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Re: Preferable alternative to 'resource'

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 15:54:42 -0500
Message-Id: <p0623091ac321c6b07c06@[10.100.0.28]>
To: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Technical Architecture Group WG <www-tag@w3.org>, Susie Stephens <susie.stephens@gmail.com>

>>Tim Berners-Lee scripsit:
>>
>>>  So, Pat, what would be a better word which we should use instead?   
>>>  The class of all  ____ s?  The class of which all classes are 
>>>  subclasses is the class of ____ s?
>>
>>Subjects, in accordance with the OED's definition 13a: "That which forms,
>>or is chosen as, the matter of thought, consideration, or inquiry; a
>>topic, theme."  Using "subject" rather than "object" or "thing" allows
>>us to talk about the imaginary as well as the real.
>
>Yes, that does avoid a potential problem with 
>"thing". And its close to, but not identical to, 
>"topic". Just make sure to avoid the grammatical 
>implication, is all.
>

Though, on further reflection, this is going to 
give rise to problems as well. The OED sense 
isn't found, for example, in Wikipedia (not 
surprising if it is number 13a, now I think of 
it), though the RDF sense is (!); and the 
grammatical sense is much more common. 
Philosophers will contrast 'subject' with 
'object' and presume we are only talking about 
agents. Lawyers will presume we are referring to 
citizens as opposed to aliens. Its hard to beat 
"thing" if we also say that we allow imaginary 
and non-existent things. And its harder still to 
beat "anything".

Pat

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Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 20:55:20 UTC

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