The hoard speaks -- or writes?

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed May 9 15:13:12 UTC 2007

I notice that the OED omits "point set"--either as part of the phrase "point-set theory" (Moore's term) or as part of the phrase "point-set topology" or as an independent (and attributive) compound noun. Should it be there?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 9 May 2007 08:39:01 -0500
>From: Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
>Subject: Re: The hoard speaks -- or writes?
>---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: The hoard speaks -- or writes?
>Charles Doyle wrote:
>> Back when I was studying mathematics at the University of Texas in the
>> 1960s, my aged mentor, Robert Lee Moore (inventor of what's now
>> called topology; he called it point-set theory) used to proclaim that
>> he'd known only one good mathematician who was also a proficient
>> calculator, and that individual was ashamed of the fact.
>Erm. Speaking as a professional mathematician and sometime teacher
>of the history of mathematics: though an important figure in his own
>right, R. L. Moore did not invent topology; credit for that, depending on
>how you define the field, goes either to Henri Poincare or to Leonhard
>Euler. (The full name of what Moore taught you, I presume, is "point-set
>topology", which is the underpinning of all of the other varieties of the
>subject. Moore didn't invent that either.)
>As for good mathematicians who were also proficient calculators, I'd put
>forward John von Neumann as a notable example.
>We now return you to your regularly-scheduled discussion of
>Jim Parish
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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