetable I don't like>!" never worked. :(

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:57 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The variation of this that always annoys me is answering yes to an or-question.
Q: "Do you want coffee or tea?"
A: "Yes".

Yes, I get it, you understand formal logic. Very good. I congratulate you on your superior intellect. Now please answer the fucking question.


For that particular example, I would answer "no".

More generally, if asked "would you like A or B?" my default answer is along the lines of "Yes. [pause briefly] A would be nice." - offering a compromise between staking my claim to mathematical respectability, and providing the useful information the querent actually wanted.

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:31 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Diadem wrote:Q: "Do you want coffee or tea?"
A: "Yes".

For that particular example, I would answer "no".

You must be a member of a consistently exclusive club. ;)

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Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Postby Jeff_UK » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:19 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The variation of this that always annoys me is answering yes to an or-question.
Q: "Do you want coffee or tea?"
A: "Yes".

Yes, I get it, you understand formal logic. Very good. I congratulate you on your superior intellect. Now please answer the fucking question.


Make them one of each.
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