But then again, a pattern can be random, but something random cannot have a pattern. Mind. Blown.

Hmmm... i never thought of it that way... it kind of reminds me of that one time when we were all in elementry and we discovered that squares can be rectangles and rectangles can't be squares (Mind = Blown)

A pattern implies order and random implies a total lack of.

Well, a pattern implies some order, not complete order. If you take a picture of a grass field, there is a pattern there, e.g., green color palette, vertical lines, a particular spatial frequency (number of grass blades per square meters), and so on, but the picture is definitely random.

Unless the rules of the pattern define exactly and completely how things should be, then any particular instance of a pattern is only that, one particular instance of it, i.e., a "sample". And a sample that is drawn from a random distribution is called a "random sample". With a simple substitution, we get "random pattern".

Further mind-blowing. Here's a random number: 5. How can you tell that this is a random number? If you want to know that it's indeed random, you need to know how I generated it, but if you know how the number was generated, can you still call it random?

you don't care which so you pick a pattern at random

In that case, I think the appropriate term is "arbitrary pattern". Arbitrary is the proper term for "I don't care which".

We discovered that squares can be rectangles and rectangles can't be squares

Incorrect.

A rectangle is a plane figure with four straight sides and four right angles. A square is a rectangle with four equal sides. So clearly a rectangle can be a square. And, by the way, the first part should be stated "squares are rectangles."

@mike - most people respond with their two cents' worth. You always give at least two dollars. That's why I love it when you pop in.

A pattern is a repeated decorative design, within the context of this discussion. I am ignoring the "template" definition. For the grass example I would say there is something akin to a pattern here but a word escapes me. Perhaps theme or motif. If you took a "grass" object and replicated it a few million times but applied a random variation to each blade you would have similarity but not a pattern. I think your double use of the term "sample" is in error. In the first case you are casting from the specific (pattern) to the generic (sample) then assuming that you can use the generic as a substitute for the specific in the second case. Maybe we're back to a square is a rectangle (specific to generic) but a rectangle is not necessarily a square.

You are correct in that unless you know how the number 5 was selected you cannot say it was random. If the number is generated by any computational method, I believe the best we can say is that it is pseudo-random, which mathematically is not precisely the same thing.

As for selecting the wallpaper, I suppose if i just said "pattern 5" then that would not strictly speaking be a random pattern. But what if I drew the number from a hat or flipped a coin to generate a pattern number?

So clearly a rectangle can be a square. And, by the way, the first part should be stated "squares are rectangles."

Ouch... i didn't realize i made that mistake until now (awkward moment...). i should probably spend more time writing my posts....

A pattern is a repeated decorative design, within the context of this discussion.

Ah, well, yeah, I guess that's the common man's definition. I guess I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd for too long. In my mind, the word "pattern" immediately invokes the more scientific terminology, as in "pattern recognition", "speech patterns", or "patterns of behaviour". So, to me, it's this definition I think of: "a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc., forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement."

My point was that as long as there is a degree of freedom in choosing the specifics of this "characteristic arrangement", then there can be some randomness to it. For example, in pattern recognition, a classic example is a "table", as in, what set of qualities or features makes us recognize something as being a "table", that's the pattern, and being able to tell a table apart from a chair is the recognition part. If there were no random and unpredictable variations in the designs of tables, then it wouldn't be a problem of pattern recognition. See what I mean.

What makes a pattern a pattern is just as much its set of rules as its degree of freedom (or creative liberty, if you like). Without that degree of randomness, a pattern is not a pattern, it's just a thing (i.e., one particular definite object). If a Texan talks to me, I could say that I recognize the accent (i.e., speech "patterns") and deduce that he is from Texas, but if there was no degree of freedom allowed, then I would have to say that either I recognize this particular voice (e.g., because I know this guy) or that I don't recognize him at all. The latter is obviously not the case, and therefore, I have just proven, formally (by contradiction), that patterns must allow for a degree of freedom / randomness, however small. ;)

Anyways, patterns without randomness have no meaning.

So, I'm no longer sure whether "random pattern" is self-contradictory, or if it's actually redundant, because all patterns are random?

And, of course, if you are using the word pattern to mean "decorative pattern", then that's a definite object, and a definite object is fully-qualified, and therefore, cannot be random. Or can it? ...

And, of course, if you are using the word pattern to mean "decorative pattern", then that's a definite object, and a definite object is fully-qualified, and therefore, cannot be random. Or can it?

Depends how it is generated. If the decorative pattern was produced by flicking paint from a brush into a splatter pattern then there is lots of randomness to it. If it is produced from a deterministic chaotic function then it is not random but can appear random.

Course it also depends what we mean by random. Only processes can be random not things, but things can be instances of a random process.

I think the typical meaning of "random pattern" would be a pattern where the method of generating it is not easily discernable upon viewing it, so it appears to be the outcome of a random process.

@mike - interesting points as usual. I'll have to bookmark that video and look at it in a few weeks once I get home from the cottage. I was already starting to lean your way when my wife came into the livingroom after changing out of her pjs. She was wearing a top reminiscent of the 60s tie-dyed jobs. Clearly the design wasn't random, but also it was non-repeating. Thinking on your nature example (grass) I was also reminded of other "patterns" such as a nautilus or fern which are also non-random, non-regular but (in my mind anyway) clearly patterns.

I'm sure James Patterson didn't give it this much thought when he wrote his phrase.

Superman [1978] was on TV the other day. Krypton's leading scientist uttered the prediction, "This planet will explode within 30 days, if not sooner.

The english grammar does vary with what we write and speak. Sometimes it may be illogical to use I when we speak as you have mentioned in the phrase but it is right when we put it with the pen.

The phrase, "that's just between you and I", is always incorrect whether spoken or written.

"This planet will explode within 30 days, if not sooner."

Tautological and redundant but not necessarily bad grammar.

Again, not technically a grammar thing but worth sharing (IMO).

I was reading yet another article on the current do-nothing congress. It made reference to other noted do-nothing congresses and said that this do-nothing congress has accomplished less than all the other do-nothing congresses combined. I mentioned this to a friend who looked back at me blankly saying only, "yes?". I had to explain it to him in software terms as follows...

Suppose you are trying to sell a piece of software. Your five competitors are all selling their version of the software for $50.00. Would you advertise yours by saying "it is less expensive than my five competitors combined?", assuming of course, that your price is not $249.

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diafol

Only jumped in to see where you guys have got to on this thread, so just read the last page. Wish I hadn't. I have some random nosebleed that's made some interesting patterns on my shirt.

RJ and Mike - big hand. I need to lie down now.

I was reading yet another article on the current do-nothing congress. It made reference to other noted do-nothing congresses and said that this do-nothing congress has accomplished less than all the other do-nothing congresses combined. I mentioned this to a friend who looked back at me blankly saying only, "yes?". I had to explain it to him in software terms as follows...

Suppose you are trying to sell a piece of software. Your five competitors are all selling their version of the software for $50.00. Would you advertise yours by saying "it is less expensive than my five competitors combined?", assuming of course, that your price is not $249.

I'm so confused! Presumably they have some measure of nothingness getting done (eg. bills that failed to pass, jobs left open because they failed to appoint people, etc...) in which case you could say Congress X has failed to do stuff more than an Congress W, Y, Z combined.

One can certainly say their prototype software fails more performance tests than all the competitors combined (eg. their software fails 10 tests and each of 5 competitors only fail 1 test each).

I don't understand the confusion. You can measure how much (number of bills passed) congress accomplished, but how do you assign a number to measure how little it accomplished? I can say "I accomplished 15 things today". Would it be valid to say "I didn't accomplish 23 things"? There are an infinite number of things I didn't do today.

If you want to measure based on how many bills failed to pass then you'd have to count the 50+ times the Republicans failed to repeal the ACA. In the same vein I could say to my boss that I accomplished a lot today by not starting 7 useless projects or by not writing 3 buggy applications.

You can count how many times a piece of software fails a test but can you count how many times it was not put through a test procedure?

Today, I heard the expression at the end of a phrase: ... and have not. Meaning: and whatever.
Is this common in use in English?

Are you sure it wasn't ".. and whatnot."? Because that is a very common expression used to mean "and whatever", and, in fact, it is the correct word according to the dictionary. It seems that the more correct expressions are "and whatnot" to end an enumeration (like "etc."), and "or whatever" to end a sequence of choices or possibilities. In other words, you shouldn't say "and whatever" nor "or whatnot", always "or whatever" and "and whatnot".

I have never heard "and have not." used like this. I have only heard the common expression "have-not(s)" to mean the poor or the otherwise disadvantaged, as in, "the haves and the have-nots".

You're right Mike, it was indeed "and whatnot." Seems my short term memory is starting to leave me :(
Thanks for the explanation.

Many of the people do not know the correct use of grammar so some time they cannot complete the sentence with an appropriate grammar.Always conmmunicate to other person gradually you can easily speak with the right grammar.

English as a spoken language has the quality of music, for some odd reason I seem to know when a bad note has been struck.

We were watching the first season of Face Off and in the first episode one of the contestants used literally a dozen or so times, mostly incorrectly as in "when he came into the room I literally did backflips". I would have voted him out for that reason alone.

I have been told that at least one modern dictionary has redefined literally to mean figuratively. It's the end of civilization as we know it.

Yeah, the whole thing of using literally to mean figuratively is so wide-spread. It's even gone so far that when people want to say literally, in the correct sense, they don't and look for another word... sometimes resulting in word like "literary" or "literitively", both of which I have heard before in place of "literally".

I've heard people using "actually" instead of "literally" but that is being misused as well, although in a different sense. Typically it is being used to mean "I am not lying" as in when you phone to speak to someone and the receptionist says "he's actually in a meeting" as opposed to plain old "he's in a meeting" which means "he doesn't want to talk to you."

Unrelated to grammar but not worth starting a new thread, I just heard for the umpteenth time, someone using the word "jewelry" but mispronouncing it. To be clear, it is pronounced "joo-el-ree", not "joo-ler-ee".

Talking about pronouncing. Lately I heard a person say:
I think ar buy me a coffee.
meaning I think I buy me...
Is this some form of declination I missed out?Or was it just the speaker's dialect?

Did you hear it during International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Can't remember where I heard it.

Talking about pronouncing. Lately I heard a person say:
I think ar buy me a coffee.
meaning I think I buy me...

Actually they meant: I think I'll buy me a coffee
which could be due to their accent. (I'm not very good at accents but I'll make a vague guess of North UK or Scottish perhaps??) Or they could have been impersonating a pirate for comedic effect.

It had certainly nothing to do with pirates, who seem to say all the time ar-ar-ar or something else funny.
No my "ar" is a bit exagerated I guess. What I heard was more something like "I think I" followed by a weak r-sound and then "buy me cop of coffee". I heard other examples of it but I can't come up with one.

I are 4ner :( <3