[SciPy-User] Matlab trademark - was: Re: SciPy-User Digest, Vol 82, Issue 49

David Goldsmith d.l.goldsmith@gmail....
Sat Jun 19 16:58:45 CDT 2010


On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:12 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs@pobox.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM, David Goldsmith
> <d.l.goldsmith@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 6:18 AM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >> I guess that you mean that putting (R) next to MATLAB in every use
> >> will make the Mathworks feel better and therefore less likely to sue,
> >> but it seems vanishingly unlikely
> >
> > I think you mean vanishingly likely (vanishingly unlikely would mean
> > approaching certainty).
>
> "Vanishingly unlikely" is a conventional expression (you can google it
> to see lots of uses), and it means "so unlikely that the possibility
> of it happening vanishes"; pretty standard in my dialect. OTOH, I
> wouldn't understand "vanishingly likely" if I heard it.
>
> (Linguists use SciPy too ;-))
>

I wouldn't have thunk it a linguistic issue, but a logic one.  Vanishingly
likely produces google hits also, but "vanishingly likely" (in quotes)
produces O(10^2) fewer hits than "vanishingly unlikely" (in quotes) so I
guess, given predominant usage (for language is determined democratically,
not logically), you win.  Sorry for the noise.

DG

>
> -- Nathaniel
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-- 
Mathematician: noun, someone who disavows certainty when their uncertainty
set is non-empty, even if that set has measure zero.

Hope: noun, that delusive spirit which escaped Pandora's jar and, with her
lies, prevents mankind from committing a general suicide.  (As interpreted
by Robert Graves)
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