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On 29Jul2019 10:15, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote: >On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 10:06 AM Richard Damon <Richard at damon-family.org> wrote: >> When talking of empty strings, we need to look a bit at context. "The >> empty string" implies that there is only one of them, and if we are >> talking about values, then there is only one empty string values, so >> "The empty string value" would be correct (and the term value might be >> implied by context). If we are talking about object, like with the >> python word "is", then the empty string is not promised to be a >> singleton, so grammatically, it should be "A empty string object", and >> again the term object might be implied by the context. > >So I guess the original question can be reworded as: > >When you're describing indistinguishable objects, are you really >talking about objects, or are you talking about values? > >With numbers, it's pretty obvious that you talk about values. You can >logically say "if the spamminess is zero, blah blah blah" even though >you'd actually say "if spam == 0:" in the code. With strings, is it >therefore logical to say "is the empty string" even though you'd >actually be comparing to see if it "==" another empty string? I wouldn't be saying "the empty string". I'd being describing the string: "if the string is empty", "if s is an empty string", etc. So values again. I think the wish to use the phrasing "the empty string" either comes from an implied metaphorthat assumes deduped immutable objects or from a mathematical background where eg in set theory one talks about "the empty set". Someone else posted a better description of the methematical context, where "the empty set" is effectively naming a category of sets (those of size 0) and considering that a single thing in that context. I'm for running with "values" in the example you started with. I think the "the empty string" is mathematical context specific terminology leaking into the wrong domain. Cheers, Cameron Simpson <cs at cskk.id.au>

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