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tcpkac comments on Words as Hidden Inferences - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 February 2008 11:36PM

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Comment author: tcpkac 04 February 2008 09:33:07AM 0 points [-]

I suppose I should add, for those who are really stuck in maths or formal logic, that changing the definition of a symbol in a formal system is not the same thing as changing the meaning of a word in a language. In fact you can't, individually and as a decision of will, change the meaning of a word in a language. It either changes, as per my previous comment, or it doesn't.

Comment author: taryneast 08 December 2010 11:18:32PM 0 points [-]

In fact you can't, individually and as a decision of will, change the meaning of a word in a language.

New phrases are coined constantly, and people change the meanings of existing words also: 'gay' being a good example as it's changed twice in recent history. Presumably there was some person that started that particular definition-shift, does that not count as "individually as a decision of will"?

Comment author: orthonormal 07 January 2012 09:58:16PM 1 point [-]

Unless you're Dan Savage, of course.