Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quotation Phase Space

There is a phase space of excellent quotations.

As the human race progresses human thought will expand through this phase space.

One day in the dim and distant future every thought that can be expressed will be expressed beautifully.

However as things are today this cannot be so.

So I have to add a lenthy addendum; what applies to programming languages also applies, in a slightly altered form, to natural language.

Natural language and expression can either be practical (easy to create and understand, efficient, complete) or beautiful (witty, concise, pleasing to read and hear).

Sometimes it is both.

The quality of being concise in natural languages can be both practical and beautiful. It depends on the user. Sometimes superfluous words aid understanding to someone who is new to the idea, but cause irritation to someone familiar with the idea.

On the other hand in some situations it is important that meaning be transferred as quickly and accurately as possible.

As such safety instructions are rarely written in iambic pentameter.

"Behind the line of white could patrons please remain."


"Beware the dog that lives within."

Perhaps one day we will learnt he basic principles behind the creation of natural language, and perhaps then we will be able to "create" one that works really well.

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