OT: Mathematics [was: The hoard speaks -- or writes?]

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 9 19:34:21 UTC 2007

At 3:11 PM -0400 5/9/07, Wilson Gray wrote:
>So that's how that Christmas plant got its name!

...and here I always thought it was because it was a particular
favorite of those cross-breed dogs, the poinsetters.  (cf.
Not to be confused with the labradoodle, peke-a-poo, or bullshitz.


>On 5/9/07, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>>Subject:      Re: OT: Mathematics [was: The hoard speaks -- or writes?]
>>At 5/9/2007 09:39 AM, Jim Parish wrote:
>>>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
>>which is why it is called poin-set topology
>>>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.
>>But he had ENIAC and EDVAC to help him.
>>>We now return you to your regularly-scheduled discussion of
>>>Jim Parish
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>                                              -Sam'l Clemens
>The tongue has no bones, yet it breaks bones.
>                                           Rumanian proverb
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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