Re: The naive test for equality

From: mAsterdam <>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 20:14:27 +0200
Message-ID: <42fb956c$0$11064$>

Gene Wirchenko wrote:
> dawn wrote:
> [snip]

>>>>...two departments use the very
>>>>same term and might even both have external reasons to use
>>>>the very same term, and they use it with just slightly
>>>>different meanings.
>>... it also happens frequently where such a term is
>>used the same when the analysis is done, but something changes
>>(government regulation or something more subtle) that changes the
>>meaning slightly for one group and not another, so that these
>>differences creep in.

> In British Columbia (and presumably Canada since I have seen
> federal use of this meaning), you can be a full-time student by taking
> three three-credit courses in a semester. The usual full course load
> is five. This is not the commonsense definition, but it is the
> definition used.

Used by all? Or only by non-commonsensical people? I'm overstating here surely, but I want to point out that is definition is for a purpose.
People/business/departments who support this purpose will tend to use it - and check some register or student card to verify wether somebody who claims to be a student actually is. Others will simple ask: are you a student? (e.g. for downloading some software) and accept the
answer as truth.

>>There are always differences of opinion about what constitutes a
>>student on a campus.  Finance people often use the term as if the
>>student were the same as a corporate customer.  Student = Customer.  If
>>someone has received some approval to audit a course for zero dollars,
>>the instructor might consider them a student.  That is just an example,
>>but the point is that entity names are also just words and are
>>interpreted by humans, each of whom brings a different context to the
>>meaning of the word.

> Such a student is a student by the normal use of the term.
> I think this factor is what causes a lot of the trouble.

Could you elaborate some on this factor?

> At my alma mater, there are three major classifications: student,
> faculty, and staff. They are not mutually exclusive. I have known of
> faculty who were students and staff who were faculty. There is
> nothing stopping a staff member from taking a course (making him also
> a student) or for someone to be in all three categories at the same
> time.

Let's not draw subtyping into it at this point. (Other thread welcome :-) Received on Thu Aug 11 2005 - 20:14:27 CEST

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