RE: MEME: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Date: Sun Jun 17 2001 - 11:15:08 MDT

> > me. *Why is it that so few commoners know what AI is?* Then, there's the
> Exactly what is a commoner?
> Merriam-Webster's Online Collegiate Dictionary says:

"commoner" is one of those vectors in my brain, representing someone of
statistically normal general status, which can be expressed in a single
word, rather than a phrase which, when weighted with sentance flow
considerations stemming from the use of emphasized text, would seem to be less
clear. According to the thesurus (,
"commoner" comes pretty close. I think. Below is the full dictionary citation
(did it only give you three definitions?) Of particular interest are the
contextual notes at the end (before the quote from your thesaurus).

Main Entry: 1com·mon
Pronunciation: 'kä-m&n
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English commun, from Old French, from Latin communis -- more
Date: 13th century

1 a : of or relating to a community at large : PUBLIC <work for the common good>
 b : known to the community <common nuisances>
2 a : belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or by all
 members of a group <a common friend> <buried in a common grave> b : belonging
 equally to two or more mathematical entities <triangles with a common base>
 c : having two or more branches <common carotid artery>
3 a : occurring or appearing frequently : FAMILIAR <a common sight> b : of the
 best known kind c : VERNACULAR 2 <common names>
4 a : WIDESPREAD, GENERAL <common knowledge> b : characterized by a lack of
 privilege or special status <common people> c : just satisfying accustomed
 criteria : ELEMENTARY <common decency>
5 a : falling below ordinary standards : SECOND-RATE b : lacking refinement :
6 : denoting nominal relations by a single linguistic form that in a more
 highly inflected language might be denoted by two or more different forms
 <common gender> <common case>
7 : of, relating to, or being common stock
- com·mon·ly adverb
- com·mon·ness /-m&n-n&s/ noun
generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual.
COMMON implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence <a common
error> <lacked common honesty> and may additionally suggest inferiority or
coarseness <common manners>. ORDINARY stresses conformance in quality or kind
with the regular order of things <an ordinary pleasant summer day> <a very
ordinary sort of man>. PLAIN is likely to suggest homely simplicity
<plain hard-working people>. FAMILIAR stresses the fact of being generally
known and easily recognized <a familiar melody>. POPULAR applies to what is
accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to
upper classes or special groups <a writer of popular romances>. VULGAR,
otherwise similar to POPULAR, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as
of inferiority or coarseness) <souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar

        1 generally shared in or participated in by members of a community <our
        common civic responsibilities>
        Synonyms communal, conjoint, conjunct, intermutual, joint, mutual,
        public, shared
        Related Word general, generic, universal; like, reciprocal, similar;

        2 Synonyms GENERAL 2, generic, universal
        Related Word popular, public

        3 Synonyms IMPURE 3, defiled, desecrated, polluted, profaned, unclean

        4 taking place often <a common occurrence>
        Synonyms customary, everyday, familiar, frequent
        Related Word repetitious, routine, usual

        5 Synonyms GENERAL, commonplace, matter-of-course, natural, normal,
        prevalent, regular, typic, typical, usual

        6 conforming to a type without noteworthy excellences or faults <just a
        common everyday sort trying to get by in life>
        Synonyms commonplace, ordinary, prosaic, uneventful, unexceptional,
        Related Word down-to-earth, matter-of-fact, prosy, unexciting; dull,
        flat, trite, stale, uninteresting

        7 Synonyms DECENT 4, adequate, all right, good, satisfactory,
        sufficient, tolerable, unexceptionable, unexceptional, unimpeachable

        8 Synonyms CHEAP 2, mean, ornery, paltry, poor, rubbishy, shoddy,
        sleazy, tatty, trashy

        9 Synonyms INFERIOR 2, déclassé, hack, low-grade, mean, poor,
        second-class, second-drawer, second-rate

        10 Synonyms EASYGOING 3, breezy, casual, informal, low-pressure,
        relaxed, sonsy, unconstrained, unfussy, unreserved


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