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"there is no way to indicate going from one point to the other while leaving the direction ambiguous"

I thought about this for a moment, and was wondering whether any of the following could work:

"go from A towards B" (some ambiguity remains)
"go from A straight to B" (little or no ambiguity?)
"go east from A to B"

?

by Alex in Toulouse on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 05:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No you don't get it. Migeru looks for a form in which it is not defined whether you go from A to B or vice versa, only that you travel between these two endpoints.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 08:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh damn you're right, I misread Migeru's "ambiguous" for "unambiguous" (I have no idea why).
by Alex in Toulouse on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 08:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I suppose you could only come close to finding a solution to Migeru's dilemna by using a area or a path rather than two points. Because by using two points you define a direction, even unwillingly, since the 1st point you write will be assumed to be the starting one for your direction.

With paths it's easier ... "he travelled on the road between A and B" ... though using sequential letters may through you off here (try instead: "he travelled on the road between Paris and Berlin for months")

With surfaces even easier ... "he travelled in Germany" (which to the alert reader is the zone that lies roughly between A and B)

by Alex in Toulouse on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 08:17:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean "may throw you off"
by Alex in Toulouse on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 08:18:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, in German rail magazines, if they only say a pictured train runs between say Berlin and Hamburg, I find direction is often not what you'd assume from the word order.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 08:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which I suppose means I was right in assuming there was something about german grammar inplicit in PeWi's comment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 2nd, 2006 at 05:09:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my native, english speaking wife, was laughing her head of, when I told her about this problem - so yes, German Grammar overload...
by PeWi on Sun Apr 2nd, 2006 at 10:28:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting side issue to this.

They did some research in Franken and asked people about the direction to the next village and found correlation between the relative age of the villages and the prepositions used to describe the way. So "over there, " the other village was younger, and "back there" the village was older.
Funny eh.

by PeWi on Sun Apr 2nd, 2006 at 10:32:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 2nd, 2006 at 03:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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