Grapevine: Only real strawberries count

Jemma here. I’ve just gotten to know about this infinity thing. In school speak, there is the minus or plus infinity. This is what it shows in symbols.

On the minus side, things can go infinitely smaller. On the plus side, things can go infinitely bigger. Nice to think about strawberries going, let us say, much bigger.

You might hear you go minus or plus infinity about the number of strawberries, but mind you, the Founding Fathers said you couldn’t owe for strawberries that never existed, so to speak.

I’m telling about infinity, because we have the symbol for language, so I thought it would be good to compare other matter you find the symbol with. Plus or minus infinity can be quite tricky. You need to reckon what your zero is.

If you’d have your zero for nothing only, you’d be counting strawberries you don’t have, and honestly, only real strawberries count. I went the ■→WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL and they say it is hard to tell what nothing is, in fact.

Well, think we have a basket of strawberries. Bob takes 2 strawberries from the basket, and then he puts 2 strawberries in. There is no change in quantity, -2 and +2 is zero change.
-2 + 2 = 0

It is not zero strawberries. We still have a basket of them, and two strawberries are back in again.

Now think Bob takes two strawberries from the basket and puts the same strawberries back in. There’s no change in quality.
-2 (-) -2 = 0

Math generalizes on quality. Two minuses add up to a plus, and math wouldn’t tell if Bob puts the same strawberries back in, which might not matter, sometimes. This is how we can write the thing above.
-2 +2 = 0

Math is good for quantity. A plus and a minus make a minus.
-2 (+)- 2 = -4
-2 and -2 is -4
-2-2 = -4

Zero can be no change. It can be a starting value for something. Have a look at a stopwatch

For quality, the stopwatch goes to plus infinity on the left-hand side. It is on the left we get more and more hours. The minus infinity is on the right-hand side. The stopwatch goes to the right, for smaller and smaller pieces of time. It takes so little time sometimes, to eat a strawberry.

For things like strawberries in number, we have the minus infinity on the left-hand side, and the plus side is that of the right hand.

Aunt Chantelle said the quality minus infinity was a very good idea to help her cope with the jet lag. Those were — however quite many — only very tiny qualities of time to be on the plane. She comes from France to visit every year.

For language, infinity is a bit like the indefinite or ■→PI. Wheels are not endless, and they have the pi. Even if we counted all words of all languages, we could never tell exactly what we’d be about to hear, in a context. I do not know if words could be all counted for English alone, and there is sure no way to predict on phrases, as we people make them in real and quality time.

Infinity does not have to mean eternity or anything that actually never ends. We just do not strictly decide on any such end. For me and strawberries and language, just forget about it. Try the idea here:


Whether English is spoken or written, verb forms be and have are the most usual to occur. We can extract patterns for the Simple, Progressive, and Perfect. ■→More