## Monday, December 31, 2012

### Grammatical possibility

I asked my kids whether a circle that is square is logically possible. My seven-year-old answered in the negative. My ten-year-old said it was impossible, but it was "grammatically possible". I think that's a rather curious kind of modality!

Sam Harper said...

I told my daughter one time that there couldn't be any square circles, and she attempted to paint one to prove me wrong.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c361/wasichu/squarecircle.jpg

Dagmara Lizlovs said...

I will prove it "grammatically". The solution is quite simple, and I learned it I don't know, I think fourth grade. At that time they were introducing "modern math" to us kids so that we'd be ahead of the Russians. It was the Cold War and we were racing the Russians to the Moon back then. It was strange to think that 1+1 no longer equalled 2 but 10. Go figure. So here is the solution:

Pi "r" squared

The teacher drilled it into us that "pie are squared".

Later they decided that we couldn't read because we didn't have "funnetiks".

Skool lerned me gud.

Michael Gonzalez said...

I just ran into this post, and I have to say that is the most adorable thing I've ever heard. What an interesting and unconventional way to look at it. I think your ten-year-old is a nascent Wittgensteinean :-)