repeat it again

I was so going to go back to doing work, but I saw today’s XKCD and I fell for it hook, line, sinker, anchor. Just to bring you up to speed, here it is:

Naturally, jh goes to google/wiki Tautology, which in summary means “an unnecessary or unessential (and sometimes unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice”.

But, the shocker comes when I saw this:

“Tautology and pleonasm are not the same thing. Pleonasm is the use of an unnecessary word that is implicit in the word it describes: A round circle. A big giant. Tautology is a repetition of the same idea in different words: A huge great big man. Say it over again once more. (Say it over. Say it again. Say it once more.) The crucial difference is that “Repeat it again” is a pleonasm, because again is inherent to “repeat”. Repeat and again do not simply mean the same thing, which means that this is not a tautological repetition of the same thing in a different word – just as tuna and fish are not the same thing.[1]”

And in further eyeopeningness:

Falsifiability or refutability is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. That something is “falsifiable” does not mean it is false; rather, that if it is false, then this can be shown by observation or experiment. The term “testability” is related but more specific; it means that an assertion can be falsified through experimentation alone.

For example, “all men are mortal” is unfalsifiable, since no finite amount of observation could ever demonstrate its falsehood: that one or more men can live forever. “All men are immortal,” by contrast, is falsifiable, by the presentation of just one dead man. Not all statements that are falsifiable in principle are falsifiable in practice. For example, “it will be raining here in one million years” is theoretically falsifiable, but not practically so.

Ok I should be going back to other things. Now you know how to admonish others.

repeat it again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *