Does the following question make
sense: Is an a fortiori ceteris paribus a reductio ad
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
In Latin:(i) a
fortiori means "even more so,"(ii) ceteris
paribus means "other things being equal," and(iii)
reductio ad absurdum means "reduction to absurdity."
Thus the question in question
translates to: Is an even more so other things being equal a
reduction to absurdity?
such, this is meaningless. However, if you add quotes, it becomes
answerable: Is an "a fortiori ceteris paribus" a reductio ad
With this phrasing, the question's
question becomes answerable: the answer is no, because the term a
fortiori ceteris paribus does not denote a type of reductio ad
If you disagree, send me your
Actually, I read it with commas.
an a fortiori, ceteris paribus, a reductio ad absurdum?
Well, all things being equal, then A must equal B. Which means an a
fortiori MUST BE a reductio ad absurdum or else all things are not equal.
This, of course, is absurd. So if this one Moot example
is absurd, then a priori all of Moot must be absurd.
this is NOT ceteris paribus, for we all know that in the realm of word games,
Moot has no equal.
dolgin9 at &9telus.net
It could be argued that the question doesn't make any sense because
it is both English and Latin, with no distinction.
Latin phrases should also be italicized, and a comma should separate the first
Is an a fortiori, ceteris paribus
a reductio ad absurdium?
even more so, other things being equal a reduction to
mlichty at & porchlight.ca
In fact, the question does make sense, since I did
understand it to mean
"Is Blah-blah a Blah-blah?"
However, it does not conform to English writing
"style," which dictates that words, used as words, be italicized or surrounded
by quotation marks.
That is an altogether different
matter, though; this stylistic covention has nothing to do with sensibility, or
even grammar, for that matter.
[Mootguy: Quoting text is more than just stylistic convention:
it is a semantic convention that tells you how to interpret the enclosed text
(e.g., that it is dialogue). Thus, it is just as meaningful as putting an "s"
on the end of a word to convey plurality.]
jacko0 at &0lycos.com
Regarding your feedback to my feedback:
wrote that "Quoting text is more than just stylistic convention: it is a
semantic convention that tells you how to interpret the enclosed text."
1) I already know how to interpret the text without the
quotes because there is an indefinite article (a/an) to tell me that what
follows acts as a noun phrase.
2) Furthermore, if you
argue that it is a necessary semantic convention, then we would insert quotes
in spoken language as well as in written language.
obviously don't, and this is a proof that this convention is more stylistic
than substantive. (By the way, the plural "s," by way of contrast, is a feature
of both the written and the spoken language.))
jacko0 at &0lycos.com
The answer offered as proof the fact that the question Is an
a fortiori ceteris paribus a reductio ad absurdum? does not seem to
stand up to logical scrutiny.
The proof states that even
when the sentence is properly punctuated, it would not make sense, as an "a
fortiori ceteris paribus" is not a "reductio ad absurdum."
However, as a question, "Is an 'a fortiori ceteris paribus' a
'reductio ad absurdum?'" the sentence makes sense.
answer to this question would be no, a "a fortiori ceteris paribus" is not a
"reductio ad absurdum".
However, as to the question
asked, vis: "Does this following quoted question make sense?" we can answer
that, allowing for proper punctuation, and read as a question and not a
statement, the answer is "Yes, the question does make sense, although the
answer to it would be no."
The proof, as we read it,
says that, as the answer to the quoted question is no, it does not make sense
as a question: this clearly is not correct, as it does not answer the question
[Mootguy: My claim is
that when the question in the question is properly punctuated, it does become
meaningful. Prior to this revising, it is meaningless.]
Tom.D0 at &0keslivinghistory.org.uk
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