Jonathan Van Matre on 12 Feb 2002 16:37:13 -0000

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RE: spoon-discuss: Re: spoon-business: CFJ: Opening the floodgates

> Well... so what? Those are different words (which happen to 
> be spelt the same), 

Yes, and the important thing is that the only way you know which of the words I mean is because I made sure to make it clear which definition I was referring to.  In contrast, the rules do not make it clear which definition of "proposal" is equivalent to "proosal", nor what any of the definitions of "proosal" are, or how many there may be.  For all we know, "proosal" could be equivalent to every other word in the English language as well.

Here's my new draft proposal:


Proosal proosal.  Proosal proosal proosal proosal.  Proosal proosal proosal.

> and anyway your argument is irrelevant - 
> to be relevant, you'd need to be saying that "lead" (pron. 
> leed) the verb is synonymous with "direct" the verb, but 
> "direct" the verb is not synonymous with "lead" (pron. leed) 
> the verb. 
> Not that we're dealing with the written word, in general - 
> we're only dealing with the rules.

Yes, but the rules are communicated solely by the written word.  For words occurring in the dictionary and/or common English usage we have context to guide us toward understanding of the meaning, but for made-up words, there is no such context, and therefore no clear meaning.  

> Well, you could make an argument that they're precisely 
> equivalent in use, but one is superior in aesthetics. 

You could also argue that one is superior in meaning, in which case the point of conflict is entirely relevant.  The rules *do* care what the words mean.

Because we have a made-up word, and the rule is not clear on what it means to be the substance of the equivalence between these two words, or the manner in which one is superior to the other, any number of interpretations can apply.

This is why I was not at all fond of this "proosal" silliness in the first place.  In a game played with written English words, made-up words for concepts we've already got perfectly good real words for are the last thing we need.  


p.s.  Regarding the larger issue of the 10-point haiku bonus, I don't really care which way that slices.  I'll fix it next nweek if necessary.