[FRIAM] looking for a word

Eric Smith desmith at santafe.edu
Tue Aug 21 11:22:20 EDT 2018


I haven’t followed this thread closely enough to have a good sense of what you are after, so apologies if this is off point.

When you first asked, and hadn’t talked yet about specifically tree-like networks, I was thinking that the converging end could borrow the term “coalescent” from population genetics.  I don’t think the geneticists have a corresponding word for the final-time data that it is the purpose of the coalescent to assign a history to, but I guess the counterpart would be the “divergent”.  That would have been a strange notion for a merely-concentrated part of a network that wasn’t both treelike and directed in some sense, so I stayed quiet.  But it seems treelike networks with sources and destinations are still in the conversation.

Of course this has the problem that both words are natively adjectives, themselves derived from transitive verbs, which have now been repurposed as nouns in technical fields.  But maybe in linguistic typology that isn’t so uncommon (Bill Croft has told me this, but I don’t have a particularly good reference.  Perhaps
or his book(s?))


> On Aug 21, 2018, at 9:50 AM, ∄ uǝʃƃ <gepropella at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Plenum" is a fantastic idea. I rejected "manifold" originally because I've tried to use it in conversations with biologists before and it just didn't seem to communicate the idea. It baffles me a bit because the word is so directly available as "many folds".  But perhaps it's too engineering-oriented.  Plenum may well be what I'm looking for, though.  It has similar problems to "plexus", though, in its etymology.  Where "plexus" can imply braiding where the threads don't merge/branch, but merely criss-cross, "plenum" can mean "full space", which might well refer to the center of the bed (leaf nodes in the lung or tree case, smallest diameter in the capillary bed case) where the network comes closest to filling the space.  Plexus has an advantage over plenum, though, because it's already used in the way I want.  E.g. afferent and efferent plexuses.
> On 08/20/2018 10:18 PM, Robert J. Cordingley wrote:
>> Whatever happened to 'inlet or exhaust manifolds' or 'plenum'? (The exhausts from the 7 cyclone sets come together in a plenum before exiting the reactor.) Too mundane?
> -- 
> ∄ uǝʃƃ
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