dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:29am on 2007-06-18 under ,
"G'night! Drive safe!"
"Safely! It's 'Drive safely'!"
"But it's an idiom; 'Drive safe' is an idiom ..."
"I know, but it's an idiom that drives me batty.
Forsake the idiom!"
[*pout*] "Okay, fine: idiom forsook."
[*glare*] "Argh!!!"
[*grin*]
dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:27am on 2007-06-18 under ,
"G'night! Drive safe!"
"Safely! It's 'Drive safely'!"
"But it's an idiom; 'Drive safe' is an idiom ..."
"I know, but it's an idiom that drives me batty.
Forsake the idiom!"
[*pout*] "Okay, fine: idiom forsook."
[*glare*] "Argh!!!"
[*grin*]
dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

[... and a wee bit of experimenting with mirror-related layout]

Alrighty then, my body can stop playing this "crash hard only to be wide awake again an hour later not feeling rested" game, any time now, please. :-(

A thought I had earlier but didn't muster the energy to post at the time: Let's say we have an individual of an "uplifted" species -- genetically engineered by another species to produce sentience ... uh, sapience ... er, "human-like intelligence". (For example, Tayler's elephants, Stanley's Bowman's Wolves, Brin's dolphins.) And furthermore, let us suppose that members of the uplifted race are able to breed with their pre-uplift cousins. Would such a coupling constitute bestiality? Does it make a difference whether the offspring from such a mating would be sterile (like a mule, hinny, or zorse) or fertile (like mutts/mongrels, or like female ligers and tigons), or is sapience where the line is? Does it matter whether the normal mating signals -- pheremones, mating dances, calls -- are the same for the uplifted and non-uplifted races?

A related thought, that I thought it might be in poor taste to post while so many of my friends were in dire straits dealing with the recent trouble (but may be in even poorer taste now that some of them have been turned into zombies themselves): do zombies have sex, and if so, does it count as necrophilia if two zombies have sex with each other? Or is it only necrophilia if one of the parties is alive? And for that matter, what about vampires? Should there be a corresponding term for an obsession or interest in sex with the quick on the part of the (un)dead? (Uh ... 'biophilia'?)

[And how many of you stumbled a bit at my choice of the word 'quick' there? Although http://www.m-w.com lists that as the first definition and doesn't mark it obsolete or archaic, about the only time I hear anyone but me use the word that way is in the specific phrase "the quick and the dead". Is it used elsewise often and I just haven't noticed, or should I be more choosy about when I use it because it comes across as an affectation (or both)?]

Finally, what's that sloshing sound?

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

[... and a wee bit of experimenting with mirror-related layout]

Alrighty then, my body can stop playing this "crash hard only to be wide awake again an hour later not feeling rested" game, any time now, please. :-(

A thought I had earlier but didn't muster the energy to post at the time: Let's say we have an individual of an "uplifted" species -- genetically engineered by another species to produce sentience ... uh, sapience ... er, "human-like intelligence". (For example, Tayler's elephants, Stanley's Bowman's Wolves, Brin's dolphins.) And furthermore, let us suppose that members of the uplifted race are able to breed with their pre-uplift cousins. Would such a coupling constitute bestiality? Does it make a difference whether the offspring from such a mating would be sterile (like a mule, hinny, or zorse) or fertile (like mutts/mongrels, or like female ligers and tigons), or is sapience where the line is? Does it matter whether the normal mating signals -- pheremones, mating dances, calls -- are the same for the uplifted and non-uplifted races?

A related thought, that I thought it might be in poor taste to post while so many of my friends were in dire straits dealing with the recent trouble (but may be in even poorer taste now that some of them have been turned into zombies themselves): do zombies have sex, and if so, does it count as necrophilia if two zombies have sex with each other? Or is it only necrophilia if one of the parties is alive? And for that matter, what about vampires? Should there be a corresponding term for an obsession or interest in sex with the quick on the part of the (un)dead? (Uh ... 'biophilia'?)

[And how many of you stumbled a bit at my choice of the word 'quick' there? Although http://www.m-w.com lists that as the first definition and doesn't mark it obsolete or archaic, about the only time I hear anyone but me use the word that way is in the specific phrase "the quick and the dead". Is it used elsewise often and I just haven't noticed, or should I be more choosy about when I use it because it comes across as an affectation (or both)?]

Finally, what's that sloshing sound?

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-06-08 under ,

"i remember when the F-Bomb was the F-Word. when did we acquire the nukular option?

"somehow i missed the transtional F-Stick, F-Stone, F-Knife, F-Gun, and the rest of the F-Arsenal."

-- [livejournal.com profile] eselgeist, 2007-05-28

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-06-06 under , ,

"I always wonder about people who refuse the label 'Feminist' on the basis that they don't like labels. Do they also refuse to label themself a Republican, a liberal, an American, a woman, a wife, a doctor? I mean, why should those labels matter any more 'feminist'?

"Maybe some person out there does eschew all labels but unfortunately, most people I know who shy away from the 'feminist' moniker on the basis of hating labels, only apply it to that particular label."

-- Brighid, 2007-05-23 (regarding an especially clear definition of feminism)

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 10:49am on 2007-06-05 under ,

Okay, I think I can manage to not adopt this as Yet Another Project I'll Never Get Around To, since I'm not a quilter (so I'll hope that my mentioning it will incite someone more into fiber arts to take it on instead): hearing the phrase "sowing chaos" made me think that I ah, someone, should concoct a design for a quilt that could rightly be called "sewing chaos". Something with an irregular, jagged border, as well as a properly chaotic pattern on the front.

Also, when I mentioned to [livejournal.com profile] anniemal that "Periwinkle is a funny word -- it sounds like it should mean 'around the winkle'", she replied, "Pubic hair!". So obviously, ah, 'someone', needs to find some periwinkle hair dye ...

dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)

Earlier, I was looking something up in Wikipedia, and got distracted by all the shiny tangential links, and wound up on a Month_Day page where they listed births and deaths of famous people, one of whom was described as an 'ecdysiast'.

But as a result, I've had the lines:

...and died of constriction
attempting a Moebius strip

stuck in my brain ever since my eyes landed on that word. (And, of course, not for the first time, started trying to figure out how to design a routine that could be considered to count as being such a thing.)

Oddly enough, the word 'stripper' does not seem to have the same effect on me.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:03pm on 2007-05-13 under

Note to self: contemplate then discuss meanings of the coinage "opprecious", which came up in a phone conversation with [livejournal.com profile] realinterrobang about the 'preciousness' of "special" wrt the, ah, er, Differently Abled.

dglenn: Me in poufy shirt, kilt, and Darth Vader mask, playing a bouzouki (vader)

My brain frequently tries to "correct" what I'm reading, trying to compensate for the frequent tpyos, mispeellings, and folks who yews a homonym that their spell-checker can't catch; often it fills in the right things, but sometimes it's just trying to race ahead of tired eyes making predictions.

This morning I just caught an interesting quirk: when reading the phrase "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", I read 'liberty' just fine, got halfway through 'equality', saw the 'Fra' coming up beyond what I'd already focussed on, and mentally "corrected" 'equality' to 'égalité', was confused when 'fraternity' had a 'y' on the end, and had to backtrack to verify that 'liberty' did in fact end in 'y' instead of 'é'.

Now all of this happened at my normal (fairly fast) reading speed, which means it took a lot of after-the-fact analysis and some experimenting to piece together the events outlined in the preceeding paragraph. An important clue was how trying to hear the sounds of the words as I read them or to read them aloud, "liberty, equality" was easy if I was careful not to look at the next word, but if I let my eye slide over there it became a struggle not to read "equality" but hear/say "égalité" and feel as though the "liberty" before it had been an error to be corrected by backing up and starting over with "liberté" (though I suppose one could fudge a pronounciation halfway between the two).

Either this is an interesting bit of wiring in my brain, or my allergies and attendant headache are affecting me even more than I'd thought this morning. Note that while the motto, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" does occasionally pop into my head at odd intervals, the only time I've had really intense repeated exposure to the phrase was in 10th-grade European History class *mumble* years ago. It's not like I've spent a lot of time since then handling French currency or reading essays and books on modern French history, or listening to French rhetoric (I've no idea how often the phrase comes up in speeches, but I know how often "liberty" and "liberty and justice" show up in US speeches). ... Then again, there are various random phrases that are as likely (or more likely) to pop out of my mouth in French or Greek than in English despite my being almost barely at a "conversational with lots of pointing and shrugging" level in French and not even that good with Greek.

In case anyone's curious, I tripped over the phrase in question in "Washington diary: Land of ideas" (How different might our lives look if the US had never been founded?), which [livejournal.com profile] filkerdave linked to.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:36pm on 2007-04-17 under ,

Whoa! A television-news weather reporter just said "average" instead of "normal" when she meant "average" with regard to historical temperature data, and the on-screen graphic used the word "average" as well! When did that change happen?

And is there any chance that other stations will follow suit?

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 01:50pm on 2007-04-13 under

A news story that a friend pointed out began thus (emphasis added):

A woman was in serious condition Wednesday morning after Orange County deputies said a man deliberately ran her over.

The woman and her friend were apparently walking down the side of the road near Orange Blossom trail and Jordan Avenue late Tuesday night when the accident happened. Deputies said the man responsible wanted their attention and wasn't taking no for an answer.

Disregarding for the moment the much bigger issue of what kind of mental world a man has to live in for it to feel reasonable to run a woman over for ignoring him, and the scarier question of what this does or does not say about ways-of-thinking that may be reflected in other aspects of our culture, mostly because I have little to say there yet that is both novel and coherent ... disregarding the big issue for the moment, I wish to issue a "WTF‽" to the language used by the reporter:

Was it deliberate or was it an accident? Please pick one. Given the facts asserted in the rest of the article, it seems the word "accident" is inappropriate here as there was nothing accidental about it. (I'll concede that it is possible for the incident to have been both deliberate and accidental in the "I only meant to get close enough to scare her, but my foot slipped" sense, but it's clear that the authorities don't think that's likely since they said he "deliberately ran her over".)

Similarly, I do not consider certain road-rage incidents resulting in collisions to be "accidents", if one party deliberately sought to force the collision. If I get careless and walk into a signpost, that is an accident; if somebody beats me up, that's an assault, not an accident. Just because an untoward event involves a motor vehicle, that does not make in at accident. Accidents should be accidental.

Okay, I think I've gotten the worked-up-about-trivial-language-stuff thing out of my system for a while.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-04-11 under ,

"A good epithet or imprecation should roll right off the tongue. Excellent ones sizzle or leap. It should never bounce or hop. Rhythm is critical here, and a working understanding of poetry never hurt anyone who was trying to swear.

"Word choice, and how you arrange them, is the single most decisive factor, and it is also the hardest to master."

-- [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling, "Naamah's Swearing Workshop", 2007-03-03 (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] skreidle for pointing out the entry)

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-04-06 under , , ,

"I like to think the linguistic accident that made 'God's Friday' into 'Good Friday' was no accident at all. It was God's own doing -- a sharp, prophetic jab at a time and a culture obsessed by happiness." -- Chris Armstrong, "The Goodness of Good Friday", Christianity Today, 2003-04-18

second half of the paragraph, for folks wanting a little more context and not put off by a wee bit of preachiness... )

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 09:38pm on 2007-03-27 under ,

I need a collective noun for illegal dirt bikes.

[livejournal.com profile] realinterrobang suggested "a herd of iron horses", to which I commented that these are more like iron ponies than iron horses ... but at the moment I'm leaning toward a "pod" of illegal dirt bikes (though I can't put my finger on why).

(Hmm. They're loud, so maybe a "loud" word. A "crash" of illegal dirt bikes?)

Suggestions?

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:11pm on 2007-03-21 under ,

It occurs to me that "guddling" (and likewise "guddle") is a funny-sounding word.

Yeah, it sounds a little like "cuddling" as spoken by somebody with a bad cold. A cold they caught, perhaps, lying half-in/half-out of a stream, doing something fishy. But I've no clue as to the actual etymology.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

Is it just me -- either my definitions being a bit off or my being the only one who notices -- or does it strike else as odd that television news reporters and anchors keep referring to those known to have committed crimes as "suspects", and to those merely suspected or accused of comitting crimes as "alleged suspects"? Shouldn't that be "perpetrators" and "suspects", respectively? I've been thinking about this for quite a while; posting at just this moment in particular was trigerred by turning on the television for the noon news and hearing "alleged suspect" as one of the first phrases I caught.

It seems to me that a person of known identity (to some deegree of 'known') under investigation and suspected of having perpetrated a crime, or perhaps already charged but not yet tried, is a suspect, and that the person of known partial description according to the victim, but unknown identity so far, is an unidentified perpetrator (or possibly "alleged perpetrator" if the victim's description is suspect). And when all that's known is that somebody done somethin' wrong but nobody has any idea who it was yet, that unknown person is the mysterious, unknown perpetrator but there are not yet any suspects. Hearing an unknown perpetrator's known acts described as what "the suspect" did when there are no leads and no suspects yet sounds Rather Strange to me.

What to call the person who has been tried and convicted and later (or earlier) admitted that sie did do what sie was accused of, is another question. If you take the epistemological approach and wish to emphasize that only the accused (and, if not the same person, the actual perpetrator) knows for sure whether the conviction was just and the admission truthful, I suppose you could continue to describe hir as "the suspect". But in many cases I would feel more comfortable simply saying "the perpetrator" (or, if the accused still denies guilt and has even a shred of credibility, "the alleged perpetrator").

A more interesting case, by the way, is when there is no doubt as to who did what but the question of whether what was done broke the law is still being sorted out. "Perpetrator" sounds prejudicial in that circumstance, but "suspect" appears to indicate uncertainty as to the who rather than the uncertainty regarding the law. Is there a legal term-of-art for that?

So: am I clinging too hard to etymologies, having fallen behind evolving usage, or am I right and the reporters wrong? Is the usage on crime dramas (where the cast may start out with a dozen suspects and spend the episode trying to determine which suspect is the actual perpetrator and which are innocent) the distortion, rather than the news reporters' usage being the one that's wrong? And if I'm right and they're wrong and neener neener neener and all that, is this just a Baltimore thing, or has it become common elsewhere as well?

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-03-05 under ,

[I feel like I ought to have a quote related somehow to John Belushi today, but I didn't come up with one in time.]

"Aside from the basic divisions between the types of swearing, there are many ways of swearing. How you swear says more about you than any medical or school file ever will. How you swear is part and parcel with who you are. Discovering and exploiting your native swearing style, refining your natural gifts, is a valuable and worthy goal." -- [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling, "Naamah's Swearing Workshop", 2007-03-03 (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] skreidle for pointing out the entry)

dglenn: Cartoon of me playing electric guitar (debtoon)

This just showed up in my mailbox, un-credited. [Edit: It took asking Google three different ways and then Googling additional clues as they turned up in a sort of breadcrumb-trail, but I think it's by Andy Borowitz (the original has one extra "in other news" paragraph at the end), a slight reworking of what he posted for last year's SotU.] My favourite bit is the very last line.

Breaking News

Bush's State of the Union Address to be Simulcast in English
President Hopes to Reach Broader Audience, Aides Say

For the first time since he was elected president of the United States, George W. Bush's State of the Union address tonight will be simulcast in English, the White House confirmed.

With the public unenthusiastic about the president's plan to send a "surge" of troops to Baghdad, the decision to simulcast the speech in English was widely seen as an attempt by Mr. Bush to make an appeal to a broader audience.

"The majority of people in this country are English speaking, and quite frankly, we can't afford to ignore them any longer," White House spokesperson Tony Snow said. "Hopefully, by doing the English simulcast, we'll be reaching out to a lot of those folks."

Once the decision was made earlier in the month to launch the historic first English simulcast of a speech by President Bush, then began the hard work of translating the text of the address from Mr. Bush's language into English.

Davis Logsdon, a professor of linguistics at the University of Minnesota, was one of several scholars approached to do the translation who ultimately quit in frustration.

"The problem is that the language the president speaks, by most measures, is not a language at all," Professor Logsdon said.

In his speech, President Bush is expected to downplay setbacks in Iraq and will instead highlight the accomplishments of his six years in office, including his historic decision to cancel the agreement between nouns and verbs.

Also, a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] ohiblather for my new icon! (And the conveniently-timed satire to forward means I don't have to lablel this a GIP ("gratuitous icon post"). Heh.)

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2007-01-12 under ,

"'Nude' is when you're not wearing any clothes; 'naked' is when you're not wearing any clothes and you're up to something." -- [livejournal.com profile] scooterbird, 2006-12-30 or 2006-12-31 (not sure which side of midnight he said it).

Links

October

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31