On the math site, I wrote: "English learned in the 1950s in the corn belt is different from that spoken by a 20 year old New Yorker." My question is does this have any basis in truth? I think it does, but I am not a linguist or a mathematician, for that matter.

I have traveled in the US, Europe, South America and Asia. Where ever English is spoken it seems common to hear that the speaker uses either American English or British English. There are also often discussion about people from the North and those from the South not understanding each others speech. I grew up in Indiana in the 1940s and 50s. There are expressions used there now that I do not recognize. I know what they mean, but they were not part of the language that I learned. English sentences are translated in to logic sentences. If English and logic are consistent languages, then, in theory, there is path from the English sentence to the logic sentence. If so, then the logic sentence I write should look much like the logic sentence someone else writes. It often does not, however.

Some examples of English sentences to be translated in to logic sentences.

"To limit the loss of our company, not only the economical and statistical researches are necessary, but also a change in our spending patterns."

For all integers x, there is some integer y such that if x≠0, then xy=1.

“no two robots love exactly the same set of cats.”

"no two robots love the same cat,"

"if robot R loves cat C, and robot X is a different robot, then X does not love cat C."

I realize that these are made examples for teaching, but instead of learning how to express an English sentence using logic symbols I seem to be learning someting about how untangle convoluted or nonsensical English sentences. It is fun, but not contributing much to my understanding of propositional logic. I was, in looking for these examples, able to eliminate changes in word meaning and phrases used from my question. If two people hear the same words and understand them completely, but produce different "results", then that is another issue.

Forgive me if I have not been clear. I will gladly accept suggestions to help make my question more clear.

  • 1
    "If English and logic are consistent languages..." As you have observed, English is not a consistent language and it also continually evolves. Perhaps you could include specific examples of logic phrased in English. – Weather Vane Mar 15 '20 at 18:58
  • You ask "...does this have any basis in truth? " The answer is "It depends what you mean by "learned" - learned at school or from the family and friends? - and "different" as it depends on how different you think it is." The English of both places and times is "English". Obviously, there are words that exist now that did not then, and there are phrases that were used then that are not now. Stronger accents have tended to lessen as well. – Greybeard Mar 15 '20 at 19:20
  • @WeatherVane, Great idea. I had avoided it because I thought it could lead to too much math. I will gather some examples. – user377767 Mar 15 '20 at 20:29
  • Outside the scope of your question, but the sayings of Will Rogers provide a great contrast between English as spoken by cowboys and English as spoken in New York. Roger performed a cowboy show in New York, but it gradually morphed into a stand up comedy. – Walter Mitty Mar 15 '20 at 20:29
  • 4
    I would think even English spoken in New York in the 1950s was different to that spoken there in 2020. – nnnnnn Mar 15 '20 at 20:52

Given the history of cats and the robots who love them I think you have answered your own question. “no two robots love exactly the same set of cats.” "no two robots love the same cat,"

Since a set of one or zero cats is indeed a set then statements A and B can contribute to the syllogism you may be trying to work out.

What the comments and your question make clear is that English is a varied experience across the country, indeed across the world. When you find regional differences or oddities in expressions you should feel free to leave them out of your examples.

Logic like other areas of math are best simplified by sticking with almost childishly simple examples. This is why we go with X and Y so often. No personalities, no history, no broken hearts. Local slang would confuse the student by masking the meaning of the relationships you are trying to elucidate.

Imagine replacing love with hate in a few of your sentences. Carefully and with equivalent meanings in place. Then imagine that the reader does not know that they are opposites, or perhaps what they mean at all. This is the bind you are putting them into.

Stay with simple word choices that do not vary from country folk to city folk. Once the lessons are learned then they will be ready for the big city.

  • 1
    Worth pointing out that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. – Elliot Mar 16 '20 at 6:00
  • These are not examples I created. Instead, they are examples given to me or students to assist in learning how to translate them into sentence logic. The three lines about robots and cats generate three different sentences. – user377767 Mar 16 '20 at 11:04