Discussion:
probable or improbable?
(too old to reply)
Yurui Liu
2021-01-21 06:35:07 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?

I'd appreciate your help

------------------------------------

Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.

The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
Jack
2021-01-21 09:46:53 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.

That's my guess.

If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?

Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").

Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and t
Peter Moylan
2021-01-21 10:34:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
There's a major error in the second line. "Under any circumstances"
should be "under some circumstances".

Initially I put this down as a typical error by a non-native speaker of
English. On further reading, I decided that this was probably a native
speaker using 18th- or 19th-century language. That doesn't seem to
explain the any/some confusion, though.

I haven't attempted to trace the source of this passage.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW
Jack
2021-01-21 10:50:24 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 21:34:26 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
There's a major error in the second line. "Under any circumstances"
should be "under some circumstances".
Initially I put this down as a typical error by a non-native speaker of
English. On further reading, I decided that this was probably a native
speaker using 18th- or 19th-century language. That doesn't seem to
explain the any/some confusion, though.
I haven't attempted to trace the source of this passage.
I think the "under any circumstances" is just intended to be a
fancy-talk substitute for "in any case" or "anyhow".
It must be pretty old - it's considering the possible magical medical
applications of the newly discovered electricity.
Lewis
2021-01-21 10:56:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual
"a usual"
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question.
This is meaningless as far as I can decipher. Also, , OR dash, not both.
Never both.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
"disparity of chances"? Chances of what? This is, again, meaningless
word salad.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
The whatifation of huh? This doesn't mean anything either. Not sure what
mammae is either.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
During the researches into which I have been led
Are you writing from the distant past?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
while investigating this subject
Which we still don't know what the subject is.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
(which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited',
And neither, it appears, do you. I am going to assume the ' is a typo
for the closing paren.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
Why is there a comma there?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy.
The animal economy? And are you literally talking about being struck by
lightning or the ONTENTIONAL pplication of an electric shock? What the
actual fuck?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
It is physically possible, that the reception
Why is there a comma here?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
I am not sure that "sequent phenomena" is correct here as "sequent
phenomenon" as far as I know has a very specific use in science text. I
think you're using it wrong here, but the opinion may be colored by the
fact that I am either unclear or appalled at what you are writing about,
though I can't be sure which because I can't decipher what you are
writing.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
having no connection as cause and effect
So, the exact opposite of sequent phenomenon?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
but the powerful impression produced on the same function by the
operation of the same agent, in the other case, seems to overthrow
this otherwise probable/improbable conjecture.
No one can answer this because there is no meaning to be gained from
reading this, so whatever it (what?) is probable or improbable is
unknowable.
Post by Jack
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
There is that too, but he whole thing is so overly wrought so as to
strangle any hope of comprehension out of it.
Post by Jack
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
My understanding of sequent phenomenon is that it means, if something
we know happens happens and something always happens after the thing
that happened happens, then the second thing to happen is a sequent
phenomenon.

To put it simply.

I encountered it only in physics.
Post by Jack
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
I could not figure out what 'impressed upon the animal ecology" was
supposed to mean, and if we were still talking about a human woman or
not.
--
Hell is real, and it smells like Axe body spray.
Jack
2021-01-21 12:13:04 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:56:03 -0000 (UTC), Lewis
Post by Lewis
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual
"a usual"
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question.
This is meaningless as far as I can decipher. Also, , OR dash, not both.
Never both.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
"disparity of chances"? Chances of what? This is, again, meaningless
word salad.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
The whatifation of huh? This doesn't mean anything either. Not sure what
mammae is either.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
During the researches into which I have been led
Are you writing from the distant past?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
while investigating this subject
Which we still don't know what the subject is.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
(which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited',
And neither, it appears, do you. I am going to assume the ' is a typo
for the closing paren.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
Why is there a comma there?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy.
The animal economy? And are you literally talking about being struck by
lightning or the ONTENTIONAL pplication of an electric shock? What the
actual fuck?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
It is physically possible, that the reception
Why is there a comma here?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
I am not sure that "sequent phenomena" is correct here as "sequent
phenomenon" as far as I know has a very specific use in science text. I
think you're using it wrong here, but the opinion may be colored by the
fact that I am either unclear or appalled at what you are writing about,
though I can't be sure which because I can't decipher what you are
writing.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
having no connection as cause and effect
So, the exact opposite of sequent phenomenon?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
but the powerful impression produced on the same function by the
operation of the same agent, in the other case, seems to overthrow
this otherwise probable/improbable conjecture.
No one can answer this because there is no meaning to be gained from
reading this, so whatever it (what?) is probable or improbable is
unknowable.
Post by Jack
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
There is that too, but he whole thing is so overly wrought so as to
strangle any hope of comprehension out of it.
Post by Jack
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
My understanding of sequent phenomenon is that it means, if something
we know happens happens and something always happens after the thing
that happened happens, then the second thing to happen is a sequent
phenomenon.
To put it simply.
I encountered it only in physics.
Post by Jack
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
I could not figure out what 'impressed upon the animal ecology" was
supposed to mean, and if we were still talking about a human woman or
not.
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.

https://tinyurl.com/y2mo9cvx

New York Journal of Medicine (1844).
LeConte on the effect of
Yurui Liu
2021-01-21 12:48:26 UTC
Permalink
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:56:03 -0000 (UTC), Lewis
Post by Lewis
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual
"a usual"
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question.
This is meaningless as far as I can decipher. Also, , OR dash, not both.
Never both.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
"disparity of chances"? Chances of what? This is, again, meaningless
word salad.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
The whatifation of huh? This doesn't mean anything either. Not sure what
mammae is either.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
During the researches into which I have been led
Are you writing from the distant past?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
while investigating this subject
Which we still don't know what the subject is.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
(which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited',
And neither, it appears, do you. I am going to assume the ' is a typo
for the closing paren.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
Why is there a comma there?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy.
The animal economy? And are you literally talking about being struck by
lightning or the ONTENTIONAL pplication of an electric shock? What the
actual fuck?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
It is physically possible, that the reception
Why is there a comma here?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
I am not sure that "sequent phenomena" is correct here as "sequent
phenomenon" as far as I know has a very specific use in science text. I
think you're using it wrong here, but the opinion may be colored by the
fact that I am either unclear or appalled at what you are writing about,
though I can't be sure which because I can't decipher what you are
writing.
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
having no connection as cause and effect
So, the exact opposite of sequent phenomenon?
Post by Jack
Post by Yurui Liu
but the powerful impression produced on the same function by the
operation of the same agent, in the other case, seems to overthrow
this otherwise probable/improbable conjecture.
No one can answer this because there is no meaning to be gained from
reading this, so whatever it (what?) is probable or improbable is
unknowable.
Post by Jack
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
There is that too, but he whole thing is so overly wrought so as to
strangle any hope of comprehension out of it.
Post by Jack
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
My understanding of sequent phenomenon is that it means, if something
we know happens happens and something always happens after the thing
that happened happens, then the second thing to happen is a sequent
phenomenon.
To put it simply.
I encountered it only in physics.
Post by Jack
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
I could not figure out what 'impressed upon the animal ecology" was
supposed to mean, and if we were still talking about a human woman or
not.
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
Post by Jack
https://tinyurl.com/y2mo9cvx
New York Journal of Medicine (1844).
LeConte on the effect of lightning.
--
Jack
Lewis
2021-01-21 13:12:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
I don;'t think you are informing anyone with this text.

Is there a reason you are reading 200 year old technical writing other
than to punish yourself (and others)?
--
Man destroys a water fountain
(One Flew over the Cukoo's Nest)
Yurui Liu
2021-01-21 13:17:03 UTC
Permalink
Lewis 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午9:12:48 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Lewis
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
I don;'t think you are informing anyone with this text.
I brought a misusage to light.
Post by Lewis
Is there a reason you are reading 200 year old technical writing other
than to punish yourself (and others)?
I was searching for "otherwise improbable."
Post by Lewis
--
Man destroys a water fountain
(One Flew over the Cukoo's Nest)
Sam Plusnet
2021-01-21 20:12:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Lewis 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午9:12:48 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Lewis
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
I don;'t think you are informing anyone with this text.
I brought a misusage to light.
I _think_ this is a reworking of the more usual cry of:

"Someone is wrong on the Internet!"
--
Sam Plusnet
Wales, UK
Peter T. Daniels
2021-01-21 16:30:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
That's not how "informant" is used in linguistics.

(There's a move to change the term to "consultant," because
that's a category familiar to those who have to read grant
proposals, and "informant" has been in bad odor since, say,
J. Edgar Hoover's day.)
Yurui Liu
2021-01-21 17:20:13 UTC
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午12:30:02 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
That's not how "informant" is used in linguistics.
I was using it figuratively in the sense of someone providing clues about
criminal activity to the police, to match "perpetrator" and "victim" someone used
upthread.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
(There's a move to change the term to "consultant," because
that's a category familiar to those who have to read grant
proposals, and "informant" has been in bad odor since, say,
J. Edgar Hoover's day.)
Peter T. Daniels
2021-01-21 17:50:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午12:30:02 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
That's not how "informant" is used in linguistics.
I was using it figuratively in the sense of someone providing clues about
criminal activity to the police, to match "perpetrator" and "victim" someone used
upthread.
That's "informer."
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
(There's a move to change the term to "consultant," because
that's a category familiar to those who have to read grant
proposals, and "informant" has been in bad odor since, say,
J. Edgar Hoover's day.)
Yurui Liu
2021-01-21 17:53:10 UTC
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午1:50:39 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午12:30:02 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
That's not how "informant" is used in linguistics.
I was using it figuratively in the sense of someone providing clues about
criminal activity to the police, to match "perpetrator" and "victim" someone used
upthread.
That's "informer."
Thank you for your information. A M-W dictionary has the following sentence, though:

The police were alerted to the plot by a paid informant.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
(There's a move to change the term to "consultant," because
that's a category familiar to those who have to read grant
proposals, and "informant" has been in bad odor since, say,
J. Edgar Hoover's day.)
Peter T. Daniels
2021-01-21 18:02:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午1:50:39 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels 在 2021年1月22日 星期五上午12:30:02 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Jack 在 2021年1月21日 星期四下午8:13:11 [UTC+8] 的信中寫道:
Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
Neither. I'm an informant.
That's not how "informant" is used in linguistics.
I was using it figuratively in the sense of someone providing clues about
criminal activity to the police, to match "perpetrator" and "victim" someone used
upthread.
That's "informer."
The police were alerted to the plot by a paid informant.
Somewhere you might find a Usage Note on the two slightly different
words.

There is no such thing as an exact synonym.

(Brits claim that "furze" and "gorse" are. Since I have no idea what they
are, that doesn't help. I'd guess that they're regional variants, like
"jonquil" and "daffodil," which either are or aren't designations for
the same flower in different places.)
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
(There's a move to change the term to "consultant," because
that's a category familiar to those who have to read grant
proposals, and "informant" has been in bad odor since, say,
J. Edgar Hoover's day.)
Kerr-Mudd,John
2021-01-21 12:59:24 UTC
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Post by Jack
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:56:03 -0000 (UTC), Lewis
[]
Post by Jack
Post by Lewis
I could not figure out what 'impressed upon the animal ecology" was
supposed to mean, and if we were still talking about a human woman or
not.
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
https://tinyurl.com/y2mo9cvx
New York Journal of Medicine (1844).
LeConte on the effect of lightning.
"Poor Yurui" keeps digging up archaic usages by reading Victorian era
literature.
--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug.
Lewis
2021-01-21 13:10:21 UTC
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Post by Jack
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
Yes, since he was asking about a word choice it seemed so.
Post by Jack
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
https://tinyurl.com/y2mo9cvx
New York Journal of Medicine (1844).
1844 technical writing. Well that explains why it is both impenetrable
and horrific.
--
With the exception of the wit and wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes, not much lasts forever.
Peter T. Daniels
2021-01-21 16:27:23 UTC
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Post by Jack
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:56:03 -0000 (UTC), Lewis
Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
but the powerful impression produced on the same function by the
operation of the same agent, in the other case, seems to overthrow
this otherwise probable/improbable conjecture.
Did you think this was written by poor Yurui Liu?
(It's amusing how little some readers can recognize.)
Post by Jack
He's the victim, not the perpetrator.
https://tinyurl.com/y2mo9cvx
New York Journal of Medicine (1844).
LeConte on the effect of lightning.
His current obsession is "otherwise," and this passage turned up.
Jerry Friedman
2021-01-21 20:37:51 UTC
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Post by Jack
On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 22:35:07 -0800 (PST), Yurui Liu
Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
X seems to overthrow this otherwise PROBABLE conjecture.
That's my guess.
If the conjecture were improbable, why would it need to be
overthrown?
Looking a little further back, I think the "otherwise probable
conjecture" that is overthrown is that the putative "renewal of
function" is a coincidence ("mere sequent phenomena").
Summing up, some old lady got struck by lightning and then got
pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe not.
+1
--
Jerry Friedman
occam
2021-01-21 10:58:10 UTC
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Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
'credible' would be better than 'probable'. (Improbable does not make
much sense in the context. If it was 'improbable' why would its
overthrow be worthy of mention? )

The other odd punctuation that struck me came in the second sentence:

,-in very old women,-

When a clause is between two 'em dash'es, does it really need to be
slowed down by two commas? I think this is already built into the
structure of the insertion.
Paul Carmichael
2021-01-21 12:42:00 UTC
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Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in the
phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the restoration of
the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the instrumentality of a
stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed upon the animal
economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of the electrical shock,
and the renewal of the function, might have been mere sequent phenomena,
having no connection as cause and effect ; but the powerful impression
produced on the same function by the operation of the same agent, in the
other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise probable/improbable
conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this powerful
agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine; having, in a
majority of instances, been unscientifically and inefficiently applied. Very
recently, the spirit of philosophical induction which Dr. Golding Bird and
others have rekindled on this subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate
electricity to its proper position as a remedial agent.
The whole text is so horrible, I don't think it merits discussion.
--
Paul.

https://paulc.es/elpatio
J. J. Lodder
2021-01-21 13:04:14 UTC
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Post by Yurui Liu
Hi,
In the following passage, which word do you think should be used, probable or improbable?
I'd appreciate your help
This is output from a random science generator?

Jan
--
Post by Yurui Liu
------------------------------------
Menstruation is an usual and valuable, but not an invariable, monthly
index of the generative capacity in the human female. Under any
circumstances,-in very old women,-the probabilities are, in general,
immensely against the affirmative side of the question. In the individual
example under consideration, this disparity of chances may be somewhat
equalised, by the additional evidence in favor of fecundity, afforded in
the phenomenon of the mammæ participating in the catenation of sympathies.
During the researches into which I have been led, while investigating this
subject (which, however, a variety of causes has rendered comparatively
limited', I have not been able to find a single case, where the
restoration of the menstrual flux in the aged, was produced by the
instrumentality of a stroke of lightning, or any analogous shock impressed
upon the animal economy. It is physically possible, that the reception of
the electrical shock, and the renewal of the function, might have been
mere sequent phenomena, having no connection as cause and effect ; but the
powerful impression produced on the same function by the operation of the
same agent, in the other case, seems to overthrow this otherwise
probable/improbable conjecture.
The remarkably striking effects produced on the nervous system as well as
the uterine functions, in both of the surviving cases, by the influence of
electricity, serve to revive and strengthen the suspicion that this
powerful agent has been greatly neglected in its applications to medicine;
having, in a majority of instances, been unscientifically and
inefficiently applied. Very recently, the spirit of philosophical
induction which Dr. Golding Bird and others have rekindled on this
subject, has, in a measure, served to elevate electricity to its proper
position as a remedial agent.
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