"for" = of
Charles Doyle
cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Dec 11 14:45:44 UTC 2009
Yeah, but are Mark's and Jonathan's lucid and elegant explanations OF or FOR the distinction?
(Thus, we can imagine a student in a geography class, taking a test, who gives the wrong "capital for Kuwait.")
--Charlie
---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:01:14 -0500
>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf of Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>)>
>I think Mark's got it.
>
>A possible explanation for [n.b.] the mathematical usage is that in the cases cited, the value(s) linked to "for" may be/ are to be/ can be *supplied* or *provided*. They are not (necessarily) already in existence, as is the "capital of Kuwait."
>
>JL
>
>
>
>On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 11:21 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject: Re: "for" = of
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> I disagree (about something screwy happening -- not about *"the capit{o,a}l
>> for Kuwait". Consider "*n + 1 > n* is true for all values of *n*."
>>
>> This is not something that is true *of* *n*, in the way that "*n* is even"
>> is true of 12 but is not true of 17. In fact, I'm a bit uncomfortable even
>> formulating those statements thus; the English usage seems to assume what
>> the mathematical notation makes explicit by expressing the number with the
>> placeholder *n*.
>>
>> My own version of that is "*There's a filk* in there somewhere* is true for
>> all values of *there*" -- i.e., it's possible to write a more-or-less
>> sf-fannish song on that subject or about that person or to the tune of that
>> song or incorporating the quip someone just made or...
>>
>> I think I will assert that "S(x) is true for all (some, specified) values
>> of
>> x" is mathematical dialect of art, and declare it settled. :-)
>>
>> m a m
>>
>> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 6:26 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
>> >wrote:
>>
>> > Then something screwy is happening in the distribution of "for."
>> >
>> > Not even a mathematician would write, "What is the capitol for Kuwait?"
>> > JL
>> > On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
>> >
>> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> > > -----------------------
>> > > Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> > > Poster: Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>> > > Subject: Re: "for" = of
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > >
>> > > Dipping almost randomly into early-20th-century mathematical and
>> > > philosophical journals, I find an abundance of such phrasing as "true
>> for
>> > > all values of the variable."
>> > >
>> > > --Charlie
>> > >
>> >
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
>--
>"There You Go Again...Using Reason on the Planet of the Duck-Billed
>Platypus"
>
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