"for" = of
Jonathan Lighter
wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 11 13:01:14 UTC 2009
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
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> 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
> > >
> >
>
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