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Re: Terminology (was Re: article on URIs, is this material that can be used by the)

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 10:36:17 -0400
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070628143617.GE6246@mercury.ccil.org>

Dan Connolly scripsit:

> by design, Pat Hayes refers to just one thing.

Well, no.  When I use the name "Pat Hayes", I intend to refer to what
Pat Hayes intends to refer to when he uses it, which is (presumably)
what his parents intended to refer to it when they gave him the name
using a performative of the form [indexical, sortal, name], e.g.
"We hereby name this baby 'Pat Hayes'".  (Thus Kripke.)

The existence of other Pat Hayeses doesn't upset me, though I will confess
to being mildly annoyed by the existence of a certain bluegrass performer
whose name interferes with my egogoogling.

> But by convention, we give distinct names to siblings to avoid having
> Pat Hayes refer to two different but nearby people... or we add Jr/Sr
> suffixes.

Not always:

1)	In the 19th century it was common to give a child the name of
	an older sibling who had died.

(2)	The German extended family called the House of Reuss has named
	every male child "Heinrich" since 1200.

(3)	My friend Joe Zitt (yes, really; his grandfather, who tended to
	overdo things, shortened his name from Zhitomersky on arriving
	in the United States from Russia -- by way of Vladivostok and
	San Francisco) is properly "Yosef ben Tzevi ha-Levi", the same as
	the said grandfather, and his paternal line has been alternating
	"Yosef ben Tzevi" and "Tzevi ben Yosef" for 20+ generations.

(4)	I myself am John Cowan, the son of Tom Cowan, the son of John
	Cowan.	When my uncle first saw me as a baby, he sighed and said
	"John Cowan.  Here we go again."  Fortunately my parents gave
	me my other grandfather's personal name as a middle name, leaving
	me with the probably unique full name "John Woldemar Cowan".

> What "By design a URI identifies one resource" is saying about URIs
> is that not only should you not give you and your sibling the same
> URI, you shouldn't give a city and a person the same URI the way we
> sometimes do with proper names such as Lincoln.

Indeed, surnames have four basic sources: patronymics, place names,
descriptive nicknames, and occupational names.  "Lincoln" was originally
short for "of Lincoln".

John Cowan     http://ccil.org/~cowan    cowan@ccil.org
Monday we watch-a Firefly's house, but he no come out.  He wasn't home.
Tuesday we go to the ball game, but he fool us.  He no show up.  Wednesday he
go to the ball game, and we fool him.  We no show up.  Thursday was a
double-header.  Nobody show up.  Friday it rained all day.  There was no ball
game, so we stayed home and we listened to it on-a the radio.  --Chicolini
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2007 14:37:22 UTC

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