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Terminology; distinguished

  1. Jan 10, 2010 #1
    Terminology; "distinguished"

    I've always thought that understanding at a profound level requires real precision in the use of language. I was recently reading Julian Barbour's book, The End of Time where he regularly uses the word distinguished as an adjective, as in "distinguished frames of reference", "...in space time as distinguished features.", "distinguished coordinate systems", "distinguished systems" "distinguished simplifier" etc.

    I thought that these usages might be idiosyncratic on his part, but later, I found them elsewhere as well. Whatever is meant, these usages stray pretty far from the usual dictionary definitions, such as a) the past tense of the verb "distinguished" or b) the adjective (applied to people or institutions) of "worthy of admiration because of exemplary accomplishment".

    I think the meaning here is probablyspecially selected or perhaps unique but I'd like to ask whether there is any more meaning than that, simply to understand with more precision what is intended?

    The term has its own meaning in law, also fairly far from the dictionary meanings.
  2. jcsd
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