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Subject:  Re: New Name? Date:  8/19/2008  4:42 PM
Author:  TMFGebinr Number:  229 of 597

When I read this suggestion of Touchstone and the description, I thought it would fit real well given TMF's own Shakespearean name origins.

Plus the added meaning of a source of authority or something to check something else against really weighs in favor of it.

Here's a quote from Wikipedia's entry on "touchstone":

Use of the touchstone revolutionized the concept of money. Use of the touchstone in Ancient Greece and Anatolia dates to circa 500 BC. The fourth century philosopher Theophrastus in the tract de lapidibus (On Stones) described the testing of gold by fire or by the touchstone.

Prior to its introduction gold and silver were common currencies, but these could easily be alloyed with a less expensive metal (tin and lead were common). These were less valuable, but they were difficult to test for. The invention of touchstone made it possible to test for such forgeries quickly and efficiently, and also to determine the relative value of different alloys. That paved the road for gold and silver to become standard equivalents of value, and eventually to government-issued currency which began as coins of pre-probed alloys and weights guaranteed by the mint.

That such a test was not always successful however, is shown by the famous story about Archimedes and the golden crown, where the philosopher developed a much more accurate test involving the density of the suspect crown.

Touchstone metaphor

By extension, the metaphorical use of touchstone means any physical or intellectual measure by which the validity of a concept can be tested (see also Acid Test, Litmus Test, Shibboleth).

The character of Touchstone in Shakespeare's As You Like It is described as "a wise fool who acts as a kind of guide or point of reference throughout the play, putting everyone, including himself, to the comic test".

Nice suggestion which should be seriously considered.

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