Infinite Scoops

on April 12, 2011 in Fiction

“Do you think somewhere there’s an alternate universe that’s just like ours except they have frozen cream and ice yogurt instead of ice cream and frozen yogurt?” she asked while we waited our turn in line.

“Probably not,” I said.

“But if there’s an infinite number of worlds, there must be at least one where that happened,” she said.

“Not really,” I said. “Infinite worlds doesn’t mean that anything you imagine has happened somewhere. There could be an infinite number of identical worlds, for instance.”

“Okay, but if we assume the infinite number of worlds hinge on every possible outcome then wouldn’t there have to be be some where people decided to call it frozen cream and ice yogurt?”

“‘Ice cream’ was actually made with ice, originally,” I explained. “Frozen yogurt came about after refrigerating technology made it possible for something to be frozen without the application of ice. The names weren’t just a random outcome… they wouldn’t make sense the other way around. So, even if there are universes where people eat ice yogurt and frozen cream, it wouldn’t be ‘just like ours’ in every other way. Other things would have to be different, too.”

“Well, that makes sense,” she said. “I guess I was being silly.”

“You’re admitting you were silly?” I asked, surprised.

“Of course,” she said. “Imagine… suggesting there might be a universe somewhere whose inhabitants occasionally give things names that don’t make strict etymological sense.”

“You’re mocking me now, aren’t you?”


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One Response to “Infinite Scoops”

  1. pedestrian says:

    I always loved to get into these types of arguments parsing the meaning of language and the context it is being used in.

    And it always infuriated my wife when I would {for the hundredth time} repeat my tired old joke; “The English Language is MY mistress! Only I am permitted to abuse her.”

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