Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Definition Exercise

As a grampa, my babysitting is sometimes done at their house and sometimes at my house. When I go to my son's houses I usually take a book to read in the event the tykes take a nap. One day a few months ago I went to sit and forgot the book. I had a legal pad out in the car so I decided to try my hand a putting together some formal definitions in an effort to hone my skill at it. I started out with Rand's definition of table at the top of my list as a model. So here for your perusal and criticism is my short list.
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Definitions

>Table

Genus:

An item of furniture...

Differentia:

with a flat, level surface and
supports, designed to support
other, smaller objects.

>Duffel Bag

Genus:

An item of luggage...

Differentia:

in the shape of a bag, with
compartments, designed to hold
personalized items usually for
one person.

>Closet

Genus:

A small space or room within a human habitat...

Differentia:

designed to store small accessories such as apparel or
equipment.

>Gate

Genus:

Part of a fence or enclosure...

Differentia:

that opens to allow passage from one side to the other.

>Television Set

Genus:

An electronic communication receiving device...

Differentia:

that recieves audio and visual communications via microwave signals.
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Admittedly this is a short list and only very simple things defined. While doing this I refused to consult a dictionary for assistance for two reasons. One, many dictionaries don't give genus/differentia definitions and second, I need to get better at identifying definitions myself. So if you're a mind to, spare no criticism.
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