No, it’s not a political thread. Rather, I’m hoping to kick off some discussion as to whether the sentence “The current king of France punched me in the mouth today” is false or incoherent.
I’m of the opinion that this sentence is false. If no one punched me in the mouth today, then I can rest my case. If someone did, he is not the current king of France, as France has no king at this point in time. And of course no woman is the present king of France at any point in time.
However, the argument that the sentence is incoherent is not terribly easy to dismiss. It comes down to the question of who the semantical subject of that sentence is. Since there is no current king of France, the sentence doesn’t refer to anyone, and is therefore incoherent–coherent sentences must refer to someone or something.
I think it’s pretty clear that it’s not true, due to the reasons that I outlined arguing that the sentence is false. For what it’s worth, no one has punched me in the mouth today as of this writing.
What say you, learned dopers?