[Ads-l] imaginary n.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 26 16:52:08 UTC 2023

Here is a pertinent citation from Hilaire Belloc as mentioned by Dennis.

Year: 1924
Book: Economics for Helen
Author: Hilaire Belloc
G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York
Quote Page 212
Database: Google Books Full View


[Begin excerpt]
This subject is what I call "Economic Imaginaries."

An imaginary is a term taken from mathematics, and means a value which
appears on paper but has no real existence. It would be too long and
much too puzzling to explain what imaginaries in mathematics are, but
I can give you a very simple example of what they are in Economics.
They mean economic values or lumps of wealth which appear on paper
when you are making calculations, so that one would think the wealth
was really there, but which when you go closely into their nature you
find do not really exist.
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Aug 26, 2023 at 12:35 PM Dennis During <dcduring at gmail.com> wrote:
> Usage in this sense is not rare in academic literature, extending at least
> to 1978. There was a nonce use by Hilaire Belloc in the 1920s as well. He
> used the term to mean "a fictitious thing" or similar. See
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/imaginary#Noun.
> On Sat, Aug 26, 2023 at 11:25 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > https://www.yahoo.com/news/biographer-warns-trump-turn-criminal-094502743.html
> > :
> >
> > " Donald Trump is much more than a man; he is a character and a symbol.
> > That is how fascism and other such political imaginaries function. "
> >
> > JL
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> --
> Dennis C. During
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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