Naturalist Theory of Mere

The following article was submitted by Deborah “Strych” Cutchey, the creator of the Naturalist Theory of Mere.

When you have 8 days until the lan, are you really going to say it is “mere weeks” away? No, no you’re not.

However, upon reading the article by my esteemed colleague in mere, Mr Cabe, I would like to declare my allegiance to a radical new splinter group.

I would like to propose, ladies and gentlemen, that although the concept of expansionist mere may be correct, the boundaries are not.

I think we agree that 8 days from the lan, despite being “mere weeks” in the metric system, would naturally be referred to as being “mere days away”. However, if it is Monday and the lan commences on the Friday evening of the following week, even the most die-hard imperialists can see the sense in describing this as “mere weeks”.

In order to resolve this conflict between regulation and sense, I would like to present to you The Naturalist Theory of Mere.

The human is not an instinctively decimal animal. One wouldn’t say something that cost £1.01 cost “a couple of quid” but one probably would say that about something that cost £1.99. Humans instinctively round off values in order to simplify things. The metric theory of mere would describe both values as “mere pounds”; the imperial, both as “mere pennies”. Clearly neither theory fully satisfies the way humans handle decimals.

The Naturalist Theory of mere states that there is a conflict between the technically correct use of the plural in the English language, and the “common sense” choice of units of time. As such, the Naturalist Theory proposes that:

When there remains less than 1.5 larger units of time until the event, then mere is to be called in the next smallest increment of time. The use of the smaller increment is prohibited before this landmark.

Thus 8 days from the lan is “mere days!”, however 12 days (or 1.7 weeks) from the lan is still “mere weeks”. To take a working example: the earliest acceptable call of “mere days” for i30 (assuming start of the lan is EAS Thursday) would have been last Monday at 6am.

2 Responses to Naturalist

  1. Elbonio says:

    Your money example is illogical since money is expressed by using large and small units simultaneously – £1.01 is one pound and one pence – we don’t round it off because money is so exact and has the ability to be expressed in such a way.

    By your logic we would be saying 1 mere week and 1 mere day.

    Similarly, by your logic of “rounding up” you’re saying that by having a £1.01 and saying “I have a pound” that you are correct, when clearly this is wrong. You don’t have a pound. You have a pound and one pence. If you wanted to buy the latest issue of Kumkuat Weekly and it was £2.00 and you only had £1.99 – guess what – you don’t have enough! No amount of “rounding” will help.

    Why would you ever want to “round off” something like mere anyway? Why not express it in the most exact form possible? S.O.D.D.O.M is precise, it’s clear cut and it makes more sense.

    Naturalist and Expansion are just plain wrong.

  2. Strych says:

    Dearest Lord Bonio,

    If you wish to be most accurate, as your argument suggests, then you need to use the smallest unit of something. By your examples you would still say, having £1.01, that you have mere pounds. This situation is even further from your desired acquisition of Kumkuat Weekly than the £1.99 situation. However, saying you have “mere pennies” would correctly suggest that you are unable to complete the purchase as you lack the required minimum plurality of pounds, however at the same time suggesting that you are somewhat more strapped than is really the case.

    The very basis of S.O.D.D.O.M is to express the time remaining in the largest possible, and therefore least precise, unit. The argument you propose above supports only the fundamentally flawed expansionist position.

    Your argument only damages your position, and as such your opinion must be entirely discounted.

    With kindest regards,
    Strych (Ms)

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