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Discussion of "cu'a"

Comment #1: Specifics
Curtis W Franks (Fri Dec 19 08:04:06 2014)

Is this word referring specifically to the absolute value function of a
real number (in which case it is a type of norm) or would it be used for
any general case when a norm is desired (in which case, the exact type of
norm may be vague but could probably usually be inferred from context or
be elsewhere defined)? In either case, I think that the other definition
merits a separate word explicitly addressing that meaning (since both
meanings are important and specification and generalization/vagueness are
both useful in different cases). I suggest that this word should be
reserved for the general/vague meaning of "norm" (generic) and that we
define a new word for specifically "absolute value of a real number".
Doing so would be at the risk of confusion (clearly), since this
definition says "absolute value" (we might need to edit that sometime),
but it does make the shortest word that is immediately apparent (and
available) useful in all appropriate contexts (even if it is not quite
clear or as specific as could sometimes be desired); it also follows
Lojban's typical tradition of being generic/general/vague and
focusing/narrowing in on meanings with additions of some sort (in this
case, probably syllables). Note that I have proposed cu'ai for another
type of norm (actually, a set of types); I can think of at least a handful
of others, including the p-adic norm and prime-distance, the complex
magnitude/norm/modulus, word length norm (which is actually very general),
sequence/function norms (amount of initial or total overlap, maximal
pointwise distance, etc.; all of these tend to be incredibly general and
useful in, for example, genetics), graph/network norms, various metrics,
etc. I am not sure how to include all of these as words without flooding
cmavo space. Certainly several deserve words and we might be able to
consolidate a few others (although I feel slightly queasy about doing so),
while some others probably are slightly to arcane/exotic/esoteric to merit
(short cmavo). It all merits discussion.

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