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[OT] Lexicography [Was] Re: Upgrading from Etch to Lenny

On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 23:16:05 -0500
"Russell L. Harris" <rlharris@oplink.net> wrote:

> * Mike McCarty <Mike.McCarty@sbcglobal.net> [070920 22:21]:
> > Russell L. Harris wrote:
> >> * Douglas A. Tutty <dtutty@porchlight.ca> [070920 21:10]:
> >>> On Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 04:28:09PM -0400, Gregory O'Neal wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>  I am new to linux.  I have been running Etch for a month or so now on
> >>>> my Gateway Desktop.  I am considering moving up to testing.  This brings
> >>>> up the question of what is the proper way to accomplish the upgrade? 
> >>>
> >>> May I humbly suggest that you may not have had time to learn
> >>> enough about linux or Debian to run testing?  It is, after all,
> >>> _testing_.
> >> Humbug!  Your comment may be applicable to "unstable", but not to
> >> "testing".  I ran "unstable" for about two years, and I experienced
> >> very few difficulties.
> >
> > "Humbug" is a very strong word. It indicates intentional fraudulent
> > claims. Perhaps you'd like to moderate your statement?
> >
> > Mike
> Lighten up, Mike!  You are reading into my reply a connotation which I
> did not intend and which is not supported by the context.
> The meaning of a word is determined by the context in which the word
> is used.  The lexicon or dictionary is merely a compilation of
> meanings which commonly are given to various words.  The business of
> the lexicographer is to search out and catalogue the meanings which a
> word has been given in various contexts.

Ah, the Humpty Dumpty lexicographical stance!

>From 'Through the Looking Glass', Chapter VI:

`And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I
tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it
means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many
different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's



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