thread: 2012-11-14 : Emily on Fictional Positioning

On 2012-11-14, Vincent wrote:

Yes! One is a word written on a piece of paper that we can all look at, handle, read, erase. The other is a thing we all agreed to, even though none of us can touch or see it.

Is the difference "significant"? You'll be able to come up with any number of examples where the difference doesn't matter. That's true. I don't care about that.

The difference is simply the obvious, dumbly obvious one. One is a real word written on a real sheet of paper, the pencil marks themselves, physical, visible, persistent even if we forget about them or turn off the lights or die in a bus crash, and one isn't. Same as the difference between a die with six pips showing versus me thinking of the number six.

(No disagreements about this. Anybody who really does disagree, save it for later, or else better yet, consult a qualified professional. Don't wander into traffic thinking that the bus is imaginary, please.)


This makes VB go "I've always been boggled..." the pushback I've gotten on this point. I'm like "you know how some things are real, like a real bus, and some are imaginary, like an imaginary bus?" and they're all "nuh uh."

This makes EJS go "o_O"

This makes...
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This reminds VB of For instance.