(Sorry for replying _so_ late...)

On Tue, 9 Aug 2005, Larry Wall wrote:

I kinda like Autrijus's idea that "meta" just means "guts".  In
classical Greek, "meta" just means "with".  The fancy philosophical
meaning of "aboutness" isn't there, but is a backformation from
terms such as metaphysics.  Metaphysics is just what you study along
"with" physics.

Well, I have always been told that the bakinformation regards the term metaphysics coming from the title of the related book by Aristotle, which in fact happened to have that title because it came _next to_ the physics one...

More on topic, a pun on other prefixes (especially in the context of Chemistry) suggests we may have .para, .ortho, as well? Could we find a semantic meaning for them? They may have to do with classes behaving parallely (both subclasses of a class higher in hyerarchy?) or othogonally (guaranteed to take actions in full independence of the current one) to .meta; well, it was just an idea...

i need to know what type of math and how much math a surgeon uses.
How about asking what type of surgery and how much surgery
a mathematician uses?
- Robin Chapman in sci.math

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