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User Name: rob
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Occupation: Patrolling for skulls.
Interests: Parading the quarterback's skull on the end of a sword in the Blackhole.
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Last Visit: Thursday, August 09, 2012 2:42:17 AM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: What does "Moderation in all things" mean?
Posted: Friday, May 18, 2012 4:10:19 AM
I found this page:

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Moderation+in+all+things

And would like to discuss some of its possible interpretations. Think

Thank you.

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Of 'of'
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 5:47:14 PM
Of 'of': Expressing Possession and Being Possessed
To whom it may concern,

I would like to discuss changes made to the definition of 'of' in the
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from the 1989 edition to the 2010
edition. Below are 2 discussion topics regarding 2 changes to the
definitions of 'of' that I believe are significant:


Discussion Topic 1:

This was the definition of 'of' from the 1989 edition of the OED:

XIV. In the sense belonging or pertaining to; expressing possession
and its converse
: 'the owner of the house', 'the house of the owner'.

Formerly expressed by the genitive, and still to some extent by the
possessive case (with transposition of order). The use of 'of' began in
Old English with senses 47, 48, expressing origin. After the Norman
Conquest the example of the French 'de', which had taken the place of
the L. genitive, caused the gradual extension of 'of' to all uses in which
Old English had the genitive; the purely possessive sense was the last
to be so affected, and it is that in which the genitive or 'possessive'
case is still chiefly used. Thus, we say the King's English, in preference
to the English of the King; but the King of England in preference to
England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose English.

I went on-line and found the September 2010 revision:

X. Expressing possession and being possessed
Eg 'the owner of the house', 'the house of the owner'. Generally
regarded as one of the central uses of the word.


Formerly expressed by the genitive case, and still to some extent by
the genitive of nouns (especially proper names) and possessive
adjectives (with transposition of order). The use of 'of' began in Old
English with senses 33, 34, expressing origin. After the Norman
Conquest the example of the French 'de', which had taken the place of
the Latin genitive, caused the gradual extension of of to all uses in
which Old English had the genitive; the purely possessive sense was
the last to be so affected, and it is that in which the genitive or
'possessive' case is still chiefly used. Thus, we say the King's English,
in preference to the English of the King; but the King of England in
preference to England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose
English.

The 'pertaining to' condition has been removed and the choice of
words condensed to 'Expressing possession and being possessed'
along with the comment 'Generally regarded as one of the central uses
of the word,' is, in my opinion, significant.

Could somebody please help me interpret the difference between:

#1) Formerly expressed by the genitive, and still to some extent by the
possessive case (with transposition of order).

#2) Formerly expressed by the genitive case, and still to some extent
by the genitive of nouns (especially proper names) and possessive
adjectives (with transposition of order).


Discussion Topic 2:

I'd like to highlight another change below:

1989 OED version:
50. Belonging to a thing, as something related in a way defined or
implied by its nature
where the its refers to the 'something' that belongs
to the thing.

And the 2010 OED on-line definition of 'of' which reads:
36. Belonging to a thing, as a logical consequence of its nature.

The 'something' that was mentioned in the earlier definition has been
strategically removed and been replaced by 'a logical consequence of'
the thing's nature.

In my opinion, by not mentioning the 'something' of the earlier
definition, valuable information has been lost concerning the intricate
nature of the relationship between this word and the thought it is
intended to convey in that context, though it could be argued that this
is a matter of grammar and not one of definition the change itself
seems to me to be overly strategic.

The two OED editions then go on to give the same examples:
e.g. the cause, effect, origin, reason, result of; the correlative,
counterpart, match, opposite, original of; a copy, derivative, image,
likeness of; the square, cube, logarithm, tangent, differential, or other
mathematical function of. See under these words.

Grouped as follows:
#1) the cause, effect, origin, reason, result of;
#2) the correlative, counterpart, match, opposite, original of;
#3) a copy, derivative, image, likeness of;
#4) the square, cube, logarithm, tangent, differential, or other
mathematical function of.

Could you please contact me with your thoughts about this particular
change in the definition of 'of,' as it relates to group #4.

Please keep in mind that as The Cambridge Grammar of the English
Language mentions: "'Of' is the most highly grammaticalised of all
prepositions."

Yours respectfully

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Maths/ Logics problems!
Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:20:45 PM
To whom it may concern,

I would like to discuss the problem of division by zero in the set of real numbers. So far the best explanation I've found to see why a quotient like a/0 cannot be defined in the set of real numbers is in an old textbook which shows that division by zero is undefined because division is defined by multipication which becomes an identity in the case of the denominator equaling zero.

a/b = c is defined by a = b*c.

"If a/0 = c, then a = 0*c.
But 0*c = 0.
Hence, if a is not equal to 0,
no value of c can make the statment a = 0*c true,
while if a = 0,
every value of c will make the statement true.

Thus, a/0 either has no value or is indefinite in value."


Yours respectfully,

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: meaning of this quotation.
Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010 1:44:21 PM
All I'm saying is that you have to be careful when reading philosophy because:

When it's all said and done, they HAVEN'T toldBoo hoo! you a THING!Think

In my humble opinionAnxious

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: meaning of this quotation.
Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010 1:09:34 PM
All we know for sure is:
WE KNOW NOTHING FOR SURE!!!Brick wall

Which brings us to tale of a person who made a very long journey to find Budda and then asked him "I have come to ask a question. What is the best question that can be asked and what is the best answer that can be given?"

Budda replied, "The best question that can be asked is the question you have just asked, and the best answer that can be given is the answer I am giving."

And we don't know whether he is right or not because WE KNOW NOTHING FOR SURE!!! and that is all we are sure of

Hope that helps.

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Of 'of,' Expressing possession and being possessed
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 6:54:15 PM
This was the definition that I posted of 'of' from the 1989 edition of the OED:


XIV. In the sense belonging or pertaining to; expressing possession and its converse: "the owner of the house", "the house of the owner".

Formerly expressed by the genitive, and still to some extent by the possessive case (with transposition of order). The use of "of" began in Old English with senses 47, 48, expressing origin. After the Norman Conquest the example of the French "de", which had taken the place of the L. genitive, caused the gradual extension of "of" to all uses in which Old English had the genitive; the purely possessive sense was the last to be so affected, and it is that in which the genitive or "possessive" case is still chiefly used. Thus, we say the King's English, in preference to the English of the King; but the King of England in preference to England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose English.

I went on-line and found the September 2010 revision:

X. Expressing possession and being possessed
Eg 'the owner of the house', 'the house of the owner'. Generally regarded as one of the central uses of the word.

Formerly expressed by the genitive case, and still to some extent by the genitive of nouns (especially proper names) and possessive adjectives (with transposition of order). The use of of began in Old English with senses 33, 34, expressing origin. After the Norman Conquest the example of the French de, which had taken the place of the Latin genitive, caused the gradual extension of of to all uses in which Old English had the genitive; the purely possessive sense was the last to be so affected, and it is that in which the genitive or 'possessive' case is still chiefly used. Thus, we say the King's English, in preference to the English of the King; but the King of England in preference to England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose English.

The "pertaining to" condition has been removed and the choice of words condensed to:
"Expressing possession and being possessed"
also the comment "Generally regarded as one of the central uses of the word." is, in my opinion, significant.

Could somebody please help me interpret the difference between:
#1 Formerly expressed by the genitive, and still to some extent by the possessive case (with transposition of order).
#2 Formerly expressed by the genitive case, and still to some extent by the genitive of nouns (especially proper names) and possessive adjectives (with transposition of order).




Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Belonging to a thing , as something related in a way defined or implied by its nature
Posted: Monday, September 06, 2010 9:26:11 AM
I have decided that of 'of' was too general, so I have created this forum for the specific and exclusive discussion of definition 50 as stated in the O.E.D. for 'of':

Belonging to a thing , as something related in a way defined or implied by its nature.

I have learned from the forum "of 'of'" how quickly this subject can get off the topic, so I will do all modifications to the topic only at the beginning of this forum, but if anyone is interested, chapter X in the book that I mentioned at the beginning of the "of 'of'" forum it is available at google book preview where Martin briefly discusses each of the O.E.D. definitions of 'of.' I also found this excellent discussion at a web site called Maverick Philosopher:

A. Subjective Uses of 'Of.' 'The presidency of Bill Clinton was rocked by scandal.' 'The redness of her face betrayed her embarrasment.' 'She cited the lateness of the hour as her reason for leaving.' The presidency of Bill Clinton is Bill Clinton's presidency. And similarly in the other two examples.

Here 'of' expresses possession or belonging. The sharpness of the knife is the knife's sharpness. The wife of Tom is Tom's wife. The uncle of the monkey is the monkey's uncle. The ace of spades is the ace belonging to the spade suit. A jack of all trades is all trades' jack. Of course, if you want to be understood in English you cannot say, 'Marvin is all trades' jack.' But that's irrelevant.

The set of natural numbers is the natural numbers' set. The set of all sets is all sets' set.

'Several are the senses of "of."' The 'of' which is used -- as opposed to mentioned -- functions subjectively inasmuch as the thought could be put as follows: '"Of"'s senses are several.'

The square root of -1 is -1's square root.


This topic is so general that I would request that any answers not follow this pattern please:
Epimenides (c. 7 century B.C.) once made a long pilgrimage to meet Buddha. When he finally met him, Epimenides said, "I have come to ask a question. What is the best question that can be asked and what is the best answer that can be given?"

Buddha replied, "The best question that can be asked is the question you have just asked, and the best answer that can be given is the answer I am giving."



Commitment to Excellence
Topic: The Square Root of Two
Posted: Sunday, September 05, 2010 5:23:27 PM
This number is much older than pi? I did not know that.

Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Of 'of'
Posted: Saturday, September 04, 2010 6:51:45 PM
thar wrote:
"I am sure oed addresses this, although it may be complicated by the fact that pertaining to will be synonymous both with relating to and belonging to."

The O.E.D. is addressing this when it states:
"expressing possession and its converse"
where {the converse of possession } is belonging

If anyone is interested, chapter X in the book that I mentioned at the beginning of this forum is available at google book preview. I also found this excellent discussion at a web site called Maverick Philosopher:

A. Subjective Uses of 'Of.' 'The presidency of Bill Clinton was rocked by scandal.' 'The redness of her face betrayed her embarrasment.' 'She cited the lateness of the hour as her reason for leaving.' The presidency of Bill Clinton is Bill Clinton's presidency. And similarly in the other two examples.

Here 'of' expresses possession or belonging. The sharpness of the knife is the knife's sharpness. The wife of Tom is Tom's wife. The uncle of the monkey is the monkey's uncle. The ace of spades is the ace belonging to the spade suit. A jack of all trades is all trades' jack. Of course, if you want to be understood in English you cannot say, 'Marvin is all trades' jack.' But that's irrelevant.

The set of natural numbers is the natural numbers' set. The set of all sets is all sets' set.

'Several are the senses of "of."' The 'of' which is used -- as opposed to mentioned -- functions subjectively inasmuch as the thought could be put as follows: '"Of"'s senses are several.'

The square root of -1 is -1's square root.


Commitment to Excellence
Topic: Of 'of'
Posted: Saturday, September 04, 2010 7:59:04 AM
The very first line in the definition reads:

"OF" XIV. In the sense belonging or pertaining to...

which means under this sense: #1)belonging to OR #2)pertaining to... are being grouped together.

Yet your comment: "King of England ( I would argue this is 'pertaining to' rather than 'possessed by'...
clearly shows that you are NOT following the convention of grouping them together under one sense.

You then go on to say: "... -I am sure that is another listing in the dictionary)"
but as the first line in the definition has clearly stated these two are being considered TOGETHER and not as another listing in the dictionary.

Thus your arguement is not consistent with the O.E.D.
OF" XIV. In the sense belonging or pertaining to; expressing possession and its converse: "the owner of the house", "the house of the owner".

Where expressing possession is paired with "the owner of the house"
and its converse, being expressing belonging is paired with "the house of the owner" which is an expression of the belonging that the house has to the owner.

Thus, we say the King's English, in preference to the English of the King; but the King of England in preference to England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose English.



Commitment to Excellence

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