Ultrasonic Team (T. Yanagisawa, Hokkaido Univ,)    
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【Let's えいご37】
(番外編)" Existence or Presence?"

Feb 06, 1970
Since one of the journal referee (He or She might be a Japanese) complains about my English usage of "presence", Would the referee perhaps prefer to use the word “existence” instead of “presence”?


I would like to refute referee's opinion.

One of my friend (he is a native English speaker) said, he would normally use "existence" for something where localization is irrelevant, i.e., whether it was an actually or not regardless of where. When talking about a specific location, or existence within a certain medium, then "presence" would be better.

I cannot imagine an example in science where "existence" would be better to use than "presence" and I rarely see this used in the papers written by native English speaker. I think if unsure then "presence" is best to use for non-native English speakers such as Japanese like me.

Anywhere we want to use “existence”, we should be able to use “presence” (presence would never seem odd, there are many situations where existence would seem odd).

What do you guys think about?


抄訳
existenceという単語は、場所を問わず宇宙のどこかに「実在」していることを意味する。たとえば

"Do you believe in the existence of God?"

のように使う。

是に対しpresenceの方は何らかの意味で知覚できるような「存在」に限って使われる。従って、前の例でexistenceをpresenceに変えてはいけない。

逆に科学論文などでいうところの「存在」は、大抵existenceではなくpresenceを用いなければならないことが多いように思う。

例えば、上の例になぞらえると

"Traces of blood confirmed the existance of god on the cross."

は妙な感じである。

この場合は

"Traces of blood confirmed the presence of god on the cross at an earlier time point."

のようになるんちゃうか。
血は観測可能なのだ。
唯一の例外として、素粒子論や宇宙論の理論家だけは"existence"を用いて観測不可能な事象を論じることが許されるのだろうか。
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