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§13.9. Defining new assertion verbs

Here is an example definition of a new verb:

The verb to sport means the wearing relation.

Once this is done, we can write the assertion

Mr Wickham sports a Tory rosette.

which will do the the same thing as

Mr Wickham wears a Tory rosette.

because both verbs have the same relation as their meaning.

Earlier versions of Inform needed to be told how to make other parts of the verb, but that's rarely true now. Just writing:

The verb to sport means the wearing relation.

is enough for Inform to understand "he sports", "they sport", "he sported", "it is sported", "he is sporting", "he had sported" and so on. It works with irregular verbs, too; it has a very comprehensive dictionary. But it's legal to spell out the conjugation if need be:

The verb to sport (he sports, they sport, he sported, it is sported) implies the knowledge relation.

Occasionally it's convenient to have the relation the other way around. For instance:

The verb to grace means the reversed wearing relation.

With that defined, these two sentences have identical meanings:

Mr Wickham sports a Tory rosette.
A Tory rosette graces Mr Wickham.

Reversed in this sense means that the things related - the subject and object of the verb - are the other way round.

The Phrasebook index contains all the verbs associated with assertions, in the Verbs section. When we add new verbs to our source, those will appear in the Phrasebook as well.

The verbs above ("to grace", "to sport") are short ones, but we're free to make them longer than that. For example:

The verb to cover oneself with means the wearing relation.

Peter is covering himself with a tent-like raincoat.

Here we have "to cover oneself with", four words long; the limit is 29.

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