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§13.5. Making new relations

We can create new relations like so:

Loving relates various people to one person.

Every relation has a name which ends with the word "relation", and in this case the name is "loving relation". While the name is often just two words long, as here, it doesn't have to be:

Adept sensitivity relates one person to one vehicle.

makes the "adept sensitivity relation". (The limit is 32 words.)

In such a definition, we have to say what kind of thing appears on the left and right of any relation, and also whether "one" or "various" possibilities can exist. In the example

Loving relates various people to one person.

what we are saying is that only people love; that they only love people; and that each person loves only one other person (at any given moment).

The "various" part comes in because, for instance, we might have:

Verenka loving relation Stankevich
Liubov loving relation Stankevich

so that various people (Verenka and Liubov, to name but two) love one person (Stankevich). But we are forbidding anyone to love two other people at the same time: Stankevich must decide which of them to love, or pick someone else, or no-one at all. Similarly, we would not allow

Liubov loving relation Belinsky

It is sometimes convenient to give a name to the other side of a relationship, so to speak. We might imagine:

Pet-ownership relates various animals to one person (called the owner).

It would then make sense to talk about "the owner of Loulou", and we could have phrases like "now Flaubert is the owner of Loulou" or "if the owner of Loulou is a woman..." and so forth. This, however, would not be allowed:

Pet-ownership relates various animals (called the pet) to one person.

because "the pet of Flaubert" would be ambiguous: he might have owned dozens.

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