Monthly Archives: November 2014

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Use/Mention Distinction

excerpted from Norman Swartz (1997), “Definitions, Dictionaries, and Meanings.”[oohcol] 1. Science begins with curiosity. 2. Science begins with the nineteenth letter of the English alphabet. Sentence 1 is perfectly sensible (even if what it expresses may be false). But sentence 2 above is a piece of literal nonsense. It is not science itself which begins with a letter; rather it is the word, “science”, that begins with a letter. Sentence 2 should be repaired to read: 1‘. “Science” begins with the nineteenth letter of the English alphabet. To talk (in English) about science (as in sentence 1 above), we use […]