[OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

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[OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Ted.Harding-2
Hi Folks,
Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!

I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
"Gaussian" distribution).

According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."

So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
intend to convey?

As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
when they encounter statements in the media.

Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
unusual about the distribution."

Comments welcome!
With thanks,
Ted.

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Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Roger Koenker-2
A nice survey of this territory is:

http://books.google.com/books?id=TN3_d7ibo30C&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=stigler+normal+oxymoron&source=web&ots=OwGhmnDk3O&sig=J7ou_L8-_Mu4L14c3KJAhefrD4I&hl=en

I particularly like the phrase:  "[normal] is in this respect
a rare one-word oxymoron."

url:    www.econ.uiuc.edu/~roger                Roger Koenker
email   [hidden email]                       Department of Economics
vox:    217-333-4558                            University of Illinois
fax:    217-244-6678                            Champaign, IL 61820


On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>
> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
> "Gaussian" distribution).
>
> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>
> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
> intend to convey?
>
> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
> when they encounter statements in the media.
>
> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
> unusual about the distribution."
>
> Comments welcome!
> With thanks,
> Ted.
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
> Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
> Date: 02-Mar-08                                       Time: 13:04:17
> ------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Gábor Csárdi-2
I'm not a statistician, but do i remember well that among all
distributions with a given mean and variance, the normal distribution
has the highest entropy? This is good enough for me to call it
"normal"....

Gabor

On Sun, Mar 02, 2008 at 10:10:21AM -0600, roger koenker wrote:

> A nice survey of this territory is:
>
> http://books.google.com/books?id=TN3_d7ibo30C&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=stigler+normal+oxymoron&source=web&ots=OwGhmnDk3O&sig=J7ou_L8-_Mu4L14c3KJAhefrD4I&hl=en
>
> I particularly like the phrase:  "[normal] is in this respect
> a rare one-word oxymoron."
>
> url:    www.econ.uiuc.edu/~roger                Roger Koenker
> email   [hidden email]                       Department of Economics
> vox:    217-333-4558                            University of Illinois
> fax:    217-244-6678                            Champaign, IL 61820
>
>
> On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>
> > Hi Folks,
> > Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
> > on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
> > forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
> >
> > I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
> > distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
> > "Gaussian" distribution).
> >
> > According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
> > was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
> > Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
> >
> > So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
> > know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
> > intend to convey?
> >
> > As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
> > statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
> > as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
> > is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
> > when they encounter statements in the media.
> >
> > Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
> > interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
> > normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
> > unusual about the distribution."
> >
> > Comments welcome!
> > With thanks,
> > Ted.
> >
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
> > Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
> > Date: 02-Mar-08                                       Time: 13:04:17
> > ------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
Csardi Gabor <[hidden email]>    UNIL DGM

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Ben Bolker
In reply to this post by Roger Koenker-2
roger koenker <roger <at> ysidro.econ.uiuc.edu> writes:

>
> A nice survey of this territory is:
>
>
http://books.google.com/books?id=TN3_d7ibo30C&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=stigler+normal+oxymoron&source=web&ots=OwGhmnDk3O&sig=J7ou_L8-_Mu4L14c3KJAhefrD4I&hl=en
>
> I particularly like the phrase:  "[normal] is in this respect
> a rare one-word oxymoron."
>

   Apparently (at least according to the all-knowing Internet),
these are "contronyms" ( http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1217396 ).
My favorite statistical example is "overdispersion", which in most of
statistics means "more variance than expected", but in spatial statistics
is also used to mean "more regular than a random distribution", i.e.
"less variance than expected" (!!)

  cheers
    Ben

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Johannes Huesing
In reply to this post by Gábor Csárdi-2
Am 02.03.2008 um 17:44 schrieb Gabor Csardi:

> I'm not a statistician, but do i remember well that among all
> distributions with a given mean and variance, the normal distribution
> has the highest entropy? This is good enough for me to call it
> "normal"....

There's more. Among all rotation-symmetric distributions,
the standard bivariate normal is the only one where x and
y are independent.

Also, the formula for the standard normal distribution is
the only one that is its own Fourier transform. So, if we
assume the same distribution for a momentum and
a location of a physical object, according to Heisenberg's
Law it has to be the normal.

Whereas we ought to be wary about assumption of normality
for the distribution of phenomena in nature, the normal and
its henchmen play a defendable role when describing summaries
of phenomena, like arithmetic means. I'd even go as far as
buy into Youden's hype described in that Kruskal and Stigler
essay.

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

knoblauch
Johannes Hüsing <johannes <at> huesing.name> writes:

>
> Am 02.03.2008 um 17:44 schrieb Gabor Csardi:
>
> > I'm not a statistician, but do i remember well that among all
> > distributions with a given mean and variance, the normal distribution
> > has the highest entropy? This is good enough for me to call it
> > "normal"....
>

> Also, the formula for the standard normal distribution is
> the only one that is its own Fourier transform. So, if we
> assume the same distribution for a momentum and
> a location of a physical object, according to Heisenberg's
> Law it has to be the normal.
>
It's not the only one.  There is also the comb function, an infinite train of
evenly spaced impulse functions that is its own transform, and then there is
abs(x)^-0.5 and sech(x), but I'm just reading out of the appendix of
Bracewell, 1978, The Fourier Transformation and Its Applications, McGraw-Hill.

best,

Ken

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Katharine Mullen
In reply to this post by Ted.Harding-2
There is some information and references regarding the name 'normal' in
the internet article 'Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of
Mathematics (N)', http://members.aol.com/jeff570/n.html, by John Aldrich.

It contains the comment, "Galton does not explain why he uses the term
"normal" but the sense of conforming to a norm ( = 'A standard, model,
pattern, type.' (OED)) seems implied."

On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 [hidden email] wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>
> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
> "Gaussian" distribution).
>
> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>
> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
> intend to convey?
>
> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
> when they encounter statements in the media.
>
> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
> unusual about the distribution."
>
> Comments welcome!
> With thanks,
> Ted.
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
> Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
> Date: 02-Mar-08                                       Time: 13:04:17
> ------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Ted.Harding-2
Thanks, Katherine! Now I wonder what, in particular, Peirce
might have had in mind (he was a particularly sharp
philosophical thinker, and might be expected to pay attention
to the "semantic baggage" of what he said).

I'm also enjoying the other delightful "OT" (= "On Tangent")
responses that my query has prompted!

Best wishes to all,
Ted.

On 02-Mar-08 21:19:24, Katharine Mullen wrote:

> There is some information and references regarding the name 'normal' in
> the internet article 'Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of
> Mathematics (N)', http://members.aol.com/jeff570/n.html, by John
> Aldrich.
>
> It contains the comment, "Galton does not explain why he uses the term
> "normal" but the sense of conforming to a norm ( = 'A standard, model,
> pattern, type.' (OED)) seems implied."
>
> On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 [hidden email] wrote:
>
>> Hi Folks,
>> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>>
>> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>> "Gaussian" distribution).
>>
>> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>>
>> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>> intend to convey?
>>
>> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>> when they encounter statements in the media.
>>
>> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>> unusual about the distribution."
>>
>> Comments welcome!
>> With thanks,
>> Ted.
>>
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>> E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
>> Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
>> Date: 02-Mar-08                                       Time: 13:04:17
>> ------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 02-Mar-08                                       Time: 21:52:20
------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton]
In reply to this post by Ted.Harding-2

As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
:-)


--Jim Rogers


On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>
> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
> "Gaussian" distribution).
>
> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>
> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
> intend to convey?
>
> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
> when they encounter statements in the media.
>
> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
> unusual about the distribution."
>
> Comments welcome!
> With thanks,
> Ted.
>

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Duncan Murdoch
On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
> :-)

Just an example of Stigler's Law.

Duncan Murdoch

>
>
> --Jim Rogers
>
>
> On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>
>> Hi Folks,
>> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>>
>> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>> "Gaussian" distribution).
>>
>> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>>
>> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>> intend to convey?
>>
>> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>> when they encounter statements in the media.
>>
>> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>> unusual about the distribution."
>>
>> Comments welcome!
>> With thanks,
>> Ted.
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Douglas Bates-2
On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>  > As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>  > distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
>  > Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
>  > :-)
>
>  Just an example of Stigler's Law.

Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
be attributed to someone else?

>  > On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>  >
>  >> Hi Folks,
>  >> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>  >> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>  >> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>  >>
>  >> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>  >> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>  >> "Gaussian" distribution).
>  >>
>  >> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>  >> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>  >> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>  >>
>  >> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>  >> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>  >> intend to convey?
>  >>
>  >> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>  >> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>  >> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>  >> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>  >> when they encounter statements in the media.
>  >>
>  >> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>  >> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>  >> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>  >> unusual about the distribution."
>  >>
>  >> Comments welcome!
>  >> With thanks,
>  >> Ted.
>  >>
>  >
>  > ______________________________________________
>  > [hidden email] mailing list
>  > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>  > PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>  > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
>  ______________________________________________
>  [hidden email] mailing list
>  https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>  PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>  and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

RKoenker
Yes, the sociologist Robert Merton.

url:    www.econ.uiuc.edu/~roger            Roger Koenker
email    [hidden email]            Department of Economics
vox:     217-333-4558                University of Illinois
fax:       217-244-6678                Champaign, IL 61820


On Mar 3, 2008, at 12:17 PM, Douglas Bates wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to  
>>> de
>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century  
>>> earlier.
>>> :-)
>>
>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>
> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
> be attributed to someone else?
>
>>> On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Folks,
>>>> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>>>> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>>>> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>>>>
>>>> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>>>> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>>>> "Gaussian" distribution).
>>>>
>>>> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>>>> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>>>> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>>>>
>>>> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>>>> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>>>> intend to convey?
>>>>
>>>> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>>>> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>>>> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>>>> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>>>> when they encounter statements in the media.
>>>>
>>>> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>>>> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>>>> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>>>> unusual about the distribution."
>>>>
>>>> Comments welcome!
>>>> With thanks,
>>>> Ted.
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Fox, John
In reply to this post by Douglas Bates-2
Dear Doug,

As I recall, according to Stigler, yes -- he wasn't the first to
formulate Stigler's law of eponymy (but I don't recall to whom he
attributed it).

Regards,
 John

On Mon, 3 Mar 2008 12:17:59 -0600
 "Douglas Bates" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
> >  > As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
> >  > distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair
> to de
> >  > Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century
> earlier.
> >  > :-)
> >
> >  Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>
> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if
> Stigler's
> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more
> correctly
> be attributed to someone else?
>
> >  > On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
> >  >
> >  >> Hi Folks,
> >  >> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
> >  >> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
> >  >> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
> >  >>
> >  >> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
> >  >> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
> >  >> "Gaussian" distribution).
> >  >>
> >  >> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
> >  >> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
> >  >> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
> >  >>
> >  >> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
> >  >> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
> >  >> intend to convey?
> >  >>
> >  >> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
> >  >> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
> >  >> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
> >  >> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
> >  >> when they encounter statements in the media.
> >  >>
> >  >> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
> >  >> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
> >  >> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
> >  >> unusual about the distribution."
> >  >>
> >  >> Comments welcome!
> >  >> With thanks,
> >  >> Ted.
> >  >>
> >  >
> >  > ______________________________________________
> >  > [hidden email] mailing list
> >  > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> >  > PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> >  > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible
> code.
> >
> >  ______________________________________________
> >  [hidden email] mailing list
> >  https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> >  PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> >  and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
> >
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--------------------------------
John Fox, Professor
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/jfox/

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

John Kane-2

--- John Fox <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Doug,
>
> As I recall, according to Stigler, yes -- he wasn't
> the first to
> formulate Stigler's law of eponymy (but I don't
> recall to whom he
> attributed it).


Possibly a disgruntles M. de Moivre?


>
> Regards,
>  John
>
> On Mon, 3 Mar 2008 12:17:59 -0600
>  "Douglas Bates" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch
> <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD
> Groton] wrote:
> > >  > As someone of partly French heritage, I would
> also ask how this
> > >  > distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It
> seems very unfair
> > to de
> > >  > Moivre, who discovered the distribution at
> least half a century
> > earlier.
> > >  > :-)
> > >
> > >  Just an example of Stigler's Law.
> >
> > Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I
> wonder if
> > Stigler's
> > Law is self-referential?  That is, should
> Stigler's Law more
> > correctly
> > be attributed to someone else?
> >
> > >  > On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding)
> wrote:
> > >  >
> > >  >> Hi Folks,
> > >  >> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see
> this query
> > >  >> on this list; but I'm asking because it is
> probably the
> > >  >> forum where I'm most likely to get a good
> answer!
> > >  >>
> > >  >> I'm interested in the provenance of the name
> "normal
> > >  >> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to
> call the
> > >  >> "Gaussian" distribution).
> > >  >>
> > >  >> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal
> distribution"
> > >  >> was coined independently by Charles S.
> Peirce, Francis
> > >  >> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
> > >  >>
> > >  >> So be it, if that was the case -- but I
> would like to
> > >  >> know why they chose the name "normal": what
> did they
> > >  >> intend to convey?
> > >  >>
> > >  >> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the
> usage in
> > >  >> statistics of "everyday language" as
> techincal terms,
> > >  >> as in "significantly different". This, for
> instance,
> > >  >> is likely to be misunderstood by the general
> publidc
> > >  >> when they encounter statements in the media.
> > >  >>
> > >  >> Likewise, "normally distributed" would
> probably be
> > >  >> interpreted as "distributed in the way one
> would
> > >  >> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was
> nothing
> > >  >> unusual about the distribution."
> > >  >>
> > >  >> Comments welcome!
> > >  >> With thanks,
> > >  >> Ted.
> > >  >>
> > >  >
> > >  >
> ______________________________________________
> > >  > [hidden email] mailing list
> > >  > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > >  > PLEASE do read the posting guide
> > http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > >  > and provide commented, minimal,
> self-contained, reproducible
> > code.
> > >
> > >  ______________________________________________
> > >  [hidden email] mailing list
> > >  https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > >  PLEASE do read the posting guide
> > http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > >  and provide commented, minimal, self-contained,
> reproducible code.
> > >
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide
> > http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained,
> reproducible code.
>
> --------------------------------
> John Fox, Professor
> Department of Sociology
> McMaster University
> Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
> http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/jfox/
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained,
> reproducible code.
>

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Patrick Burns
In reply to this post by Douglas Bates-2
Douglas Bates wrote:

>On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>> > As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>> > distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
>> > Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
>> > :-)
>>
>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>>    
>>
>
>Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
>Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
>be attributed to someone else?
>  
>

No.  If Stigler's Law were named after some prior person,
then it wouldn't be an example of itself.

Pat

>  
>
>> > On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi Folks,
>> >> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>> >> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>> >> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>> >>
>> >> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>> >> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>> >> "Gaussian" distribution).
>> >>
>> >> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>> >> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>> >> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>> >>
>> >> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>> >> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>> >> intend to convey?
>> >>
>> >> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>> >> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>> >> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>> >> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>> >> when they encounter statements in the media.
>> >>
>> >> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>> >> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>> >> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>> >> unusual about the distribution."
>> >>
>> >> Comments welcome!
>> >> With thanks,
>> >> Ted.
>> >>
>> >
>> > ______________________________________________
>> > [hidden email] mailing list
>> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> > PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>______________________________________________
>[hidden email] mailing list
>https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
>
>  
>

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Peter Dalgaard
Patrick Burns wrote:

> Douglas Bates wrote:
>
>  
>> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  
>>
>>    
>>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>>>      
>>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
>>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
>>>> :-)
>>>>        
>>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>>>    
>>>
>>>      
>> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
>> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
>> be attributed to someone else?
>>    
>
> No.  If Stigler's Law were named after some prior person,
> then it wouldn't be an example of itself.
>  
Only if said person actually was first to discover it, surely.

--
   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - ([hidden email])              FAX: (+45) 35327907

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Andrew Robinson-6
On Mon, Mar 03, 2008 at 10:22:41PM +0100, Peter Dalgaard wrote:

> Patrick Burns wrote:
> > Douglas Bates wrote:
> >
> >  
> >> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>  
> >>
> >>    
> >>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
> >>>      
> >>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
> >>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
> >>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
> >>>> :-)
> >>>>        
> >>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
> >>>    
> >>>
> >>>      
> >> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
> >> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
> >> be attributed to someone else?
> >>    
> >
> > No.  If Stigler's Law were named after some prior person,
> > then it wouldn't be an example of itself.
> >  
> Only if said person actually was first to discover it, surely.

I believe that Stigler believes that he was not the first to discover
Stigler's Law.


--
Andrew Robinson  
Department of Mathematics and Statistics            Tel: +61-3-8344-6410
University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 Australia         Fax: +61-3-8344-4599
http://www.ms.unimelb.edu.au/~andrewpr
http://blogs.mbs.edu/fishing-in-the-bay/

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Peter Dalgaard
Andrew Robinson wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 03, 2008 at 10:22:41PM +0100, Peter Dalgaard wrote:
>  
>> Patrick Burns wrote:
>>    
>>> Douglas Bates wrote:
>>>
>>>  
>>>      
>>>> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>  
>>>>
>>>>    
>>>>        
>>>>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>>>>>      
>>>>>          
>>>>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>>>>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair to de
>>>>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century earlier.
>>>>>> :-)
>>>>>>        
>>>>>>            
>>>>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>>>>>    
>>>>>
>>>>>      
>>>>>          
>>>> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
>>>> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
>>>> be attributed to someone else?
>>>>    
>>>>        
>>> No.  If Stigler's Law were named after some prior person,
>>> then it wouldn't be an example of itself.
>>>  
>>>      
>> Only if said person actually was first to discover it, surely.
>>    
>
> I believe that Stigler believes that he was not the first to discover
> Stigler's Law
Which is why it is an example of itself...

--
   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - ([hidden email])              FAX: (+45) 35327907

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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

RKoenker

On Mar 3, 2008, at 4:59 PM, Peter Dalgaard wrote:

> Andrew Robinson wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 03, 2008 at 10:22:41PM +0100, Peter Dalgaard wrote:
>>
>>> Patrick Burns wrote:
>>>
>>>> Douglas Bates wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch <[hidden email]
>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>>>>>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very  
>>>>>>> unfair to de
>>>>>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a  
>>>>>>> century earlier.
>>>>>>> :-)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if  
>>>>> Stigler's
>>>>> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more  
>>>>> correctly
>>>>> be attributed to someone else?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> No.  If Stigler's Law were named after some prior person,
>>>> then it wouldn't be an example of itself.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Only if said person actually was first to discover it, surely.
>>>
>>
>> I believe that Stigler believes that he was not the first to discover
>> Stigler's Law
> Which is why it is an example of itself...

This is getting a bit silly, but I would add, unless the discoverer  
had the
same name, cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigler%27s_conjecture
but  I reiterate that the original attribution (by Stigler) is to Robert
Merton.

>
>
> --
>   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
>  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
> (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph:  (+45)  
> 35327918
> ~~~~~~~~~~ - ([hidden email])              FAX: (+45)  
> 35327907
>
> ______________________________________________
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Re: [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

Ingmar Visser
In reply to this post by Douglas Bates-2
Wikipedia says:

Stigler attributes the discovery of Stigler's Law to Robert K. Merton  
(which makes the law self-referencing).

(Working as a historian of science he should have proceeded to name  
the law Merton's law only to find out
later that actually someone had discovered it even earlier.)

Ingmar

[edit]
On 3 Mar 2008, at 19:17, Douglas Bates wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD Groton] wrote:
>>> As someone of partly French heritage, I would also ask how this
>>> distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It seems very unfair  
>>> to de
>>> Moivre, who discovered the distribution at least half a century  
>>> earlier.
>>> :-)
>>
>>  Just an example of Stigler's Law.
>
> Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I wonder if Stigler's
> Law is self-referential?  That is, should Stigler's Law more correctly
> be attributed to someone else?
>
>>> On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding) wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Folks,
>>>> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see this query
>>>> on this list; but I'm asking because it is probably the
>>>> forum where I'm most likely to get a good answer!
>>>>
>>>> I'm interested in the provenance of the name "normal
>>>> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to call the
>>>> "Gaussian" distribution).
>>>>
>>>> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal distribution"
>>>> was coined independently by Charles S. Peirce, Francis
>>>> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
>>>>
>>>> So be it, if that was the case -- but I would like to
>>>> know why they chose the name "normal": what did they
>>>> intend to convey?
>>>>
>>>> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the usage in
>>>> statistics of "everyday language" as techincal terms,
>>>> as in "significantly different". This, for instance,
>>>> is likely to be misunderstood by the general publidc
>>>> when they encounter statements in the media.
>>>>
>>>> Likewise, "normally distributed" would probably be
>>>> interpreted as "distributed in the way one would
>>>> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was nothing
>>>> unusual about the distribution."
>>>>
>>>> Comments welcome!
>>>> With thanks,
>>>> Ted.
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting- 
>>> guide.html
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>>  ______________________________________________
>>  [hidden email] mailing list
>>  https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>  PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting- 
>> guide.html
>>  and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting- 
> guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

Ingmar Visser
Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
Roetersstraat 15
1018 WB Amsterdam
The Netherlands
t: +31-20-5256723



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