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Linguistic problems in Bridge Drink deep from the Pierian Spring

#1 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 00:55

In a recent post elsewhere someone noted that the explanation provided by GIB during the bidding did not exactly correspond to what was in its hand.
I gave this a bit of thought and decided that my response could be considered a little 'off-topic' so I have placed it here.
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#2 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 04:12

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-February-28, 00:55, said:

Here is a typical example from a hand that I played where GIB is telling me that it has the Q, which as you can see, is in my hand! I simply interpreted it to mean that: yes, a slam was on. Unfortunately for me, I underbid - but that's another story.

Q1: Why did you even bother asking for the trump queen when you were not interested in the answer?
Q2: Are you aware of the widely-understood rule that you show the trump queen in a RKCB sequence when there is a known 10 card fit? That would seem the obvious interpretation of GIB's call.
Q3: Did you consider posting this in the forum dedicated to all things GIB?
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#3 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 04:52

Thank you for that response Zel.
It is not exactly on the topic of linguistics. Nor is it on the topic of how GIB responds to bids which is what the post is about. Instead, it is a series of three off-topic interrogatories.
Linguistically, this suggests that either you have failed to follow the purpose of the post or that you wish to make some other sort of point. One way that people usually make points when they communicate with each other is by making actual statements instead of asking questions. Give it a bash.
Since we are having a discussion of linguistics, here is a legal test known as the 'Policeman at the elbow test'. Let's say you're driving home and a policeman pulls you over and asks you for identification. Would you respond by asking him:
1) Why did he bother to pull you over?
2) Is he aware that the man over there is driving very quickly?
3) Do I really have to go through all this palaver?
I wouldn't, but maybe it works better in your jurisdiction.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#4 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 08:12

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-February-28, 04:52, said:

Thank you for that response Zel.
It is not exactly on the topic of linguistics. Nor is it on the topic of how GIB responds to bids which is what the post is about. Instead, it is a series of three off-topic interrogatories.
Linguistically, this suggests that either you have failed to follow the purpose of the post or that you wish to make some other sort of point. One way that people usually make points when they communicate with each other is by making actual statements instead of asking questions. Give it a bash.
Since we are having a discussion of linguistics, here is a legal test known as the 'Policeman at the elbow test'. Let's say you're driving home and a policeman pulls you over and asks you for identification. Would you respond by asking him:
1) Why did he bother to pull you over?
2) Is he aware that the man over there is driving very quickly?
3) Do I really have to go through all this palaver?
I wouldn't, but maybe it works better in your jurisdiction.

It seems to me a perfectly acceptable response to ask "Is there a problem, Sir?" while handing over your license. But your analogy is fatally flawed because the officer has a position of authority on the streets that you do not possess at the bridge table. Perhaps if this was posted by Mike or Justin such a level of authority could be assumed but I do not think you are playing in the BB quite yet. :P

You are probably right though that I am not understanding your reason for posting. I look at your screenshot and I see a completely normal auction from North's perspective, assuming they possess 5 spades. As the hand is covered we cannot really assess GIB's actions for the specific holding. Against that, we can see that South has clearly misbid, so asking about that does not seem unreasonable. If it were actually Mike or Justin posting I would also ask the question in the hope and expectation of learning something.

All that is left is the linked thread from lycier. This is a known GIB issue, that it sometimes steps out and deviates from agreements in strange ways due to the hand sampling sims it performs. But that is an issue for thew GIB forums and nothing to do with linguistics. So I guess I still need to ask what aspect of linguistics you want to discuss. GIB's language seems to be fairly clear.

In terms of human conversations, you see the effect you mention most often in political interviews, when the interviewer will sometimes start by asking the "home team" speaker a question they know will elicit a pointed response that they can pass over to the "away team" representative and then use their position to control the narrative and keep the pressure on. One of the arts of political interviews is in halting a specific line of questioning and turning it back to more palatable topics. The Right is considerably better at this than the Left in the USA, although sometimes doing it in a way that is so objectionable that it must surely turn off watchers more than wooing them (see Kellyanne Conway).

In bridge I think that taking this in the same vein is usually an indicator of an inexperienced player. Good players look at inferences from the whole auction, not just the first bid or two. Again here, I do not really understand what that has to do with linguistics rather than just indicating the level of the players involved.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#5 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 09:36

Quote

The 'challenge' we seem to face is that with any language we need to pack a huge amount of information into an often inadequate space.

Indeed, this is one of the things that makes bridge bidding interesting. We have a very restricted language, but often quite a bit of information we'd like to transmit.

#6 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-February-28, 16:14

Many years back there was a cartoon in the acbl journal that I wish I had saved. A player was explaining "My discard of the spade 7 was meant to tell you that if you had such and such then you should switch to a heart, but if you had..." This went on for several lines and then finished with "It was kinda hard to say all of that with a 7"
Ken
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#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-February-29, 18:04

My human understanding is that the double of 2 diamonds shows length and strength in diamonds, enough so that I am not worried about 2D being passed out to pay. I would also think of it as a warning that partner, if his suit is spades, might want to forget about bidding them. But you again bring up the police, and this is the area where we discuss such matters as that more than we discuss bridge agreements. I agree that talking with police requires care. When I was 14 I was hitchhiking, a cop I had not noticed before said "You will get there faster if you walk". Naive me, I thought he was just making a friendly comment so I replied, "Yeah nobody is willing to give a guy a ride today". This somehow set him off, but he still gave me another chance to start walking before taking me "downtown".Well, hitchhiking was illegal and he was a cop and he did let me go, I am not really complaining.
Ken
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#8 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-February-29, 18:57

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-February-28, 17:32, said:

.. will now understand how dangerous it is to use terms such as 'obvious' when referring to language and communication..

.. any reasonable human partner would know that is what I am saying

That is indeed a good example, since I wholeheartedly disagree with the second sentence, despite your dangerous use of 'reasonable'.
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#9 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-February-29, 19:17

View Postkenberg, on 2020-February-29, 18:04, said:

I agree that talking with police requires care. When I was 14 I was hitchhiking, a cop I had not noticed before said "You will get there faster if you walk". Naive me, I thought he was just making a friendly comment so I replied, "Yeah nobody is willing to give a guy a ride today". This somehow set him off, but he still gave me another chance to start walking before taking me "downtown".Well, hitchhiking was illegal and he was a cop and he did let me go, I am not really complaining.


Pretty funny! You really need to watch Duane's talk and read his book. He points out that not only should you never talk to the police, but that the most at risk group are children. The safest group of children are the children of lawyers and police officers because they are taught at a very young age to never talk to the police.
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#10 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-February-29, 19:30

Hmmm. I'm shocked, distressed, and horrified to discover that you disagree with all your heart.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#11 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-February-29, 21:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-February-29, 19:30, said:

And that you believe my use of the term 'reasonable' is dangerous. I meant it in the sense of 'what the average person might think'. I don't believe that is dangerous

Dangerous in that if you say something is obvious, or would be what the average person might think, you might turn out to be completely wrong.

And I'll pass on your challenge, since there are too many occasions where it's crucial those words are the best (and sometimes the only possible) words to use.
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#12 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-March-01, 00:17

View Postsmerriman, on 2020-February-29, 21:14, said:

Dangerous in that if you say something is obvious, or would be what the average person might think, you might turn out to be completely wrong.

And I'll pass on your challenge, since there are too many occasions where it's crucial those words are the best (and sometimes the only possible) words to use.


Words are a big problem aren't they! Feel free to send me a friend challenge of any format as often as you like. I'll always accept :) you say!
Who will you pass on my challenge to?
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#13 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-March-01, 08:00

I have decided to lose some weight. I think that's all of the self-discipline I am up for at the moment.
Ken
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#14 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-March-01, 08:38

View Postbarmar, on 2020-February-28, 09:36, said:

Indeed, this is one of the things that makes bridge bidding interesting. We have a very restricted language, but often quite a bit of information we'd like to transmit.


What is needed is a King with a middle finger extended - a wild card that can be played in unison with a normal card but one that adds the extra meaning of, "Partner, you suck"" But then, I guess it could also be saying, "F$#K it, I didn't know what else to play," or, "F#%king Arsehole, how did you know to endplay me?" Come to think of it, maybe we need lots of new cards. :blink:
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