Subject: Re: Why just one word? (Re: "On Virus" -- get real)
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 17:08:32 +0200

On Tue, Sep 28, 1999 at 10:04:36PM +1000, wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 28, 1999 at 12:32:25PM +0200, Bernard Lang wrote:
> > 
> > As a non-native speaker, I am somewaht puzzled by some aspects of this
> > terminology discussion.
> > 
> > The point is:  "hereditary" and "persistent" are both adjectives
> >                "inheritance" and "persistence" are both noun
> > 
> > Can someone explain this free (open source ?) use of grammatical
> > structures which is apparently natural to all of you ?
> The issue is that "hereditary" is usually used only in reference to 
> attributes of human beings.  A monarchy or a genetic defect can be
> "hereditary".  The term "inherited" is used with respect to non-human
> things as well, particularly in the sense of OO programming in which
> it is techspeak.  Hence, it isn't felt to have the mental associations
> that go with hereditary.  

To me, but i think with the French connotation, "hereditary" is the
ability or property of being transmitted/transmissible by inheritance,
while "inherited", which is a participle, qualifies something that has
been tranmitted by inheritance.

Another point is that mathematicians do use the word "hereditary" for
abstract objets.

> In English, a "hereditary license" would seem to be one that passes from 
> father to son[0], so that (for instance) if you had a copy of a piece of 
> software under such a license, and you died, you could pass your license 
> rights on to your heirs. 
> I *hope* that clearly expresses what I felt to be the issue.
> K.
> [0] mother, daughter, whatever. You know what I mean.

yes ... you mean from Father to Daughter

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