Saturday, December 10, 2005

... and further to that:

This sentence has threee erors.


Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Atchualy, I founda bout 20 errers innit -- but mabey thats jus me.

No, I think I no what thay are. But I wanna give othrs a chance t gess. I put my assesment inna coment to one a th posts on my own blogski. Anyone intrestd can find it by clickin here.

December 10, 2005 11:13 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Why do I get the feeling this is a set-up?

December 11, 2005 6:24 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Not at all, Jam, not at all.

Just an interesting philosophical conundrum. Polanski spotted it for what it was, and also didn't give the game away. It's related, in an oblique way, to this post, in which surprisingly few people were interested.

December 11, 2005 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Pil said...

I don't see why it's philosophical. Isn't it just a puzzle?

Or do I need to read more philosophy to understand the part puzzling plays in it...

Though it is an interesting example of the difference between literal errors and logical errors. As a graphic designer I am often dealing with large documents and I try to encourage clients to pay for a logical proofreader as well as a literal one.

They don't see the value until the lawsuit arrives!

Damn, I replied! Now I'll get endless Cowlex spam!

December 11, 2005 8:50 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

The literal, lateral and logical errors call forth a philosophical question. It's a very simple conundrum with interesting implications.

You can draw a direct line from this to the reason people still haven't cracked AI.

More after we've given people a chance to take a crack at it...

December 11, 2005 9:35 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Paraphrasing a former President: "It depends on what the meaning of the word '*' is."

Substituting [certain word from sentence] for *, of course.

December 11, 2005 9:58 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Uh oh! I think what R Jams sayin is that this got sompm t do wit sex -- in wich case my gess was CMPLETELY off th mark!

December 11, 2005 3:48 PM  
Blogger Connie Marie said...

I see two actual errors in this sentence. The statement made in the sentence "this sentence has three errors" is boogus, which could be the third error.

December 12, 2005 3:36 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Joey, that depends on what the meaning of the word 'sex'-- bah. I give up. YES, of course it has something to do with sex, but I'm not saying what or how. That's why we have imaginations.

December 12, 2005 5:34 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

OK, so how does it work? Yes, there are two typographical errors in the sentence, and the logical error is therefore that the sentence is incorrect by stating that there are only two errors, thus providing a third error.

Straightforward enough right?

But not.

The philosophical interest arises from the fact that the sentence, by being incorrect, thus satisfies the logic of the conundrum, making the assertion correct. But if the assertion is now correct, then where did the third error go?

Thus endeth today's lesson from the Book of Logic, Chapter 3, Verse 23.

I promise the next post will be less academic, and I think to many of you, a bit of a surprise.

December 12, 2005 7:23 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

And this is why I come here. Thanks be to the Holy Cow.

December 12, 2005 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Pil said...

That was my assumption too, Peter, but I realised on reflection that there is another possible answer.

If we agree the sentence has three SPELLING mistakes then it can be corrected to say "This sentence had three errors."

This is both logically and literally true.

December 12, 2005 10:20 AM  
Blogger jedimacfan said...

Unfortunately no one can be told what the Tetherd Cow is. They have to see it for themselves.

You take the blue pill, and you wake up, believing whatever it is you want to believe. But if you take the black and white pill...

December 12, 2005 10:53 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Pil: Interesting. But you have to make an assumption to do that - that the 'has' was incorrect. The other two errors are literal and obvious. The third 'existential' error is also logically obvious. Claiming the 'has' should have been 'had' is merely devious.

I'm never devious here on The Cow...

(On a philosophical note, the sentence "This sentence had three errors." existing in isolation, is logically unprovable. The only literally, logically and philosophically sound interpretation is something like "Thiss sentence has threee erors.")

December 12, 2005 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Pil said...

"Never imagine that anything exists in isolation".
Aldous Huxley

December 12, 2005 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cowman Pete-cease all this white,middle class,high brow nonsense.Show us more chicks with their TaTas out.

December 12, 2005 6:08 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Anonymous: I think the closest I've ever been to showing chicks with their Ta Ta's out on The Cow is The Bored Quantum Physicist Housewives. Maybe you're thinking of some other Cow themed site? You know, XXX Udder Orgy or sometink...

December 13, 2005 4:41 PM  

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