Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Three parses

People sometimes complain about the length of this blog's title--although others like it as a quotation. Many do not realize that it is crafted to be "tribiguous," i.e., to have three distinct parses. I like it because I believe all three to be true, though diferent. Here are three related sentences to help you see the three parses:
  1. When we start something, we always hope that it will be simpler than it turns out to be.
  2. We hope that each thing will eventually become simpler than it is now.
  3. The only thing that is perfectly simple is "nothing."
Compare the third sentence to the Dictionary of Philosophy entry that begins
Nobody is very comfortable with the concept of Nothing. But of course He would be.
and to Lewis Carroll's
"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.

"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance, too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!"



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