29 February 2008

Never Read that Sentence Before, or, The Principle of Discreteness

I just had a test in my class, and I hope it went well. I studied, which is more than I can say for my college days...so that at least is a step up.

Here's a thought. One of the concepts I reviewed for the test was the principle of discreteness. Here it is in a nutshell:
  • In any language, there are a finite number of words and prefixes/suffixes/infixes.
  • In any language, there are a finite number of grammatical rules shaping the way those words are put together.
  • However, there is theoretically an infinite number of sentences that can be composed. (Try this sometime: read a book and highlight every sentence you think you might have read somewhere else.)

And I think the title of my most recent post counts as "a sentence I've never read before."

No comments: