[tlhIngan Hol] vIb - propagate

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Fri Mar 27 14:27:49 PDT 2020

On Wed, 25 Mar 2020 at 22:32, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> According to my dictionary, “propagate” means:
> 1 breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent
> stock: try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings. • [no object] (
> of a plant or animal) reproduce by natural processes: the plant
> propagates freely from stem cuttings. 2 spread and promote (an idea,
> theory, etc.) widely: the French propagated the idea that the English
> were violent and gluttonous drunkards. 3 (with reference to motion,
> light, sound, etc.) transmit or be transmitted in a particular direction
> or through a medium: [with object] :  electromagnetic effects can be
> propagated at a finite velocity only through material substances | [no
> object] :  a hydraulic fracture is generally expected to propagate in a
> vertical plane | (as adjective propagated) :  a propagated electrical
> signal.
> The first meaning applies to plants or animals, and the gloss only
> mentions that it doesn’t apply to plants. Odd that he doesn’t just say it
> has nothing to do with breeding, be it plants or animals. Since that’s very
> ambiguous — it could mean that it does apply to animals, or it could mean
> that he simply didn’t think about animals when he wrote the gloss — we are
> not served well by this definition.

I think it's obvious that the comment means "does not mean 'propagate' in
the sense applied to plants" and not "can also mean to breed specimens but
isn't applied to plants".

Considering that the main definition is "move through time toward the
future", I take it that the idea is that {vIb} more generally means to move
through any medium in the forward direction, but that it's so often used
with time-travel that that's the assumed default unless context dictates
otherwise. Speculatively, it hints that at the etymology of the word as
having the broader meaning which narrowed as it propagated forward in time.

I would use it in a sentence like so:
{bIQDaq vIb 'otlhmey; cha' 'ujmey lID} "the photons propagated through two
ujes of water".

(I wonder if {vIbHa'} could be used for "back-propagation" in the neural
network sense.)

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