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'is' vs. 'refers to'

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posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 07:01 PM
Hi, everybody, this is a very un-important question, really, but I wonder about it now and then, and so want to ask about it, finally. It's about the first sentence in articles, where two types of sentences seem to be used. The one type seems obvious to me, but the other I want to ask if I'm mistaken in thinking isn't really that proper in an encyclopedia article. Examples: 1) "Red is a color." 2) "Red refers to a color." To explain what I'm thinking of, in my opinion the first example shows that this will be an article about the color red, whereas the other example indicates that this will be an article about the word "red".

How's that sound to you? When I think about this (that is, when I see the second type of introduction in an article), my immediate impression is that, "This isn't a dictionary that talks about words, but is an encyclopedia that talks about issues/objects/phenomena/and so on." I do know that it's fairly common lots of places to use the "type two" introduction (for example in Wikipedia).

Just wanted to mention this. Any input will be most appreciated.

relentlessly denying ignorance....

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:40 AM
I see what you mean. When you say "refers to", it creates more of a distinction between the word and the definition. Do you have any specific examples of this where it's being used this way on tinWiki?

posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 12:47 PM
William One Sac,

Thank you for the reply, I am glad what I'm saying makes sense (since I notice it's not that uncommon to begin articles with "refers to", I mean).

Anyway, I found some articles now, and a few of these are articles I looked at recently and so are mostly why I was thinking of this right now, probably:
- Gulf War Syndrome
- Designer Diseases
- Astrology
- Odinism
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Blue Apples
- Hollow Moon

I think many, if not all of these, could benefit from simply having "refers to" replaced with "is". When I think about it now, I guess there could be more to do with just some sense of linguistic "convention" or such rather than that people write "refers to" because they have reflected very much upon what to write and arrive at a conclusion that "refers to" is the most appropriate. A bit off topic, I think lots of social practices and behaviors and so on are fairly interesting to sort of look at like a kind of zoologist or something, and I frankly don't think human beings are quite as intellectual and logical and coldly analytical and so on which we perhaps like, for some reason, to think we are. But that was a kind of an aside.

Anyway, I have been thinking about this every once in a while and so am sort of relieved to get your confirmation that it may indeed be sort of odd to begin articles like that ("refers to"..). Even more than that the articles could of course be rewritten and so on, it is great for me to have sort of just talked about the topic. I always like getting stuff like this "analyzed" an sorted out a little bit, maybe that's just like in my genes or such, the nit-picking gene. lol Thanks again.


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