0856: "Trochee Fixation"

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0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby glasnt » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Image

ALT: If you Huffman-coded all the 'random' things everyone on the internet has said over the years, you'd wind up with, like, 30 or 40 bytes *tops*.



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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:11 am UTC

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby sunami » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:11 am UTC

I'm assuming the Stephenson reference is about Snow Crash, but it's been far too long since I've last read it. Then again I guess Anathem tried to do that to anyone that read it BAZINGA!
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby koipen » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:20 am UTC

Those brains are shaped like Australia:

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:25 am UTC

koipen wrote:Those brains are shaped like Australia:

Wholly shit!
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3rdtry wrote:If there ever is another World War, I hope they at least have the decency to call it "World War 2: Episode One"

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Big Deal

Postby jc » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Uh, the overwhelming majority of English words have initial stress, and 2-syllable words are extremely common. So lots of trochees is what you'd expect in random English text. Any other stress pattern is less common. Well, except for a string of single-syllable words. ;-)

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby wolf550e » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:37 am UTC

1. Does the use of "scrapple" mean the author has watched the latest episode of Dirty Jobs?
2. Use arithmetic coding, it's optimal and the patent has expired. Good explanation and code: http://www.mattmahoney.net/dc/dce.html#Section_32


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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Nic the Man » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:41 am UTC

As I am not a linguistics student, I think this absolutely amazing and would never have noticed it otherwise.

As I _AM_ a CS student, I'd like to point out Huffman Coding wouldn't be much more efficient in this case.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby HighwoodFool » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:48 am UTC

TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee!
i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB!
an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST!
am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach!
DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l!

(I'm having too much fun with this, aren't I?)
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Nova » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Call me old-fashioned, but calling the vocal folds "chords" instead of "cords" drives me right up the wall.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby squareroot » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:56 am UTC

I felt all good that I knew what Huffman encoding was before the comic... then I came here and I remember that, apparently, that's normal for these people. :)

Yay for reading through 10 pages of someone else's C code at a science fair, while everyone else is having lunch...
Although that slightly-wasted lunch was the start of a good friendship (even though the other student wasn't there while I was reading it). :D

Also: I recently watched a video of the vocal cords in my choir class. All the girls were cracking up. Most of the guys were too. Except for a few that didn't get it... those were the funniest of all. :D :D
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Caffeine » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 am UTC

Came in to say the brains look like Australia, but was beaten to it...

So instead, I'll say something nonsensical:

This is post 99997 in the Board index > The Comic > Individual XKCD Comic Threads part of the forum (couldn't be bothered to wait for 100000)
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby black_hat_guy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:06 am UTC

Does anyone know if "trochee" is a trochee?
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby alfa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:13 am UTC

This explains so much...

Now if only it made any difference in the internet.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby crzftx » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:15 am UTC

Deleted
Last edited by crzftx on Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:47 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby alfa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:16 am UTC

100000 posts... Congratulations XKCD forums!

I could've had it if not for the need of moderator approval my previous post first...

Edit: A new generation of posting

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/2272/100001.png

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:25 am UTC

Me and my avatar are just going to slink away now.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby BlitzGirl » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:44 am UTC

HighwoodFool wrote:TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee!
i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB!
an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST!
am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach!
DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l!

(I'm having too much fun with this, aren't I?)


I don't mind, but I can see how some might see you as a little an-a-PEST...
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Midnight » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:47 am UTC

HighwoodFool wrote:TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee! TROCH-ee!
i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB! i-AMB!
an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST! an-a-PEST!
am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach! am-PHI-brach!
DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l! DAC-ty-l!

(I'm having too much fun with this, aren't I?)


I get the point of the exercise, but it never clicked with me. Probably because iamb is a trochee, and anapest also has the first syllable stressed... I forget the others.

and yes, trochee is a trochee. Most words are. My first name, my middle name, my last name, and my username. Four right there .
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Alltat » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:58 am UTC

Midnight wrote:and yes, trochee is a trochee. Most words are. My first name, my middle name, my last name, and my username. Four right there .

It's a good thing I got several minutes of enjoyment out of the comic before reading this, because it took most of the fun out of it (but in an interesting way). I was amazed by the insight that all the words in both "Mighty Morphing Power Rangers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" followed the same pattern, but indeed my first, middle, last and screen names all follow that same pattern. As does the name of the street I live on (if you remove the "street" part), the city I grew up in, the breakfast I'm eating, and the piece of furniture on which eating it. That makes it a lot less impressive.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby jwwells » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:07 am UTC

First-person gamers, on the other hand, prefer one-syllable words. If two syllables must be used, it should be in the relatively rare spondee meter. If three syllables are used, at least two should be accented.

Single syllable:
DOOM
Quake
Thief
Strife
Myst
Blood
F.E.A.R.
SiN

Spondee:
Half-Life
Dead Space
Blake Stone
Outlaws (The second syllable is somewhere between stressed and unstressed)
Starsiege

Three syllables:
DEus EX (can be read as spondee)
GEARS of WAR
SYStem SHOCK
DARK FORces
TEAM FORtress
STARSIEGE: TRIBES (Three stressed syllables in a row!)

Exception: Halo and Hexen are trochaic, as is Portal. Marathon is dactyllic, as is Heretic. Wolfenstein 3-D starts with a dactyl, but pulls the stressed syllable count up with "3D". The entire Battlefield series has to be considered a big exception.

Good rule: The higher the proportion of stressed to unstressed syllables in a title, the more likely you are to be shooting stuff. Blame Doom.

I don't believe that this is just an artifact of selective sampling, especially given the huge dominance of trochees and iambs in everyday speech, and even in movie titles!

Punchy titles with stressed syllables = testosterone. Now excuse me, because I am going to see The KING'S SPEECH and I will be disappointed if stuff doesn't get blown up.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby TheKnifeWon » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:15 am UTC

I always blamed Jhonen Vasquez for this sort of thing. Most of the 'offenders' were JtHM fans (thus, they got it from Happy Noodle Boy).

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Gamer_2k4 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:18 am UTC

The layout of this comic makes me want to stab puppies. Holy balls.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby KeithIrwin » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:54 am UTC

Regarding the mouse-over text, I generally agree with it. When hanging out in Kongregate chat rooms, I've several times told the kids to shut up if they didn't have anything worthwhile to say and they responded that they were just being random. And then I had to explain to them that repeating 4chan memes is not a form of randomness.

However, I do have to argue with the mouse-over text because I believe that it lacks historical context. If one were to look at alt.non.sequitur back in the mid-nineties, it really was genuinely random. I was always very impressed with it. A few years later the spam started and AOLers got on it and things generally went downhill, but up until a certain point it was very good. I've dug up a sample from Google groups. This seems to be representative, and I found it by just changing the starting post index until it got back to the mid-nineties. https://groups.google.com/group/alt.non.sequitur/topics?start=15000&sa=N (you'll have to forgive that the URL is non-clickable, but I only post when I have something worthwhile to say, so I haven't build up an adequate post-count to be able to use the URL tag).

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Tyrannosaur » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:04 am UTC

jwwells wrote:Good rule: The higher the proportion of stressed to unstressed syllables in a title, the more likely you are to be shooting stuff. Blame Doom


If I had some time and motivation, I'd do a statistical analysis...
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Ghandi 2 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:33 am UTC

Randall, you have to fix the dialogue from the second panel going over the first panel. It looks hideous.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Lucia » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:42 am UTC

the breakfast I'm eating,

Toast? Cereal? Cornflakes? Porridge? Scrambled eggs? Jam? Marmalade? Muesli? At least the way I pronounce them, I can't think of any trochee-an breakfast foods. Except bacon. Are you eating bacon?
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Tyrannosaur » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:49 am UTC

pankakes, bacon, cornflakes (isnt it a trochee?), yogurt, (isnt porridge one too?), french-toast, waffles... I have to admit I usually skip breakfast, even though I know it is dreadfully non-healthy...
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby elrunethe2nd » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:09 am UTC

That was terribly belaboured.
:?

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Philbert » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:12 am UTC

Since I learned this stuff in Latin class, I always loved the fact that Trochee isn't itself one. In fact, it is a 'iamb' which has the stress on the second syllable. In Dutch a 'iamb' is called 'Jambe' which in fact is a trochee!

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Felstaff » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:12 am UTC

I love the language-based xkcd strips, and this one is no different.

It explains how this image became conveniently shortened to a simple trochee.
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:24 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Power Level Kitteh Trolling Vista Kama Sutra

I read that to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby miguel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:29 am UTC

Midnight wrote:and yes, trochee is a trochee. Most words are. My first name, my middle name, my last name, and my username. Four right there .


Your password is also a trochee; that makes 9 (which is also a trochee).

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby tahrey » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:53 am UTC

I'm loving all this but I have to dispute a couple of points...

"Tee-NAGE Mew-TANT Nin-JA Turrr-DLES" (or for my fellow UK viewers, "Hee-RO Turrr-TLES") is clearly an iamb, at least the way it's sung in the title song. But it's still sort of within the bounds of this surprising and slightly disturbing trope (how many more can we spot?). The power rangers could go either way really ... perhaps they're more one of those Spondee things?

And I have just huffman encoded the first words the babbling character said, and it still came out to something like 90 bytes. The efficiency is, of course, in repetition, and there's not actually that many repeated parts in that bit of word salad (now, if it was reduced to 5- or 6-bit encoding first we'd save a few... and/or we developed a custom text encoding scheme that did a first pass of huffman-like encoding on common character pairs/syllable fragments...).

However if you expanded that to encompass all these "random" memetic things, in purely text format, and lumped all such utterances together in a big text file, and then a second pass on THAT file (don't whinge - it can sometimes work if the file itself ends up highly repetitive and the encoder doesn't have any routines for identifying/dealing with that itself... though you probably want to switch to some kind of bitwise rather than bytewise encoding...), you could probably get it down to a meg or two.

BTW my username is a trochee, but my password isn't (arguably it's two lumped together); my real forenames are both monosyllabic but I'm not sure whether the surname is trocheic (?), spondeic or iambic... As the majority of times you hear it in your life is other people reading it out, and they can barely even pronounce it correctly, it gets emphasised all kinds of ways. After that, it gets a bit worrying; the only part of my home and workplace addresses that aren't trochees is my house number.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby J L » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:20 am UTC

I guess the mention of "dentist" and "hamster" is a reference to this wonderful video?

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/373896/wi ... rd_lyrics/

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Nergye » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:30 am UTC

I recently received neurolinguistic reprogramming in a similar experiment to this, which entirely prevents me from uttering, orally or textually, words of the variety that this strip refers to. Get out of my head Ra--- ...Ra--- ...ARGH!!

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby Alltat » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:31 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:Power Level Kitteh Trolling Vista Kama Sutra

I read that to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...

I would have expected everyone to have the TMNT theme stuck in their brain by that point, and it fit nicely. I guess I was just the right age for the original airing of the show.

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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby LordBritish » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:41 am UTC

Midnight wrote:
HighwoodFool wrote:and yes, trochee is a trochee.


in German, "trochäus" is a iamb. Anybody knows, if the greek word τροχός is a trochee or a iamb?
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Re: 0856: "Trochee Fixation"

Postby JeffGrigg » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:57 am UTC

There is no cure.

So I guess we're going to have to film the movies. 8)


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