User talk:Grifftron3000

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Your edits[edit]

Your edits aimed at the simplification of the text by removing unnecessary words are highly appreciated. However I strongly recommend you to edit only topics which are familiar to you. Otherwise in some cases your edits are erroneous and I had to revert them. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:43, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

"Variation implies otherness and vice versa"[edit]

Diff Actually, variation implies differences, and otherness implies multiplicity. The use of "various other" is not always as redundant as you may think. Just plain Bill (talk) 14:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, could you please use the term "various other" in a sentence in which one or the other by itself does not mean the same thing? If variation implies difference then I do not see how otherness does not follow that. In what situation can the same thing be different from itself? Granted, there are more appropriate times to use "other" or "various", you do not gain any clarity by the use of both consecutively. Here is an example from wikipedia: "This is in addition to various other reforestation projects that have been ongoing since the 1990s." Now compare that to "This is in addition to various reforestation projects that have been ongoing since the 1990s." (many reforestation projects exist, including the one in question. They are each different, otherwise why try to distinguish them at all?) And "This is in addition to other reforestation projects that have been ongoing since the 1990s. (again, we are talking about projects that are distinguished from the original. In this case, variation is implied by the plural form of "project". If they were not different, then they would all be the same project and the plural form would be incorrect. Grifftron3000 (talk) 16:00, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I have moved your reply from my talk page, so the discussion can happen in one place. I have this talk page on my watchlist, and will notice when you reply. Regarding your question, here is an example:
"The American Psychological Association style caters to linguistics, psychology, and various other social sciences."
Here the idiom "various other" denotes some, but possibly not all, other social sciences. Using "and various social sciences" fails to acknowledge the antecedent mention of linguistics and psychology, and could be read as implying that they are not social sciences. Using "and other social sciences" implies that the APA style applies to all social sciences, which may or may not be the case. Just plain Bill (talk) 17:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for cleaning up the chat! I see your point about "various", though it seems a slight stretch. But, in the last example you gave, "other" does not imply all. It only implies that there exist social sciences beyond linguistics and psychology to which the APA style also applies. If we used "all" instead of "other", then I believe you would be correct. I am still unconvinced that putting "various" in front of "other" is necessary or purposeful. Also thanks for discussing this with me! Grifftron3000 (talk) 18:25, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I second Just plain Bill and want to reiterate my remark: DO NOT EDIT SUBJECTS YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH. If you don't know what is spoken about, you cannot decide correctly which word is redundant, if any. For exapmle, in the case Genshiken you chose incorrect word. When I reverted you, you chose another word. If you don't see the difference between the three variants, you better stay away from doing this kind of massive changes. Several different people disagreed with your edits, so you better stop, read some grammar books and think for a while. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:08, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Staszek Lem, First off the subject that I am familiar with is the English language. There is no reason I need to have read Genshiken to choose the correct word. Both forms I chose are completely correct. Secondly, you're getting belligerent. Chill out. Judging from the various typos in your response, you could read some grammar books yourself, or perhaps begin your masters in English. Then you might understand how silly "various other" sounds. I am merely improving the copy on the site, not changing any information. Again, please calm down. This isn't a battleground. Grifftron3000 (talk) 18:25, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
In Mathematics of general relativity your edit actually produced a false statement. If you don't understand that, for the third time: don't edit subjects you don't undertstand. (See, I toned down a notch. :-) As for "silly sounds", it certainly better than your edit which produced a false statement. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

What was the false statement? And please demonstrate how it differed from the original. Grifftron3000 (talk) 19:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

The false statement is the one you created. If you don't see it is false, you probably don't be editing this article. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
You have to clearly understand when the words "various" and "other" are just filler words and where the exact meaning of "various" or "other" or both are required. Heck, sometimes you can do without both! But to make a correct judgement, knowledge of English is not always nough. (if it were so, we would not need lawyers:-) Staszek Lem (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Okay. So what was the statement? A quote? And please demonstrate its falseness. Grifftron3000 (talk) 19:23, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I am ready to explain you each case, if you are ready to listen. But a simpler exercise for you first: in editing Uncaria tomentosa, you deleted the word "other". I reverted you. Then you deleted "various" and I this time I did not. You don't need a knowledge of flora to find out why the first version is incorrectly constructed. Hint: the sentence "Uncaria tomentosa (popularly known in English as cat's claw, although that name is used for various plants" - would have been OK . (your version was: Uncaria tomentosa (popularly known in English as cat's claw, although that name is also used for various plants ) Staszek Lem (talk) 19:30, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
The sentence "Other examples of invariants in relativity include the electromagnetic invariants, and various other curvature invariants" is false because the full correct sentence is "Other examples of invariants in relativity include the electromagnetic invariants, and other but not all curvature invariants", simply because there are curvature invariants that have no relation to relativity. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:39, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

In your first example neither sentence was incorrect. The only difference was that the second sentence used the word "also" which you could delete or not. I do agree that if you want to keep "also", then "other" is better suited. In your second example, in no way does "other" imply "all". The reader already knows we are talking about relativity. In fact, why not simply "Other examples of invariants in relativity include the electromagnetic invariants and curvature invariants"?

Actually I did not say it was "incorrect"; I wrote "incorrectly constructed". I am glad you agree about "better suited" I hope if you think a little longer why it is better suited, you will understand what exactly is wrong with the first version. In the second example, on the contrary, in no way "other" does not imply "all". Again, please don't rephrase what you don't understand in full. No, I will not going to explain why your another attempt is even worse. Face it: you don't know the subject so back off. Of course, more permutations of English language may finally produce the correct result, but that would be a million monkeys method of editing wikipedia. If I seem aggressive, it is that because I've had my fair share of struggle with technical writers who genuinely wanted to "improve" technical user guides and utterly failed to understand why my broken English was preferable to their meaningless texts in perfect English. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I further want to stress that my lack of understanding or my command of a subject does not relate at all to my ability to diagram a sentence. Grifftron3000 (talk) 19:58, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

One thing to diagram, other is to modify while preserving meaning. Let me remind you that natural languages are ambiguous and redundant by their nature. And both reduindancy and ambiguity are for reason. Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are a necessity. In order to preserve the meaning you simply have to know the context. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

P.S. Please notice that the issue is irrelevant to English language per se. The same issues are applicable, e.g., for Polish equivalent "różne inne". Staszek Lem (talk) 21:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Summarizing:

  • The word "other" means "other than mentioned"
    • "Staszek Lem and other wikipedians are smart" is not the same as "Staszek Lem and wikipedians are smart", with the latter having a gist that Staszek is not really a true wikipedian.
  • The word "other" does not tell you whether it is "all other" or "some other" or "many other" or "other, but basically of the same kind, so it does not really matter, seen one, seen them all". Therefore "other" often comes with various clarifications. The word "various" is one of them. Other ones include "numerous", "multiple", "precious few" and various other :-).
  • Sometimes they are used by rote, but sometimes they carry a distinctive meaning. And you must have a clear understanding of the subject to tell eloquence from verbosity from pain-in-the-ass precision.

There are some other subtleties, but leave them to poets :-) Staszek Lem (talk) 21:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

That last comment summarizes it pretty well, in my opinion. To be clearer, I should have said "Using 'and other social sciences' implies could be read to imply that the APA style applies to all social sciences..."
Grifftron, I don't know where you got the idea that "various other" is always wrong, when in fact it can sometimes be a bit clearer than either word used alone. Redundancy (in the strict sense found in Shannon's information theory) is an essential part of keeping communication as error-free as any given application requires. In technical writing, well-chosen redundancy (in a looser sense) is still useful, since the audience cannot be assumed to linger over every word of the writer's deathless prose. Many of them will skim it and move on with their busy day. Hence my comment, "redundancy is no crime." Just plain Bill (talk) 21:57, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I cannot have a conversation with someone who thinks ambiguity and redundancy have a place in an encyclopedia. The issue is relevant to the English language as we are editing the ENGLISH VERSION of Wikipedia. Staszek, you clearly do not speak English as a first language, so back off. Bill, the issue isn't that it is incorrect, just that it is unneeded, and I was cleaning up the pages. I do not know where you got the idea that "various" does not include otherness and that somehow clarity is gained by this useless construction. Repetition and rephrasing of an idea could be useful, but there is never a reason to have various other multiple different words in one sentence that convey the same exact meaning. My removal of one word or the other has confused no one but the two of you. Keep your pages how you like, I'm moving on to clean up the writing on the rest of Wikipedia. Grifftron3000 (talk) 05:02, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Please don't edit comments of other people. Second, I think I explained, this issue has nothing to do with English language. Exactly same issue is valid in Polish as well. "Various" does include "otherness", but, as was explained to you, this "inclusion" is the same as the concept of "obese" includes the concept of "animal". "Various other" is not the same as "other" just like "obese man" is not the same as "man". You say it is unneeded, we say it is needed. And yes, it may be incorrect. I even gave you detailed explanation why your edit created a false statement. Your dodging a logical discussion and repeating "redundant, redundant" will not make you right. Please notice that in about 40% of your edits I did not revert you because these were indeed cases of redundancy. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:25, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

But your comments were rife with errors. As I have already explained... as an English language version of this encyclopedia, the English language has everything to do with it. You have given no explanations of anything. Your "comparison" of "obese" and "animal" does not make sense. Please stop telling people how to write in English when you clearly are not comfortable with the language. Grifftron3000 (talk) 20:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Grifftron3000, you are invited to the Teahouse![edit]

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