[lit-ideas] Re: Vagaries of language

  • From: "Julie Krueger" <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 11:18:49 -0500

I intended to include "McCainpedia" as another example of the weird
twists of language usage these days.

Julie Krueger

On 5/31/08, Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Along the lines of the apparent legitimacy of words like "preventative".....
> I find myself running across more and more bits of language usage that
> seem strange to me -- it seems the language is morphing exponentially
> (along with everything else) as web-use becomes primary in so many
> areas and ways (people advertising items on-line don't even make a
> cursory attempt at giving general locations -- they merely post the
> physical address and know that "map this" will do the rest).
> Examples --
> "disambiguation" -- <<Disambiguation in Wikipedia is the process of
> resolving conflicts in article titles that occur when a single term
> can be associated with more than one topic, making that term likely to
> be the natural title for more than one article. In other words,
> disambiguations are paths leading to different article pages which
> could, in principle, have the same title.>>.  Is this Wikipedia
> coining a term, which will become part of general usage?  Or sloppy
> useage which becomes legitimate over time?  (I'm thinking the
> variations of "prevent", etc. fall into this category.)
> "unrational" -- the most recent example I've come across in what seems
> to be a general move to remove (how d'ya like that one?) the prefix
> "a" -- as in "arational", "amoral", etc.
> (My auto-spell-check led me to this on "arational" --
> <<In Lee Mosher's talk at U. of Chicago on 2/27/03, he gave an example
> demonstrating how to tell if a lamination is arational. One way to
> define arational is that the lamination meets every simple closed curve
> essentially. On the torus, these correspond to measured laminations
> of irrational slope, so are a generalization of irrational numbers. A
> lamination may be specified by a sequence of splittings of train tracks,
> where each train track is some coarse view of the lamination, where
> one can resolve distinct leaves only up to a certain scale, after which
> leaves merge together at branches, called cusps. Mosher discussed a
> particular kind of sequence of splittings, where one has a distinguished
> cusp, marked by ∗. One splits the train track sequentially at the cusp
> ∗, and each splitting is specified by an L or R, depending on whether
> the branch splits to the left or right (see figure 1). When the two cusps
> agree, there is only one way to split, so we do not need to record it.
> If the train track fully carries a lamination (meaning that there is a
> smooth homotopy of the lamination into the train track)*, then this
> sequence of splittings is uniquely determined by the lamination. Thus,
> a sequence LRLLRRRL... defines a unique sequence of splittings of the
> train track along the distinguished cusp.>>
> (*  That certainly cleared THAT up!  I wouldn't have necessarily
> thought immediately of a smooth homotopy of lamination...perhaps
> lamentation, but not lamination...I wonder what the implications would
> be if one were to laminatate the train track?  Someone please
> implicatate that into an implicatature.)
> Who knew?  That, then led me to the most wonderful phrase "-i is also
> -1.  I think you may begin to see why my dishes aren't done...).
> Julie Krueger
> Flinging syllables to the wind, to see who catches them.

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