Friday, May 15, 2009

Zur zur zur

The following (slightly edited) conversation was had between David G. and myself regarding Dave's chat status message, which was: "zur zur zur."

Isaac Hess: What is "zur zur zur"?

David Gravett: More importantly, what isn't zur zur zur?

Isaac Hess: I think you'd be hard pressed to prove that that's more important.

David Gravett: I disagree, because everything is zur zur zur.

Isaac Hess: Stating what something is (as you just did) is almost always easier, and more simple, than stating what it is not.

For example: taking your statement to be true (it isn't, but I'll play along), to state what zur zur zur is not would go like this: "Nothing is not zur zur zur," which is a far more confusing statement than saying what zur zur zur is: namely "zur zur zur is everything."

Thus, it is much more important to state what it is, than what it is not.

David Gravett: You are such a snob! Since I coined the term, I can define it however I want. Further, since human knowledge as expressed through language is entirely relativistic, whether I define zur zur zur in terms of what it is or what it isn't, the set of all things that are zur zur zur will always be defined in terms of what is not in the set.

So there!

Isaac Hess: While I will happily concede the point that I am a snob, I certainly cannot concede the others. First, language is not "entirely" relativistic. To a certain degree I'm sure that it is, but I do believe that language generally does a fine job at communicating understanding; most people find that definitions greatly increase, rather than decrease, their understanding of words and terms.

Secondly, while saying that something is always defined by what is not in its set works well in the abstract, in practicality it becomes extremely problematic; because, again, most things have a definable and statable number of items within the set, and an infinite (i.e. "everything else") number of things outside the set.

Ergo, I maintain again, it is more important to state what zur zur zur is rather than what zur zur zur is not.

David Gravett: Based on improperly deduced conclusions, I cannot tell you, you could not understand.

Isaac Hess: Oh, now we're resorting to ad hominems are we?


Isaac Hess: But seriously... what is zur zur zur? I'm really curious now.

David Gravett: Well, I was typing "yup yup yup" into my instant messenger and it came out "zur zur zur." I thought it was cool.


David Gravett: I bet that disappoints.

Isaac Hess: It does, a little.

David Gravett: What were you hoping for

Isaac Hess: I don't know. Something German.

David Gravett: It's a German pastry that looks like whomever the current prime minister is. How's that?

Isaac Hess: That's much nicer. I want some zur zur zur!

Sounds delicious! Angela Merkel, baby!

David Gravett: Yum yum. Or should I say, zur zur.


  1. "There's glory for you!'"

    "I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"

    "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

  2. The difference is, Jason, Dave and I weren't high on LSD when we had that conversation.

    Well, at least I wasn't. I can't speak for Dave.

  3. Hey, English major, "Dave and 'myself'????"

    I guess you can use whatever you want...

  4. I was high or maybe I am currently high, it's hard to tell