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#1 hazelm

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 02:54 PM

I'd have put it in Lounge but didn't find an appropriate spot.  Linguistics works, too.  I was  reading Merriam-Webster's definition of "entropy" and came across this.  I got a smile out of 2.b.  Hope others do.  It's so very true.

 

broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system

2a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity Entropy is the general trend of the universe toward death and disorder.— James R. Newman

b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years.— John Simon

 



#2 inverse

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:16 PM

I know as : the degredation degree of the system or tendency to that. 

 

also,there are some formulas. 

 

and what are you asking on this issue?


Edited by inverse, 30 December 2018 - 03:16 PM.


#3 hazelm

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 03:42 PM

I know as : the degredation degree of the system or tendency to that. 

 

also,there are some formulas. 

 

and what are you asking on this issue?

Inverse,  I was not asking anything.  I was only sharing John Simon's comment about the deterioration of our grammar and spelling.  You see it everywhere - in newspapers, books, magazines,  places you'd never have seen it when publishers and writers hired proof readers.   As I said, it should have gone into Lounge but I did not see a way to put it there.  I just thought it worth sharing.  And it is linguistics.


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#4 inverse

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 11:18 PM

Presumably you have implied that This was foreign word-borrowed from another language. -lf yes, then i think that it would be unavoidable, it is almost always occuring, you cannot stop it.

Furthermore one of my professor had said that this Word also meant ambiguity.two or more different meaning (but there might be relation between them)

Edited by inverse, 30 December 2018 - 11:21 PM.


#5 exchemist

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 06:54 AM

 

I'd have put it in Lounge but didn't find an appropriate spot.  Linguistics works, too.  I was  reading Merriam-Webster's definition of "entropy" and came across this.  I got a smile out of 2.b.  Hope others do.  It's so very true.

 

broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system

2a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity Entropy is the general trend of the universe toward death and disorder.— James R. Newman

b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years.— John Simon

 

What I find interesting about this is that it seems dictionaries are now including non-physical meanings of entropy, in addition to the original thermodynamic meaning given to it by Clausius, who invented the term.

 

This, I find, is a double edged sword. On the one hand, there is no denying that it is useful to have a term for the concept of things tending to get more disorganised with time. On the other hand, entropy has a precise meaning in physics, and it is sad to see this meaning warped and misunderstood.   



#6 A-wal

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 07:06 AM

What I find interesting about this is that it seems dictionaries are now including non-physical meanings of entropy, in addition to the original thermodynamic meaning given to it by Clausius, who invented the term.

 

This, I find, is a double edged sword. On the one hand, there is no denying that it is useful to have a term for the concept of things tending to get more disorganised with time. On the other hand, entropy has a precise meaning in physics, and it is sad to see this meaning warped and misunderstood.   

Well it makes a change from it being the other way round, science hijacking common terms to define very specific scientific processes and concepts.



#7 hazelm

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:07 AM

What I find interesting about this is that it seems dictionaries are now including non-physical meanings of entropy, in addition to the original thermodynamic meaning given to it by Clausius, who invented the term.

 

This, I find, is a double edged sword. On the one hand, there is no denying that it is useful to have a term for the concept of things tending to get more disorganised with time. On the other hand, entropy has a precise meaning in physics, and it is sad to see this meaning warped and misunderstood.   

Dictionaries are doing a lot of that - going along with what words have become in usage.  Sometimes that works; sometimes not.  And it hits all levels.   They used to identify how these words are being used. You are referring to a specific formal use for a specific formal purpose.  And I'm thinking of the more common words.  They used to mark  how words are used: slang as slang, vulgar as vulgar, informal as informal.  Oh, I don't know.  I guess what I'm saying is the publishers of dictionaries are not holding up standards as they used to do.  They are following the crowd.  If you ask them about it, they say their job is not to teach grammar.  Maybe that is true but wouldn't publishers have an easier time of it if they could use the dictionary as a standard?

 

Two examples that have become almost boring to think about:  We never were allowed to call children "kids".  Kids were baby goats.  The older dictionaries called it slang when used for children.  Now it is simply "informal".  And calling policemen "cops" was considered an insult.  That could really get you into trouble.   I mention those two because a friend and I were talking about it last night. We remember how we were corrected.  The time was you would never have found either in New York Times.  Now?

 

But, yes.  That is what sent me searching for a definition of entropy -- again.  I like how Oxford Dictionary does it - sorts words into categories such as how they are used in physics, biology, etc.  Entropy gets two categories:  physics and logarithmic measure.  You know specifically where and how to use it.   Of course, my Oxford dictionary is old.  Maybe it has also changed.  I hope not.

 

Sorry if I carried your comment a bit off-stream.  I'm just saying the practice is noticeable at all linguistic levels.  And now, as John Simon says, we don't even try to spell it right, let alone use it right.  We have grown terribly careless since they did away with the proof readers.  With old typewriters, it was a chore to change an incorrect word.  Now, with computers, you just highlight, delete and retype correctly.  But we don't have time to do that.  I and a friend got a smile out of John Simon's comment because we talk of this very thing often.


Edited by hazelm, 31 December 2018 - 09:16 AM.


#8 exchemist

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:45 AM

Dictionaries are doing a lot of that - going along with what words have become in usage.  Sometimes that works; sometimes not.  And it hits all levels.   They used to identify how these words are being used. You are referring to a specific formal use for a specific formal purpose.  And I'm thinking of the more common words.  They used to mark  how words are used: slang as slang, vulgar as vulgar, informal as informal.  Oh, I don't know.  I guess what I'm saying is the publishers of dictionaries are not holding up standards as they used to do.  They are following the crowd.  If you ask them about it, they say their job is not to teach grammar.  Maybe that is true but wouldn't publishers have an easier time of it if they could use the dictionary as a standard?

 

Two examples that have become almost boring to think about:  We never were allowed to call children "kids".  Kids were baby goats.  The older dictionaries called it slang when used for children.  Now it is simply "informal".  And calling policemen "cops" was considered an insult.  That could really get you into trouble.   I mention those two because a friend and I were talking about it last night. We remember how we were corrected.  The time was you would never have found either in New York Times.  Now?

 

But, yes.  That is what sent me searching for a definition of entropy -- again.  I like how Oxford Dictionary does it - sorts words into categories such as how they are used in physics, biology, etc.  Entropy gets two categories:  physics and logarithmic measure.  You know specifically where and how to use it.   Of course, my Oxford dictionary is old.  Maybe it has also changed.  I hope not.

 

Sorry if I carried your comment a bit off-stream.  I'm just saying the practice is noticeable at all linguistic levels.  And now, as John Simon says, we don't even try to spell it right, let alone use it right.  We have grown terribly careless since they did away with the proof readers.  With old typewriters, it was a chore to change an incorrect word.  Now, with computers, you just highlight, delete and retype correctly.  But we don't have time to do that.  I and a friend got a smile out of John Simon's comment because we talk of this very thing often.

Well yes and no. Of course you are right that the meanings and usage of words change with time and it is the job of dictionaries to reflect that process.

 

My quibble in this specific case is that entropy (S) is a term coined by a physicist (Clausius)  for a specific use in physics, defined by dS=dQ/T, expressing the degree of unavailability of heat energy (Q) to do mechanical work, depending on its temperature (T). It was then given a statistical interpretation by Boltzmann (S = k ln W), which respected Clausius's definition, but which gave rise to the idea of entropy as a measure of disorder - which apparently appeals to people so much that they have picked up the term and applied it indiscriminately.

 

So that now - from your example - someone can blame any old perceived decline in anything, even in standards in language, as something to do with "entropy"! 

 

Poor Boltzmann. 

 

 

Zentralfriedhof_Vienna_-_Boltzmann.JPG



#9 hazelm

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:13 AM

Well yes and no. Of course you are right that the meanings and usage of words change with time and it is the job of dictionaries to reflect that process.

 

My quibble in this specific case is that entropy (S) is a term coined by a physicist (Clausius)  for a specific use in physics, defined by dS=dQ/T, expressing the degree of unavailability of heat energy (Q) to do mechanical work, depending on its temperature (T). It was then given a statistical interpretation by Boltzmann (S = k ln W), which respected Clausius's definition, but which gave rise to the idea of entropy as a measure of disorder - which apparently appeals to people so much that they have picked up the term and applied it indiscriminately.

 

So that now - from your example - someone can blame any old perceived decline in anything, even in standards in language, as something to do with "entropy"! 

 

Poor Boltzmann. 

 

 

Zentralfriedhof_Vienna_-_Boltzmann.JPG

Hmmm?  I hadn't thought of that.  ""So that now - from your example - someone can blame any old perceived decline in anything, even in standards in language, as something to do with "entropy"!>>    Completely out of its intended context.   Now I understand more of what John Simon was saying. 

 

2a - James Newman's statement - has my attention, too.  Is this ever-increasing entropy not able to revert and let order back in?  We can put order back in our lives, back in our households, back in something we tried that failed.   If we can revert disorder back to order -----.  But those are small matters compared to a universe with ever-increasing disorder.  We do not control that.  So, with entropy,  what is being disrupted?  Order of what?  That might explain why it does not revert to order.

 

I know where to look for this.  I just have not had time yet. 


Edited by hazelm, 31 December 2018 - 11:16 AM.


#10 exchemist

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:26 AM

Hmmm?  I hadn't thought of that.  ""So that now - from your example - someone can blame any old perceived decline in anything, even in standards in language, as something to do with "entropy"!>>    Completely out of its intended content.   Now I understand more of what John Simon was saying. 

 

2a - James Newman's statement - had my attention.  Is this ever-increasing entropy not able to reverse and let order back in?  We can put order back in our lives, back in our households, back in something we tried that failed.   If we can revert disorder back to order -----.  But those are small matters compared to a universe with ever-increasing disorder.  We do not control that.  So, with entropy,  what is being disrupted?  Order of what? 

 

I know where to look for this.  I just have not had time yet. 

Oh yes we can all generate order, as can nature. But this always involves increasing disorder, to an equal or greater extent, somewhere else.

 

The metabolism of any creature is increasing the entropy of its surroundings all the time, via production of waste heat and metabolic products.

 

And when water freezes, its order increases (solid crystals are made of orderly arrangements of molecules), so its entropy decreases. But the Latent Heat of Fusion that is released into the environment, when water freezes, increases the entropy of the surroundings.  So overall there is either no net change in entropy or an entropy increase. There is no process in nature that can lead to an overall entropy decrease. 

 

When my son was small, he had a set of wooden bricks with letters and simple mathematical symbols on the faces. I did once arrange some of them to read  S=k ln W and I have a photo of it somewhere - as a metaphor for the chaos that a tiny child brings to a household.

 

(Boltzmann is something of a hero to me. I think statistical thermodynamics is one of the most brilliant and satisfying theories in physical science. Poor chap suffered from depression and committed suicide. So it's good they put his famous formula on his tomb.)   


Edited by exchemist, 31 December 2018 - 11:26 AM.


#11 hazelm

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:46 AM

I am over-simplifying what I do not understand.  So, I'll just take your word for it.  Maybe aging of us and anything else is a good illustration of entropy.  Something that cannot be avoided or turned around.  OK?



#12 pascal

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 07:21 PM

I've studied 'sound symbolism' (really a kind of iconicity- symbols are largely arbitrary in their form/meaning relationship) for nearly 40 years. In this phenomenon (which is rather weak in English) individual phonemes and their distinctive features have specifiable meaning ranges. Some languages are relatively rich in this type of thing. Santali, a tribal language from Northeastern India descended from languages in SEAsia (as Khmer) is one of the rich ones, and I've been looking at this for some time. There are many thousands of iconically transparent words. Where the word shape is CV©CV-ng (reduplicated) the final -ng appears to MEAN entropy increase. Final -m in the same context, on the other hand, connotes the reverse, increasing ORDER.

 

This is the first time I've found such a specifically physics-related meaning like this.

 

Jess Tauber



#13 fahrquad

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 06:22 AM

 

I'd have put it in Lounge but didn't find an appropriate spot.  Linguistics works, too.  I was  reading Merriam-Webster's definition of "entropy" and came across this.  I got a smile out of 2.b.  Hope others do.  It's so very true.

 

broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system

2a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity Entropy is the general trend of the universe toward death and disorder.— James R. Newman

b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years.— John Simon

 

 

I would comment on the topic but I find I no longer have the energy.   :yawn: