[FOM] "Literal"

mario chiari.hm at flashnet.it
Mon Sep 11 18:28:29 EDT 2006


I checked the Oxford Dictionary (multiple volumes edition). 
Its `Literal` entry is itemized as follows:

A: adj.
1.a: Of or pertaining to letter of the alphabet [...]
1.b: Of a misprint [...]
1.c  Of mathematical notation and computation: Performed by means of
letters. Of a quantity, an equation, etc.: Denoted or expressed by a
letter or letters. Opposed to numerical. 
2. [...] Representing the very words of the original; verbally exact
3. Theol. [... long] 
B. sb.
1. A literal interpretation or meaning. 
2. A misprint of a letter.

If Quine was acquainted with A.1.c, maybe he thought he could offer it
as grounds for his own usage. The Ox. Dic. traces A.1.c usage back to
the late XVII century (`numerical and literal algebra`). 

my best wishes

On Sat, 2006-09-09 at 14:31 -0500, Charles Silver wrote:
> Charlie
> P.S.  It's odd, isn't it, that such a wordsmith as Quine would use  
> the term "literal".   I don't get it.
mario <chiari.hm at flashnet.it>

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