Search found 310 matches

by Aiwendil
Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127461

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Calling soda a soft drink sounds like calling a bathroom a restroom to me. Just not something you do inside someone's house, it's a word that only exists in public and commercial spaces. This is my feeling about the word as well. Around here, "soft drink" is a neutral and slightly formal ...
by Aiwendil
Tue May 30, 2017 11:52 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127461

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Why is onomatopoeia different in different languages? While English speakers say that ducks go "quack", German speakers say that frogs go "quak". Strange. Why the disagreement of what animals sound like? I think the fundamental issue is that alphabets designed by and for humans ...
by Aiwendil
Sun May 21, 2017 4:24 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15196
Views: 2707114

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Coyne's original point is nonetheless true, though: something can be within one's rights (e.g. protected speech) and still be harmful. For instance, freedom of speech protects people who say things like "Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S.", but saying that is still harmful to ...
by Aiwendil
Fri May 12, 2017 1:26 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8719
Views: 927772

Re: Trump presidency

K-R wrote:
Aiwendil wrote:No, the burden of proof is on the side claiming that a crime took place. There is still presumption of innocence, even for someone as ridiculously non-innocent as Trump.
In a civil suit, neither side is claiming that a crime took place.


Perhaps I should have said "a breach of the law".
by Aiwendil
Thu May 11, 2017 2:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8719
Views: 927772

Re: Trump presidency

Libel is actual a very difficult crime to prove. My citation is a private conversation with a special agent of the FBI. He did not say why; my guess is that the measurement of damages in a libel case are inherently subjective. In this case I think it would be impossible to prove. How could you ever...
by Aiwendil
Thu May 11, 2017 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Alien Mathematics: A Math System Beyond our Comprehension?
Replies: 24
Views: 9143

Re: Alien Mathematics: A Math System Beyond our Comprehension?

It turns out the punchline to Godel's second incompletness theorem is that all "consistent formalized system which contains elementary arithmetic" are inconsistent.


Surely you mean that such systems are incomplete (rather than inconsistent).
by Aiwendil
Tue May 09, 2017 3:56 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127461

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

The most obscure relative of mine (in terms of having to put terms on top of each other) that I'm aware of is my first cousin twice removed I have a double third cousin. My father's father's mother's (i.e. great-grandmother's) sister is her father's father's mother (i.e. great-grandmother), and my ...
by Aiwendil
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1825: "7 Eleven"
Replies: 85
Views: 25485

Re: 1825: "7 Eleven"

It always bothers me that these places say "open 24 hours" instead of "open 24 hours a day".
by Aiwendil
Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:38 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8719
Views: 927772

Re: Trump presidency

Yeah, I was there thinking 'pretty sure he was using it against Germans, being an ethnic minority doesn't mean you don't count'. Also, there's not much of a difference between scooping up innocent people to kill them with gas rather than just killing innocent people with gas on the street. Yeah, th...
by Aiwendil
Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:55 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Breaking Up the United States
Replies: 174
Views: 72400

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Anywho, I think it best to let states hold more power in general in comparison to the federal government when it comes to issues of morality in general. If you don't like how one state does things, you can a) try to convince that state why they are wrong, or b) just move to another one. Would you a...
by Aiwendil
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1816: "Mispronunciation"
Replies: 155
Views: 32075

Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Same in the UK. Maybe it depends where you are in the UK - I'm English and say "inVENtory". I've only ever heard "INventory" from Americans. I was unfamiliar with the pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable, but it sounds delightfully like what a whimsical inventor ...
by Aiwendil
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:56 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Breaking Up the United States
Replies: 174
Views: 72400

Re: Breaking Up the United States

I honestly think you'd be surprised how little these groups actually intersect despite occupying the same physical space. You say this forum spans a broad range of the political spectrum, and yet, I can think of no more than five members of this forum who are even likely Trump supporters. There's p...
by Aiwendil
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1812: "Onboarding"
Replies: 34
Views: 10171

Re: 1812: "Onboarding"

I just want to say, I really, really hate the term "onboarding". It started showing up at work about a year ago, and my reaction to it has not improved with time. There's no rational basis for this hate, mind you -- the term fills a niche that is otherwise hard to describe -- but neverthe...
by Aiwendil
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:06 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127461

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Is "junk" really a synonym for you? For me (and anyone with a junk drawer ) "junk" includes miscellaneous not-very-important things that are nonetheless useful enough to keep around instead of throwing away. Hmm, when I use "junk" in the sense of miscellaneous unimport...
by Aiwendil
Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:55 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127461

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Is there a difference between "trash" and "garbage" to you? For me, they're synonyms. I've read that historically there was a difference. Garbage referring to food waste. For me they're synonyms as well (and also "junk"). I found it quite confusing and rather amusing w...
by Aiwendil
Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:49 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1811: "Best-Tasting Colors"
Replies: 117
Views: 27965

Re: 1811: "Best-Tasting Colors"

I think it's clear: Randall is wrong about all food. I suspect he has never eaten or drunk anything, and obtains nutrients by submerging himself in some kind of protein bath.
by Aiwendil
Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1804: "Video Content"
Replies: 64
Views: 13492

Re: 1804: "Video Content"

A new-ish thing that I hate is when an article has a video at the top, and if you scroll down past it to the text, the video shrinks and moves down to the lower right of the screen. What's worse, I've had it happen that I've loaded a page, clicked "pause" on the video because all I'm inter...
by Aiwendil
Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:11 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"
Replies: 43
Views: 24909

Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

As a scientist working on an experiment in Canada, I find that pie chart a little disquieting.
by Aiwendil
Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1804: "Video Content"
Replies: 64
Views: 13492

Re: 1804: "Video Content"

What always used to get me , when I was younger and more excitable about this issue, is that the publication standards seemed to be (contrary to how I was taught!) to put quotations in single-quotes, quoted quotations in double-quotes, quoted quoted quotations back in single quotes. I personally th...
by Aiwendil
Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:31 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I don't have it, but I've heard in in "both". I tend to associate it with older New York state (not city) residents, but I have no idea whether that impression is at all correct.
by Aiwendil
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I don't pronounce the 'h' in 'herb', 'herbal', or 'herbivore', but do in 'history', 'historian', etc.
by Aiwendil
Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:13 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I pronounce the first r in February, but I'm not sure whether I do this "natively", so to speak, or whether I learned it as the "correct" pronunciation at some point in childhood.
by Aiwendil
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:53 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

It's weird that I've never heard the w-less version of "quarter", despite the coin being mentioned in plenty of American shows. The closest I can remember hearing was a scene in the old Transformers cartoon where Megatron noticeably pronounces "headquarters" without the w sound....
by Aiwendil
Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:28 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Yeah, my "want" vowel varies from "wand" to "font" depending on context. I use the same vowel in "wand" and "font", /ɑ/. my "want" rhymes with "punt" and "hunt" rather than "font" or "taunt". the rar...
by Aiwendil
Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1797: "Stardew Valley"
Replies: 16
Views: 6480

Re: 1797: "Stardew Valley"

This is the first comic in a while that I don't understand at all, or even have any idea what the reference is.
by Aiwendil
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:27 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I would, like Lazar, have guessed that /wʌnt/ is a minority, but that might be a parochial impression.
by Aiwendil
Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:52 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Think Before Naming Your Child
Replies: 1622
Views: 352664

Re: Think Before Naming Your Child

I don't get it.
by Aiwendil
Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:40 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: What is up with the ASCII capital phi?
Replies: 6
Views: 4295

Re: What is up with the ASCII capital phi?

It kind of resembles the way I write capital phi, except for the vertical line not being continued within the circle. I tend to use exaggerated serifs on capital phi (and theta) to more clearly distinguish them from lower case phi (and theta).
by Aiwendil
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1774: "Adjective Foods"
Replies: 64
Views: 12862

Re: 1774: "Adjective Foods"

That Craft Barrel-aged Smoked Authentic Homemade Sun-dried Whole Extra Sharp actually sounds pretty good.
by Aiwendil
Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1771: "It Was I"
Replies: 61
Views: 16477

Re: 1771: "It Was I"

Neither are Chewbacca and R2D2 human, and everybody converses with them as well with no apparent difficulty or misunderstanding. Which makes you wonder why Anakin felt there was a need for a protocol droid capable of understanding over six million languages. That's not really true. Only C-3PO seems...
by Aiwendil
Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1769: "Never seen Star Wars"
Replies: 85
Views: 19968

Re: 1769: "Never seen Star Wars"

Starting a list of other movies you might assume everyone's seen but they haven't and don't care: Napoleon Dynamite Eight and a Half Treasure of Sierra Madre Dr. Strangelove Ghost Busters Metropolis Dirty Harry Are we really at the point now where we assume everyone has seen Metropolis ? This is Fr...
by Aiwendil
Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1746: "Making Friends"
Replies: 12
Views: 4147

Re: 1746: "Making Friends"

Soupspoon wrote:Why, then, if I do smell of rotting meat, do I have no friends?


Because your facts about space aren't cool enough.
by Aiwendil
Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:49 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 292671

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I'm from northern New Jersey, and I have "ought" natively, although I use "should" more frequently.
by Aiwendil
Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hofstadter's "Person Paper"?
Replies: 16
Views: 7477

Re: Hofstadter's "Person Paper"?

I think you may not understand the satire as well as you think you do. The paper is written in two voices: Hofstadter's in the "Post Scriptum", and a hypothetical opponent of non-racist language reform in Hofstadter's fictional world in which standard English was divided by race rather th...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hofstadter's "Person Paper"?
Replies: 16
Views: 7477

Re: Hofstadter's "Person Paper"?

I will doubtless learn more when reading said paper, later, but I don't see any reason to presume gendering in (I think) the words "they", "them", "their", "theirs" or "themself" There is no presumption of gender in these words, nor any objection to...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:18 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1994
Views: 493967

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Well, it's similar to the recent construction in "Internet speak", where people will deliberately ungrammatically drop everything between "because" and the important noun/gerund/adjective they're referring to: "Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because M...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:56 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you think English should have or bring back.
Replies: 643
Views: 174918

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

I write "rooves". Also, "hooves", "dwarves", and "elves", and "oaves" (regardless of the context). (All right, I don't have much occasion to pluralize "oaf", but still). But again, this may be the result of being thoroughly steeped in Tolki...
by Aiwendil
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:52 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you think English should have or bring back.
Replies: 643
Views: 174918

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

That doesn't surprise me – some forms that are preferred in Britain, like the "-t" forms of verbs, strike us Americans as more old-fashioned and thus more literary. That ought to result in the opposite behavior, though, from that which I exhibit - I say "dreamt" but often write ...
by Aiwendil
Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:03 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you think English should have or bring back.
Replies: 643
Views: 174918

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Interestingly, I find that in writing, I am about equally likely to use "dreamt" or "dreamed", but in speech, I always naturally say "dreamt". I'm curious as to how people conjugate "blend". I tend to use "blent" as the past and the past participle, ...
by Aiwendil
Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:13 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you think English should have or bring back.
Replies: 643
Views: 174918

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

I suspect it's the unusual orthography of having "y" represent a vowel in a non-final position that holds back "tryna". With its vocalic "y", "tryna" looks foreign. And the alternative, spelling it "trina", obscures the meaning too much. I agree, tho...

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