vrugtman at INTERLYNX.NET
Thu Jul 19 00:03:27 CDT 2001
I've been enjoying the discussion about nomenclature tremendously. It brought to mind the conversation between Alice and the Gnat [Dodgson, C. L. (AKA Lewis Carrol). 1871. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There - Chapter 3: Looking-Glass Insects.]:
"But the beard seemed to melt away as she touched it, and she found herself sitting quietly under a tree -- while the Gnat (for that was the insect she had been talking to) was balancing itself on a twig just over her head, and fanning her with its wings.
It certainly was a very large Gnat: `about the size of a chicken,' Alice thought. Still, she couldn't feel nervous with it, after they had been talking together so long.
` -- then you don't like all insects?' the Gnat went on, as quietly as if nothing had happened.
`I like them when they can talk,' Alice said. `None of them ever talk, where I come from.'
`What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?' the Gnat inquired.
`I don't rejoice in insects at all,' Alice explained, `because I'm rather afraid of them -- at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them.'
`Of course they answer to their names?' the Gnat remarked carelessly.
`I never knew them do it.'
`What's the use of their having names the Gnat said, `if they won't answer to them?'
`No use to them,' said Alice; `but it's useful to the people who name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?' "
vrugtman at interlynx.net
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