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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    13 Feb '10 19:00
    Just been introduced to two new words: homogeneous & heterogeneous.

    A homogeneous word is a word which describes itself.
    e.g. The word "short" is homogeneous because it is a short word.
    And "polysyllabic" is homogeneous because it is itself a polysyllabic word.

    A heterogeneous word is a word which does not describe itself.
    e.g. The word "long" is heterogeneous because it is not long.
    And "monosyllabic" is heterogeneous because it is not monosyllabic.

    The question dear friends is:
    Are all adjectives either homogeneous or heterogeneous?
  2. 14 Feb '10 08:59
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Just been introduced to two new words: homogeneous & heterogeneous.

    A [b]homogeneous
    word is a word which describes itself.
    e.g. The word "short" is homogeneous because it is a short word.
    And "polysyllabic" is homogeneous because it is itself a polysyllabic word.

    A heterogeneous word is a word which does not describe itself.
    e.g. T ...[text shortened]...
    The question dear friends is:
    Are all adjectives either homogeneous or heterogeneous?[/b]
    I think you are confused: the terms that you describe are 'homological' and 'heterological'.

    And no, I don't think all adjectives are necessarily one or the other. For instance, I don't find anything 'warm' or 'cold' in the adjective 'warm'.
  3. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    14 Feb '10 11:02
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    I think you are confused: the terms that you describe are 'homological' and 'heterological'.

    And no, I don't think all adjectives are necessarily one or the other. For instance, I don't find anything 'warm' or 'cold' in the adjective 'warm'.
    'cold' and 'hot' are heterogeneous (or heterological) words since they do not describe themselves.
  4. Standard member HandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
    14 Feb '10 17:37
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Just been introduced to two new words: homogeneous & heterogeneous.

    A [b]homogeneous
    word is a word which describes itself.
    e.g. The word "short" is homogeneous because it is a short word.
    And "polysyllabic" is homogeneous because it is itself a polysyllabic word.

    A heterogeneous word is a word which does not describe itself.
    e.g. T ...[text shortened]...
    The question dear friends is:
    Are all adjectives either homogeneous or heterogeneous?[/b]
    Heterogeneous (or heterological) is neither. If it does not describe itself, then
    it does describe itself. And if it does describe itself, then it does not. This is the
    Grelling-Nelson paradox. I think all other adjectives are one or the other.
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    15 Feb '10 09:19
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    Heterogeneous (or heterological) is neither. If it does not describe itself, then
    it does describe itself. And if it does describe itself, then it does not. This is the
    Grelling-Nelson paradox. I think all other adjectives are one or the other.
    Thank you.
    Didnt know the paradox had that name!
    I was thinking that logically it was the same as Russell's Paradox.
  6. 15 Feb '10 09:45
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    'cold' and 'hot' are heterogeneous (or heterological) words since they do not describe themselves.
    That means that you are interpreting it in the broad sense, which leads to a very, very asymetrical (in terms of number of items in each subset) partition of the adjectives. I was more thinking in the narrow sense: describe themselves or rather the opposite. That leads to two subsets with comparable size, i.e. more symetrical, and both small compared to the total set of adjectives.

    And of course, depending heavily on the language.
  7. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    15 Feb '10 09:48
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    That means that you are interpreting it in the broad sense, which leads to a very, very asymetrical (in terms of number of items in each subset) partition of the adjectives. I was more thinking in the narrow sense: describe themselves or rather the opposite. That leads to two subsets with comparable size, i.e. more symetrical, and both small compared to the total set of adjectives.

    And of course, depending heavily on the language.
    The examples I gave were misleading.....
  8. Standard member HandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
    16 Feb '10 00:20
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Thank you.
    Didnt know the paradox had that name!
    I was thinking that logically it was the same as Russell's Paradox.
    The Grelling-Nelson is related to Russell's paradox in that both deal with self-reference.
    If you're interested in paradoxical matters and mind-bending concepts, I think you'll
    enjoy reading Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, a classic.
  9. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    16 Feb '10 18:51
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    The Grelling-Nelson is related to Russell's paradox in that both deal with self-reference.
    If you're interested in paradoxical matters and mind-bending concepts, I think you'll
    enjoy reading Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, a classic.
    This is next on my list! I absolutely loved "I Am A Strange Loop", also by Hofstadter, which delves into the idea of the "strange loop" especially with regards to the nature of self-reference in consciousness. I can't wait to read the Pulitzer-prize winning book that started it all.

    I'm currently reading "Complexity: A Guided Tour" by Melanie Mitchell, one of Hofstadter's former grad students. The connection is purely coincidental in my case, I just thought the topic sounded fascinating. I was pleasantly surprised to see the dedication made out to Hofstadter and John Holland.
  10. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    16 Feb '10 21:36
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    The Grelling-Nelson is related to Russell's paradox in that both deal with self-reference.
    If you're interested in paradoxical matters and mind-bending concepts, I think you'll
    enjoy reading Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, a classic.
    Thanks. My Amazon order is on its way.
  11. 25 Mar '10 00:06
    Scary.

    Funny.