Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Picking a Little Nit

It just suddenly occured to me that to call it "Occam's Razor" is wrong. Since it is named for William of Occam (or Ockham), the word Occam is not a person, but a place. Just as Julian of Norwich is just called "Julian," or Hildegard of Bingham is just called "Hildegard," the shortened version of William of Occam would be William, not Occam.

If we're too lazy to call it "William of Occam's Razor," then the shortened version should be "William's Razor," rather than "Occam's Razor."

There, nit successfully picked. Since I've been writing about Benedictines today, it is only just and right that I give the Franciscans their due.


  1. And yet, "Da Vinci Code"

  2. it is only just and right that I give the Franciscans their dueCome now, Francis would prefer that they beg for it...

  3. I always call the US capital "George", but it doesn't seem to be catching on.

  4. I think this is a case of place becoming name.....that is, just like in the good old days a lord was referred to by the place (England, France, Buckingham, York etc) that was his chief manor, and not either his first name or his family name. This usage carries over into references to other people at the period that gave us the name "Occam's Razor" as a short form for William of Occam's Razor. Just a thought.