Reference and Buridan's Law

Philosophy 62 (239):7 - 15 (1987)
Abstract
‘Reference’ was the term Max Black and I chose to render Frege's term ‘ Bedeutung ’ when we published English translations of some selections from his works. We preferred ‘stand for’ as a translation of the verb ‘ bedeuten ’; but from ‘stand for’ we could not form a general term to render the corresponding German noun. Our renderings were chosen because, like the German words, they were in themselves colourless and untechnical, and on that very account could take on in context whatever special import Frege's way of thinking might give them. Black ! and I could not foresee how the English language was going to develop. T Like another familiar English word, the word ‘gay’, ‘reference’ has S become the badge or slogan of a certain set of people; those who do not belong to the set but go on using the word as they always have done may find themselves on occasion seriously misunderstood
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Edward Kanterian (2009). Puzzles About Descriptive Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.
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