Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The verb "is"

When arguing about something, the verb "is" should be avoided as much as possible because of its ambiguity. "A is B" can represent:

  • Identity: life is life.

  • Membership to a class: a car is an object.

  • An attribute: this apple is green.

  • A relationship: 5 is greater than 3.

  • A modification of a verb: John is walking.

  • ... probably other meanings I'm forgetting now.

Of course, in colloquial language "is" cannot be avoided and is not normally a problem.