Re: [R] [OT] "normal" (as in "Guassian")

From: John Kane <jrkrideau_at_yahoo.ca>
Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2008 13:50:04 -0500 (EST)

> Dear Doug,
>
> As I recall, according to Stigler, yes -- he wasn't
> the first to
> formulate Stigler's law of eponymy (but I don't
> recall to whom he
> attributed it).

Possibly a disgruntles M. de Moivre?

>
> Regards,
> John
>
> On Mon, 3 Mar 2008 12:17:59 -0600
> "Douglas Bates" <bates_at_stat.wisc.edu> wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Duncan Murdoch
> <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
> > wrote:
> > > On 3/3/2008 9:10 AM, Rogers, James A [PGRD
> Groton] wrote:
> > > > As someone of partly French heritage, I would
> also ask how this
> > > > distribution came to be called "Gaussian". It
> seems very unfair
> > to de
> > > > Moivre, who discovered the distribution at
> least half a century
> > earlier.
> > > > :-)
> > >
> > > Just an example of Stigler's Law.
> >
> > Taking this to a whole new level of "off topic", I
> wonder if
> > Stigler's
> > Law is self-referential? That is, should
> Stigler's Law more
> > correctly
> > be attributed to someone else?
> >
> > > > On Mar 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, (Ted Harding)
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hi Folks,
> > > >> Apologies to anyone who'd prefer not to see
> this query
> > > >> on this list; but I'm asking because it is
> probably the
> > > >> forum where I'm most likely to get a good
> answer!
> > > >>
> > > >> I'm interested in the provenance of the name
> "normal
> > > >> distribution" (for what I'd really prefer to
> call the
> > > >> "Gaussian" distribution).
> > > >>
> > > >> According to Wikipedia, "The name "normal
> distribution"
> > > >> was coined independently by Charles S.
> Peirce, Francis
> > > >> Galton and Wilhelm Lexis around 1875."
> > > >>
> > > >> So be it, if that was the case -- but I
> would like to
> > > >> know why they chose the name "normal": what
> did they
> > > >> intend to convey?
> > > >>
> > > >> As background: I'm reflecting a bit on the
> usage in
> > > >> statistics of "everyday language" as
> techincal terms,
> > > >> as in "significantly different". This, for
> instance,
> > > >> is likely to be misunderstood by the general
> publidc
> > > >> when they encounter statements in the media.
> > > >>
> > > >> Likewise, "normally distributed" would
> probably be
> > > >> interpreted as "distributed in the way one
> would
> > > >> normally expect" or, perhaps, "there was
> nothing
> > > >> unusual about the distribution."
> > > >>
> > > >> Comments welcome!
> > > >> With thanks,
> > > >> Ted.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> ______________________________________________
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> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
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> --------------------------------
> John Fox, Professor
> Department of Sociology
> McMaster University
> Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
> http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/jfox/
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide
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>



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