RE: virus: pop quiz #14

Joe E. Dees (
Fri, 21 May 1999 02:26:59 -0500

From:   (Brett Robertson)
Date sent:      	Fri, 21 May 1999 01:54:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        	RE: virus: pop quiz #14
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> Joe: A word is a representation; your word "fruit" represents apples,
> oranges, grapes and pears, among others...
> Me: The *word* "fruit" IS a descriptive term. As I said, the *symbol*
> is descriptive while the abstraction is PREscriptive. That is, "apples"
> when generalized to a system of apples, pears, oranges, etc must be
> *prescribed* by the abstraction (an apple, with regard to the SYSTEM,
> "fruit", may be described only in the negative as NOT orange, NOT grape,
> etc. )...
Hadda get your negation fix in, ay, Brett? Apples are described by the word "apples", and fruit (including apples) are described by the word "fruit". There is NO NEED, nor is it COMMON USAGE, to un- throw in a negation and call apples non-other-than- apple-fruit; people just call them apples (how d'ya like THEM apples?). The word "fruit" is a category, NOT a "system", which has certain connotations (such as dynamism, energy exchange and fuzzy boundaries) not associated with definitional categories.
> whereas, the symbolic term *fruit* (more properly, fruity) is
> described by the apple-- assuming the apple is presented as a token, or
> icon, and the term "fruity" is evoked through apple's prime example
The apple is no more primal than any other fruit. "Fruity" is an adjective applicable well beyond the bounds of produce (chewing gum, hawaiian punch or Jello, for instance). The terms appley, peary, bananaey, etc. are illicit, as are chairy, couchy, tabley; but this does not mean that one can use "furniturey" as an analogue to "fruity", does it? That's because "fruity" applies to a basic category, taste, whereas there is no common functionality to furniture other than human utility. Language is too metaphor driven, polysemic and fuzzy to draw such general rules of usage. I suggest that you bone up on "WOMEN, FIRE AND DANGEROUS THINGS" by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson before you attempt to further scramble the intricacies of pragmatics and cognitive linguistics.
> ps... an "average" (or typical) Hawaiian wave is PREscribed by a range
> of waves greater than and less than average (and this is true regardless
> of the context to which the term "average" is constrained)
But the point was that, contra your original claim of consensus and compromise (which I won't let you bury to escape your error), an average or typical wave is different for a Gulf of Mexico dweller that it is for a Kona inhabitant; thus average or typical refers to the experience of the observer(s) (which can be _either_ an individual or a collectivity) observing either a subjective or an intersubjectively (whether you dislike the word or not) common phenomenon.
> Brett Lane Robertson
> Indiana, USA
> MindRecreation Metaphysical Assn.
> BIO:
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