Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 12:52:44 EST From: Tony Vitale Subject: Re: No 'friend of yours' On Nov 8, Dennis Preston wrote: ... proscribed language phenomenon, but every beginning linguistics student (and certainly every information science student in general) knows that built-in redundancy in a variety of systems is ordinary (and apprently [sic] crucial). Where the folk and the scientists 'disagree' ought to strike us as ground worthy of deepeer ethnographic i Information theorists to a person will tell you that natural language has approx. a 50% built-in redundancy. I used to an experiment with my students before I escaped from higher academics (no disrepect intended) wherein I would turn a radio on to a news broadcast and keep it on for 3 sec. and then shut it off for 3 sec, on for 3 sec and off for 3 sec and so on. Everyone was able to fill in the blanks of the entire nes bulletin. So the phrase "friends of mine" simply has built in redundancy. Therefore, Seth, I would not expunge that phrase from my normal vocabulary. I happen to agree with Dennis, it might be a cliche but redundancy serves a valuable purpose expecially when the signal con- tains severe channel noice such as at a noisy party or when a plane passes over- head. \tony ******************************************************************************* Dr. Anthony J. Vitale Senior Consultant Linguistics & Speech Technology Digital Equipment Corporation