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Re: fuzzy questions

On Sun, 26 Nov 1995, Jorge Llambias wrote:

> How can I know what 0.6-tallish means? I've no idea whether that means
> that you are taller or shorter than me. What if you say "I'm 0.6-tallish,
> how about you?" There is no way that I can respond truthfully with
> a number, since I would be commiting myself to being taller or shorter
> than you, but I have no way of knowing how 0.6-tallish translates to
> meters, and if you tell me the equivalence between tallishness and meters
> then tallishness ceases to be a subjective word and becomes a measure
> word.

Forgive me for quoting this, but it bears repeating.  It summarizes quite
nicely the problem with these sorts of constructions.

Peter Schuerman                                    plschuerman@ucdavis.edu
                        Co-editor, SPECTRA Online
          for back issues: http://www.well.com/user/phandaal/