Search found 347 matches

by xtifr
Sat May 07, 2016 10:32 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1677: "Contrails"
Replies: 110
Views: 19994

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

It is curious that the average percentage of fannies per person is twice as high in the US as it is in the UK. Very nearly a medical anomaly! :mrgreen:
by xtifr
Sat May 07, 2016 1:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1677: "Contrails"
Replies: 110
Views: 19994

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

In any case, as Language Log frequently notes, many supposedly-American uses that people complain about in letters to The Daily Mail are actually British usages which fell out of favor in the UK, but survived in America. If you must join the Mail readers in whining about the "evil creep" ...
by xtifr
Fri May 06, 2016 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1677: "Contrails"
Replies: 110
Views: 19994

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Spreading linguistic misinformation is a lot of people's hobby! People insist that it's wrong to split infinitives, end sentences with a preposition, or use "less" with countable nouns. All of that and much more is linguistic misinformation which people love to spread. The only difference ...
by xtifr
Sun May 01, 2016 12:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1672: "Women on 20s"
Replies: 218
Views: 39720

Re: 1672: "Women on 20s"

Americans have got used to thinking in duodecimal thanks to the prevalence of twenties Either I'm missing your point completely, or you chose the wrong word. Aside from knowing that a dozen dozen is called a "gross", I don't think I'm used to thinking in duodecimal at all. (If you meant V...
by xtifr
Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1672: "Women on 20s"
Replies: 218
Views: 39720

Re: 1672: "Women on 20s"

Canada abandoned the penny in 2012. Australia abandoned their one cent coin (and the two cent as well) in 1992, and New Zealand in 1990. None of these countries seem to have suffered any ill effects. The movement to drop the US penny is pretty strong and getting stronger. Pennies are rarely used as ...
by xtifr
Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1666: "Brain Upload"
Replies: 38
Views: 8625

Re: 1666: "Brain Upload"

Also, one of the commenters on that Language Log article used " in medias res ", in the context of "so this man walks into a pub", which is the sort of awesome juxtaposition of highfalutin technicality and everyday vernacular that makes the work of linguists such a delight to re...
by xtifr
Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1665: "City Talk Pages"
Replies: 75
Views: 14698

Re: 1665: "City Talk Pages"

The talk page for my city is surprisingly mundane, considering the city itself is fairly notorious for being odd.* This may be at least in part because it's a University town, and therefore has a higher-than-average number of folks who understand how an encyclopedia is supposed to work. * How odd is...
by xtifr
Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1661: "Podium"
Replies: 30
Views: 6174

Re: 1661: "Podium"

This comic got picked up for discussion at Language Log . The discussion there included a link to this fascinating article from 2010 on "podium" vs. "lectern". It's worth mentioning that nobody ever calls an actual podium a lectern. Olympic athletes stand on a podium; never a lec...
by xtifr
Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1662: "Jack and Jill"
Replies: 106
Views: 24602

Re: 1662: "Jack and Jill"

Language is "a part of communication?" Geez, have you ever been in a country where you don't speak their language and they don't speak yours? I haven't, but it's my job to teach English to students from other countries. In other words, I've never eaten a steak, but I have eaten lots of ch...
by xtifr
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1662: "Jack and Jill"
Replies: 106
Views: 24602

Re: 1662: "Jack and Jill"

Does anyone still say or write or mean "God be with ye" or "ever each"? Yes. Certainly the former. The mistakes that lead to that usage were made in the past, the language is now different, and they're not mistakes in the new language. They were still mistakes when they were fir...
by xtifr
Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1662: "Jack and Jill"
Replies: 106
Views: 24602

Re: 1662: "Jack and Jill"

the majority of native english speakers would say "Jack and I are going...". [citation needed]. Or is this a case of "the lurkers support me in email"? I mean, do you have any actual evidence of what "the majority" would say? Do you personally know the majority of nati...
by xtifr
Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:43 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1659: Tire Swing
Replies: 11
Views: 3575

Re: 1659: Tire Swing

So, did they take the tree and the rope from other guys, too, or did they take a guy off the hanging rope? I don't know about the rope, but I guess they stole the tree from the cosmologist . Stole? One of them looks like the cosmologist, and the other looks just like the other girl from that comic....
by xtifr
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1658: "Estimating Time"
Replies: 25
Views: 6346

Re: 1658: "Estimating Time"

How does six estimate the time it takes to do anything that involves unknowns/new things? If somebody's most realistic estimate of how long it will take is an imaginary number, they really are bad at estimating. At least they show some familiarity with mathematics, which is generally a good thing. ...
by xtifr
Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:27 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: It has Endginned. (Mod Madness 2016)
Replies: 220
Views: 70252

Re: It Begends. (Chocolate chips year of the drunk bobcat)

Is it cheating to rephrase in order to avoid a word-modification? & am I supposed to report the ones I've found, or simply enjoy us? Let me just say, I now know which word becomes "twerk", & I decided to use "adjust" instead. Well I enjoy a good twerk from time to time. ...
by xtifr
Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:02 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: It has Endginned. (Mod Madness 2016)
Replies: 220
Views: 70252

Re: It Begends. (Chocolate chips year of the drunk bobcat)

Is it cheating to rephrase in order to avoid a word-modification? And am I supposed to report the ones I've found, or simply enjoy them?

Let me just say, I now know which word becomes "twerk", and I decided to use "adjust" instead.
by xtifr
Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:41 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"
Replies: 64
Views: 15699

Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

I can't be the only one cringing at him adjusting the clock by its hour hand, can I? You are not. That was my first thought as well. Poor doomsday clock, being mishandled like that. Well, when you're in the middle of destroying the world, trying to avoid damaging some of the mechanisms on that worl...
by xtifr
Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1654: "Universal Install Script"
Replies: 57
Views: 22442

Re: 1654: "Universal Install Script"

Yeah, I certainly don't see any point in using extensions with executables, whether they're scripts or not. For one thing, if you change the implementation language when you add features later, it's simply a waste of time to have to check for all the references in other scripts and whatnots and edit...
by xtifr
Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1654: "Universal Install Script"
Replies: 57
Views: 22442

Re: 1654: "Universal Install Script"

Actually, without `set -e` it will chug forward in spite of any command failures. Oh that's right. Nevertheless, if you want all these tasks to run in parallel, you want the surrounding parentheses. Otherwise the whole thing will be tied up until the "make" command either succeeds or fail...
by xtifr
Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1654: "Universal Install Script"
Replies: 57
Views: 22442

Re: 1654: "Universal Install Script"

At least one bug in this script. The ampersand after the git line doesn't belong there, and should be replaced with a semicolon. (Or with nothing, since a newline has basically the same effect.) The git part merely downloads the source; the next line is what builds and installs the app. Also, that w...
by xtifr
Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1653: "United States Map"
Replies: 106
Views: 20752

Re: 1653: "United States Map"

I don't actually think you can claim that any borders are of infinite length. If we lived in a world of mathematical abstraction, of course, you could, but we don't. At some point, zooming in on the real world, you stop seeing self-similarity, and start seeing individual atoms which you can assign a...
by xtifr
Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:40 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1652 "Conditionals"
Replies: 77
Views: 13508

Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

Pfhorrest wrote:... people are insufficiently logical ...

You need to sniffle, and push your oversized glasses back up your nose when you say that. ;)
by xtifr
Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1653: "United States Map"
Replies: 106
Views: 20752

Re: 1653: "United States Map"

Looks like I've got it figured differently to quite a lot of people on here - I assumed the geographical features of the US would remain the same, it was just a case of the borders being changed. That thought crossed my mind, but it's clearly not the case. Washington state still has the Puget Sound...
by xtifr
Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1652 "Conditionals"
Replies: 77
Views: 13508

Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

(And I say this as someone who's closer to being a mathematician than a linguist.) .------- You can be anywhere within this range, then? ------. | | ...==================================================================================... ^ ^ ^ ^ | | | | ??? Mathematician Linguist Potter? :D Heh, pr...
by xtifr
Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1652 "Conditionals"
Replies: 77
Views: 13508

Re: 1652 "Conditionals"

That's not being a pedant, that's being context blind. Natural language is not first-order logic. Exactly. Misapplying the grammar of one language (e.g. formal logic) to another (e.g. English) is not being pedantic. It's being unclear about categories. But maybe I'm being too pedantic. :mrgreen: Bo...
by xtifr
Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1647: Diacritics
Replies: 82
Views: 11716

Re: 1647: Diacritics

But the Compose key doesn't just modify one other physical key, but two . Two or more . With X11, you used to type compose-dash-dash to get an em-dash, but there was no way to get en-dash, so they changed it, and now you have to type compose followed by three dashes to get an em-dash, but you can t...
by xtifr
Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1647: Diacritics
Replies: 82
Views: 11716

Re: 1647: Diacritics

What? You use Compose more often than Ctrl? Must be a vi user. Did you misread xtifr's post, or do you map Caps Lock to Ctrl instead? The latter. Something as easy to reach as the key above left shift is completely wasted on Caps Lock. xtifr uses it for Compose, I use it for Ctrl. Hence my next com...
by xtifr
Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1647: Diacritics
Replies: 82
Views: 11716

Re: 1647: Diacritics

Et là, de façon non ambigüe, on voit l'intérêt d'un clavier français, où chaque accent est à portée de main. [this is where you see the advantage of a French keyboard where all accents are readily available] Hmm, no, not seeing the advantage. Can you also type non-French words like "jalapeño&q...
by xtifr
Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1644: "Stargazing"
Replies: 40
Views: 11624

Re: 1644: "Stargazing"

The brightest (absolute magnitude) star in the sky is statistically almost certainly unobservable, either because it's so far away or because it's obscured (by dust/stars/galaxies). Probably both. Ironically, most of the so-called "observable universe" is not observable by us! Heck, big ch...
by xtifr
Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:12 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1644: "Stargazing"
Replies: 40
Views: 11624

Re: 1644: "Stargazing"

I suppose we could work out if Plutonians have an obvious brighter star in their sky than their sun (but they've probably been keeping their heads down, recently, to avoid being seen!), and I suspect the 'Nineans' have a few good solid alternate candidates (if not a good solid atmosphere, right now...
by xtifr
Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"

(And don't get me started on the distinction between Gas Giant and Brown Dwarf.) :) Actually I would like to get you started on that because I've always been under the impression that a brown dwarf in orbit around an actual star would be counted as a gas giant, but when expressing that belief among...
by xtifr
Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1640: "Super Bowl Context"
Replies: 43
Views: 7660

Re: 1640: "Super Bowl Context"

I'm still trying to get my head around this logical puzzle Try this: "In the first place, the generalization-of-a-word-and-stupid-gibberish "socker" is not a word Cue all the linguists in the audience falling to the floor laughing. (Aside from the ones muttering: "The stupid! It...
by xtifr
Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"

But this points to a problem with the definition of dwarf planets being round. How small a body will be round could depend on what the body is made of. That's only a problem if you think dwarf planet should define a particular range of sizes, rather than a set of objects with a particular property....
by xtifr
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"

How is continuing to snub Ceres a compromise? Ceres is the best! It's a cool little perfect (dwarf) planet, just barely big enough to be round on its own. Meh, Ceres isn't "just big enough to be round on its own". Vesta is a better description of that boundary, sort of a half-equilibrium ...
by xtifr
Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"

I'd like to propose an unstable compromise regarding the new object's ordinal classification and Pluto's (lack of) planetary classification. We designate the new planet (if so discovered) the 'tenth' planet. Meanwhile we embargo mention of Pluto in any numeric capacity, including leaving a space at...
by xtifr
Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1615: "Red Car"
Replies: 73
Views: 14867

Re: 1615: "Red Car"

Hmm, while the correlation between cars and penis size/shape/color may be mostly-apocryphal, other similar notions may have at least a grain of truth:

The Louder the Monkey, the Smaller Its Balls.

:mrgreen:
by xtifr
Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1636: "xkcd Stack"
Replies: 37
Views: 10082

Re: 1636: xkcd Stack

An installer that will run fine but won't really change things? Boy, Randall is just an irrepressible optimist, isn't he? :D
by xtifr
Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1635: "Birdsong"
Replies: 40
Views: 9900

Re: 1635: "Birdsong"

I am not familiar with this song. I sense I should be grateful for this fact. Meh, I think it's an ok song. As ps.02 said, everyone likes Santana. The main problems are the singer, who doesn't really bother me, since I'm too old to be familiar with his other works, and the fact that it was way, way...
by xtifr
Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"

As silly as it may sound, I think the question of what's a full planet comes down to "what list of objects orbiting the Sun should we make elementary school students memorize?" How about: inner system planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)? The oute...
by xtifr
Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1633: "Possible Undiscovered Planets"
Replies: 104
Views: 17666

Re: 1633: "Possible undiscovered planets"

#plutoisaplanet It really really isn't. And even if it were (there can be multiple definitions of a word), the new one still wouldn't be #10, because there's several others. So either this new one is #9, or it's somewhere around #14 or maybe even as high as #20. If Pluto is a planet by some arbitra...
by xtifr
Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1632: "Palindrome"
Replies: 55
Views: 14657

Re: 1632: "Palindrome"

One of my favorite things is failed palindromes:

A man, a plan, a canal—Suez!

Able was I ere I saw Waterloo.

Madam, I'm Cain.

Satan, oscillate my metallic arpeggios.

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