Real languages and model planes
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 9, 1998, 15:22|
David G. Durand wrote:
> Just as we don't require a code to be
> used, to tell if it can encode the messages we intend to send, we already
> know enough to tell if a proposed system is _adequate_ to be spoken by
> human beings.
> That's exactly the question you had to answer in finalizing Lojban. You
> certainly didn't have to reach a critical mass of speakers to know that.
We finalized Lojban in order to *find out whether* it was adequate to
be spoken by human beings, because we realized that languages that
are being continually tampered with by language engineers aren't
learnable (or more accurately, not enough people will bother to
It is only in use, IMHO, that we find out whether any system of
signs is adequate to the use it is to be put to. Abstract
consideration is not enough, any more than desk-checking programs
> Well, this is nothing to do with whether it's a "plane". In this case, the
> question again becomes more of what the purpose is. The military is
> developing planes the size and shape of "model planes". Fitted with
> imaging, computer control, and radio transmission, these will serve a
> multitude of practical functions on battlefields.
> A model plane _can't_ fly. A real plane _can_ fly, even if no one ever
> flies it.
So you define. But I see things I would call "model planes" flying
all the time in the park. They are models because they are
replicas, at a smaller scales, of non-model planes.
So for me "model" and "real" are not mutually exclusive.
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan email@example.com
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
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