Re: Karen26

1

Or maybe you don't understand (some kinds) of men.

Or maybe intended as irony, making fun of the M Butterfly fantasy. Whether so, it makes me smile.

And go to Denmark.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:38 PM
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But it's worked so nicely for Thailand!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:39 PM
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Damn it, now I'll have to cancel my trip to Denmark. Don't want people to get the wrong idea.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:42 PM
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"Above all, forget the person who writes this; forgive a person who, whatever he might have been capable of, was incapable of making a girl happy."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:44 PM
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It would have been funnier if they aired the ads 8.5 months from now.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:44 PM
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God, how tiresome.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:47 PM
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5: Ha!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:48 PM
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I don't get 5.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:52 PM
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Nor do I. But I didn't get A Separate Peace, either, so go fig.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 2:57 PM
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8: Perhaps Ile was in Denmark 0.5 months ago


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:01 PM
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I don't get 5.

The big climate summit. I'm assuming this isn't an Obama joke specifically.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:04 PM
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11: But the video says the visitor was there a year and a half ago. So I'm not sure why it would be funny to air it 8.5 months from now.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:08 PM
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Maybe the Danes are just really big Steve Garvey or Shawn Kemp fans and want them to visit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:08 PM
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But the video says the visitor was there a year and a half ago. So I'm not sure why it would be funny to air it 8.5 months from now.

Also, the videos were posted in September.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:13 PM
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The message is "Go to Denmark, get laid, and replicate your DNA." Sounds like marketing 101 to me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:14 PM
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12: I still think that was the joke. But you're very good at thinking through the details of these things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:15 PM
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Indeed. Brock should be a lawyer.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 3:19 PM
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In the old days this thread would have been 300 comments long and full of Regine Olsen jokes. I feel so alone. Someone hold me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:00 PM
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Way to be all Knight of Infinite Resignation, Flip.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:15 PM
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The blog is the relation that relates the commenter to the blog relating to himself.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:18 PM
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I really think the presence of an actual baby makes it ineffective as advertising. Unwed parenthood is still stigmatized here, associated with the underclass, unlike in Denmark.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:23 PM
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15:The message is "Go to Denmark, get laid, and replicate your DNA." Sounds like marketing 101 to me.

Maybe. But also, and I think primarily, making fun of that message.

The messages I got was that Danes are attractive (in many ways), independent, smart, speak English, nice, and have a way cool sense of humor. And you might get lucky in Denmark.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:26 PM
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The presence of the baby is essential.

Imagine some Danish supermodel wriggling and whispering.

This ad could even attract women to Denmark. She looks like a fun night out.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:29 PM
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Is the baby's name "Elvis"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:35 PM
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Too sunny and all that. This is better.

Highest rated broadcast and cable weeks of 12/7 & 12/14 for women 18-34

and

Highest rated and most watched cable same weeks, for women 18-34 and 18-49.

Keeping up with the Kardashians.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 4:46 PM
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Syfy needs to introduce a "Keeping Up With the Cardassians" parody show, a la what Space Ghost Coast to Coast was to talk shows.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 5:13 PM
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What about the Calrissians?

What about the NPR-produced "Keeping up with the Kashkashians"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 5:17 PM
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I still don't get 5.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 5:54 PM
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Re: 5, I haven't watched the video, but off the top of my head, and assuming Karen26 is not visibly pregnant at the time of the filming, in 8.5 months she would be near her due-date, and the thought of a very pregnant one-night-stand in Denmark looking for you might be less than appealing to some male tourists.

No?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:00 PM
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I think 11 has your answer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:01 PM
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30 to 28.

29: No. Not her.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:02 PM
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I agree with 23, even if bob is a robot with an agenda.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:06 PM
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No, she already has the baby. As I understand it, the 8.5 mo in 5 refers to real world time, not video times. The idea, I believe, was that since there was a big climate conference in Copenhagen ~0.5 mo ago, and thus a big influx of foreign visitors, and since the human gestation period is commonly understood to be 9 mo, if this ad had been introduced 8.5 mo from now, many of the attendees of this conference might have a laugh at the thought of one of their fellow attendees having impregnated this woman.

As Brock pointed out, however, the baby in this video was said to be born 1.5 years ago, and so even if events played out as described above, one still wouldn't be led to believe that this child was conceived during the Copenhagen conference.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:08 PM
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I agree with 23, even if because bob is a robot with an agenda.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:10 PM
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the baby in this video was said to be born 1.5 years ago,

No, she had the one-night-stand about 1.5 years ago, and the baby is 8-9 months old. That's why the joke in 5 doesn't quite work, mathematically. But that is still the joke, and it is our cross to bear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:10 PM
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35 fits with how old the baby looks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:12 PM
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You know what would be funny? If they showed this video 8 1/2 months from now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:14 PM
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Clearly the ad is targeted to pro-lifers, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:16 PM
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Oh man, I would laugh my ass off if the 37 happened!

(See Ile? It's all in how you tell it.)


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:16 PM
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38: Or people who always wanted to have a baby but never thought it would happen, you know, this way, but sometimes life hands you surprises, right?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:17 PM
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The advanced social democracies of Western Europe make better provision for single mothers but worse provision for vistor's bureaus.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:20 PM
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40: Not like those nasty one-night-stands a person might have in, say, Thailand.

Ick. I don't like where this is going. This is why I'd never be able to work in advertising.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:23 PM
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40: That's niche marketing for you. But then all Danes will think that's who Americans are, just a bunch of wistful loner wannabe daddies. It's not so far off, I guess.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:23 PM
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A blog in which I documented a year-long project to impregnate woken and produce illegitimate children in every country in the world would probably get me a book deal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:24 PM
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You know what would be funny? I clearly don't. Anyway, I'll check and see if I'm laughing in 8 1/2 months.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:26 PM
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OT: The PBS/Nature documentary "White Falcon, White Wolf" is pretty cool, in an uncomfortably-reminiscent-of-an-adolescence-misspent-reading-the-Elric-novels-of-Michael-Moorcock sort of way.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:27 PM
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But then all Danes will think that's who Americans are, just a bunch of wistful loner wannabe daddies. It's not so far off, I guess.

Hey, I'm no wannabe! I have kids!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:27 PM
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44: Or a travel agency?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:28 PM
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a year-long project to impregnate woken

I like to think that "woken" is a pluralization of "ewok."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:29 PM
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49: That's funny enough that JMcQ should be able to get it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:31 PM
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It'll be funny in 8.5 months, trust me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:31 PM
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49 -- Impregnating Frowner's activist friends is also a possibility, but less likely to lead to a book deal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:35 PM
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Man, mid-August is gonna be a riot!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:40 PM
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||
OT Bleg: There was mention a few days ago about someone starting up an unfogged ravelry group. Mrs. Chopper has expressed an interest in lurking. Can I get a pointer to the comment thread and/or an update if anything came of it? The hoohole has made me its bitch.

|>


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:46 PM
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49 is so great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:49 PM
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Impregnating Frowner's activist friends is also a possibility, but less likely to lead to a book deal.

Frowner's activist friends are ewoks?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 6:55 PM
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Activist = hairy legs = Ewok?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:03 PM
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Oh. That's a good one.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:04 PM
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My activist friends are the snuggle detergent teddy bears.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:05 PM
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56 I should think that alone would be worth a book deal. Though, frankly, Ewoks did much better against Storm Troopers than any of our American activists do against the Police Rioters.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:07 PM
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It's just a stereotype. I don't know any activists IRL (unless they keep very quiet about their activism or you count standard-UMC charity/civic stuff as "activism").


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:07 PM
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ACTIVISTS ARE LIKE SNUGGIES FOR JUSTICE


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:08 PM
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Better living through laundry!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:10 PM
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I had a pet activist once. So cute! Then I fed it after midnight and it got feisty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:11 PM
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Read the other thread! It's not my fault if I'm the only one attuned to Frowner's call for justice for an EWOK member.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:15 PM
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I made a dog-eating joke on a Humane Society volunteer's Facebook page. That's the only comment I've ever had deleted for content-reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:16 PM
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The Ewoktivists do this one thing when the cops approach: they vigorously rub themselves with patches of carpet. The when the pigs try to taze them, the discharge defeats the taser!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:16 PM
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65: I read it, but you didn't say anything about a quiz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:19 PM
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I don't read the threads. Please. What kind of fool reads the threads?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:22 PM
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That's the only comment I've ever had deleted for content-reasons.

For what reasons were the other comments deleted?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:23 PM
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70: People be pissed-off at me for reasons unrelated to the comment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:24 PM
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54: Have her PM bamber. That's what I did, though I also said in the PM people might not be interested because of pseudonymity reasons. The name "unfrogged" seems obvious and isn't taken.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:25 PM
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NO JUSTICE NO PEACE boop grumble grr rub fur


Posted by: OPINIONATED WICKET | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 7:35 PM
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I think I get the ad now. Some ad execs were sitting around thinking about what gets Americans to travel, what we don't like about ourselves. Well, we must not like how uptight we are about sexual consequences! So how does one both invoke the terror of sexual consequence and then dispel it?

I looked up hygge, which "Karen" claims they went back to discuss before doing it, and apparently it's the Danish art of not being all up in your junk about stuff, just being cozy and not irritating.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:33 PM
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hygge

Ah. I gave up after a few tries on the spelling. That makes sense.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:37 PM
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The name "unfrogged" seems obvious and isn't taken.
I wish you'd said something earlier.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:39 PM
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the Danish art of not being all up in your junk about stuff, just being cozy and not irritating.

Isn't this what dogs are for?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:40 PM
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"You talked about that untranslatable word that all the Americans like to talk about, predictably -- and it was magically interesting and charming!" I find this a strangely delightful little piece of extra-transparent pandering.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:42 PM
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I'm sure Danish girls will be really thrilled to have a bunch of American dudes sidling up to them in bars and saying, "Tell me about this hygge I hear so much about..." and having to say, over and over, "Actually, hygge is not unprotected anonymous sex with horny drunk backpackers."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:47 PM
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"Actually, hygge is not unprotected anonymous sex with horny drunk backpackers."

"That's okay; I brought protection. So, your place or the hostel?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:49 PM
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ELVIS IS MINE!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED VERNON PRESLEY | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 8:57 PM
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That is hot. The girl is hot, the story is hot, and the idea of a wealthy, sophisticated nation pimping its women to get tourists is hot. The only thing that wasn't hot was that "I haven't slept with anyone else" thing. That rang false. I hate lying.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 9:17 PM
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I'm drunk, though. I reserve the right to change my mind when I{m sober.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 9:29 PM
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The name "unfrogged" seems obvious and isn't taken.

It saddens me that I get this.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 9:58 PM
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"You talked about that untranslatable word that all the Americans like to talk about"

Schadenfreude?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 9:59 PM
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It wasn't until this thread turned to hygge that I was moved to watch the video. And while I think the whole thing is shameless, I have to admit that the hygge bit is, um, effective.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 10:08 PM
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So is hygge like gemütlichkeit?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 10:15 PM
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I've called this site Unfrogged since I've been here. I've never called it anything else. I wish Unfr still posted.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 10:17 PM
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Here's another Danish tourism ad by the same agency (in case you can't make it out, it's a bunch of pornographic films on a shelf with a Danish dictionary), and here's another Visit Denmark ad (don't know if it's also by the Grey agency).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 10:50 PM
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I guess I'd ask someone to whom the original video appealed if all three of those ads would feel the same if the women (or language) pictured were, say, not European. Would it seem less "sophisticated" if they were a bunch of Thai pornos on a shelf with a Thai dictionary?

God, I sound just like the writers at Sociological Images, who are often a bit too huffy for my taste. But come on. The fantasy here is that women where you're from are total cunts who want to, like, know your name, make you wear a condom, get all bent out of shape about wanting a father for their children. And sure, you can get that in Thailand, but you have to pay for it, and they're not "sophisticated."

There are "game" girls everywhere, sure, and it's nice to have a social structure that makes promiscuity less of a hangup (e.g., one that encourages safe sex). But no, pimping your country's women as not caring if you bareback them and then disappear is not "sophisticated," PGD. I know you're drunk, and possibly not recognizing the distance between a person genuinely communicating with a lover and an extremely cynical ad created by an agency, but, yeah, there's a difference.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 6-10 10:59 PM
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But no, pimping your country's women as not caring if you bareback them and then disappear is not "sophisticated,"

Actually, he said the idea of a sophisticated nation pimping its women is hot, and I think he meant more or less precisely that* - Denmark is, by definition, sophisticated, and that's what makes the pimping hot. Thailand pimping its women would be squalid. It's a joke to say that sexually complex/f-ed up situations are "sophisticated," but it's pretty well-established that lots of guys who find the idea of streetwalkers unhot nonetheless find the idea of "high class call girls" hot.

I think it's all pretty gross, but I think the directional arrow is important in the thought process, however flawed.

* I also think it was tongue in cheek, as well as drunk - it comes after he identifies two much less dubious items as "hot," and I suspect he was just rolling with it


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:10 AM
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I think the ad is so bizarre as to defy AWB's reading, and PGD's reaction is totally weird (and I don't really believe him). I'm pretty sure that getting sent a YouTube video where your drunk hook-up from 1 1/2 years ago shows off your new baby is pretty far down on the list of most men's fantasies. Maybe at the bottom. If the point was to let guys know that Danish chicks aren't too worried about sexual consequences, they could have just run a typical sex ad, a spot about sexy nude sunbathers or something (one of AWB's links suggests that the same agency has done this).

The best I can come up with is that this was just an concept fail, a misguided attempt at showing "sophistication" where that was supposed to equal some combination of attention-grabbing, valuing of non-traditional family structure, sexiness winking irony, and...????? Nope, still don't get it.

Maybe it was just supposed to show how cool it is to be Danish, because the super-generous welfare state allows for stress-free single parenting. I mean, if you're going to travel around knocking up single women and abandoning them, it's probably nicer to do that in Copenhagen than in Philadelphia. At least there's good free day care.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:10 AM
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Wow, where's the overnight crew? This place has gone to shit since teo moved to the east coast.

Actually, I bet ttaM is over in the harpsichord thread. But I'm not checking. See you later, morning shift.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:11 AM
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Oh, hai, Halford. Funny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:13 AM
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I was about to get really offended.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:13 AM
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if you're going to travel around knocking up single women and abandoning them, it's probably nicer to do that in Copenhagen than in Philadelphia. At least there's good free day care.

I'll have to remember to include this in Kai's facts of life talk. Along with remembering his penis sheath.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:14 AM
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This member of the "overnight crew" is trying to read the assigned paper for tomorrow's group meeting, so that he can have a "sophisticated" opinion about it, and thereby remain (to the extent that he is) in the good graces of his adviser.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:15 AM
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Just finished the take-home exam for the professional engineer application. Late night represent!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:17 AM
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I want the kind of thread where Sifu talks to himself for a while, and then there's a long discussion about whether some particular kind of corn that the Anasazi used came from Southern Mexico or from Northern Mexico.

But I don't want to do any of the work myself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:17 AM
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Aren't you already a professional engineer?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:21 AM
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Nope. I took the EIT, and will take the PE in April.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:25 AM
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I've just finished updating my resume. Sort of.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:29 AM
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(For several years I was working in a department that wasn't doing engineering work, for a supervisor who wasn't an engineer. So I couldn't accrue the additional year of experience doing engineering work that I needed. A year ago, however, I switched to a engineering branch.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:29 AM
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In the ad, the woman say that the father is American. I believe that there is another English-speaking country that is closer to Denmark, and more likely to send tourists there. I mean, of course, Germany.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:35 AM
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99: So basically, what you're saying is that Sifu's marriage has ruined Unfogged. Interesting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:36 AM
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I was busy making stewed prunes and steel-cut oats for tomorrow's breakfast, because I'm 90.

(Also, the smell of prunes, a tangerine, a cinnamon stick, and cognac cooking is absolutely heavenly. Trust me.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:42 AM
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I thought everyone commenting was 47 and balding. By which I mean the one person who writes all the comments.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:47 AM
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I'm having trouble ranking where I'd like to work in the summer (if things work out and I get one of my choices). Large public institution? Small public institution? Largish private institution? Each location is different (none in Denmark).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:51 AM
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Speaking of Scandinavians, this guy sounds pretty badass. When leaping off of a balsa raft in the middle of the Pacific to save some guy's life is about the 17th most heroic thing you've ever done, impressive. Also, great line at the end of the article.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:52 AM
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Geez, you people, yes, I was referencing the climate thing, no I didn't watch the ad that carefully so I really meant, say, 2.3 mos from now, and no, it wans't an obama joke. Sorry to make a cross for people!


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:48 AM
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Can't be arsed to watch the video, but from the description I can't imagine that 95% of Danes wouldn't find it profoundly offensive. Look, Danes are just these guys, y'know. And like most guys, they probably object to unfair sterotypes in any context, let alone in tourist ads trying to attract sex tourists. It may be a small country, but it's got all kinds of people, even its own very vocal wingnut brigade, and most of them aren't startlingly avant garde in their outlooks by northern European standards (which I accept are not American standards). If some tourist and a girl have a one nighter IRL, and she then has a baby, I imagine most Danes would be cool with that if (and only if) she was. But if some tourist agency creates an internet meme that Denmark is the go to place for harassing women to have irresponsible sex, then they'd be no happier about it than you would expect, especially since one of the slight cultural distictions between most Scandinavians and the anglosphere is that most Scandinavians are more likely to be feminists/supporters than Brits or Americans.

Also, Denmark acquired a reputation in the middle of the last century for being a pornographers' playground, because they developed the pragmatic approach that most western states now follow a little earlier than some. They've been actively trying to shed this calumny ever since, and this won't help.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:03 AM
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112

So is hygge like gemütlichkeit?\I>

Yes. The Danes like to claim that hygge is oh so much more subtle and nuanced than gemütlich, and maybe it is, but it expresses the same thought, and captures a lot of what is special about Denmark: that it is simultaneously sophisticated in the PGD sense and also obsessed with village-pub like coziness, that is, not self-consciously hip or cutting edge. It's cosmopolitanism without metropolitanism -- an irresistable combination for this tourist.

I really should send the little tyke a b-day present...


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:07 AM
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That's true, but not the whole story. When the Danish parliament repealed the country's obscenity laws, it did so wholesale -- no restrictions were left in place at all, including no restrictions on ch/ld pron. So for a while it was perfectly legal to produce and distribute that stuff in Denmark. IIRC the Danish Parliament did not close that loophole until the 70s, ironically right around the time the US was liberalizing its obscenity jurisprudence.


Posted by: knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:24 AM
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Ile, you aren't new here, so you're surprised we're being little bitches? It's all we're good at. That and clicking refresh.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:28 AM
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I'm good at folding fitted sheets.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:54 AM
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Speaking of Scandinavians, this guy sounds pretty badass

Kon Tiki was a great read when I was in high school. Sharks, rafts, survival - like the Discovery Channel in handy book form. A lot of adventure and I was totally convinced that the Incas or whoever from South America populated Polynesia.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:09 AM
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I'm good at folding fitted sheets.

How come you never mentioned this before?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:09 AM
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I have!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:13 AM
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@105: Nope. Denmark is waaay too expensive for Germans. But Copenhagen is full of Italians in December.


Posted by: Jacob Christensen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:41 AM
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Thank you, Halford. Sometimes I think everyone on Unfogged is insane, because their primary reaction is always way down on my list and they never bother to say "That is a weird commercial!" Because everyone on Unfogged is nuts. To compensate, I check in with Jammies, who reassures me that it is a weird commercial.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:47 AM
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Yes, but can Jammies fold fitted sheets?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:49 AM
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Also, heebie, water is wet. Anything else you need us to clear up?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:53 AM
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Haugland was indeed an extraordinary bloke. But I was puzzled by this throwaway line:
"It turned out that the Germans were interested in electric power, not an atom bomb..."

Excuse me? No it bloody didn't. They were trying to build a bomb!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:54 AM
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Because everyone on Unfogged is nuts jaded.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:08 AM
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And who jaded us all, Apo?

It is a weird commercial, but to the extent that Halford's reaction is that it's not offensive, just weird, I can't follow. There's got to be some intended point, and any intended point I can come up with ("Come to Denmark and be sexually irresponsible. We don't care, and we'll happily clean up after you!") is unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:17 AM
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Germany should try one with the woman wearing a dirndl.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:21 AM
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And I should go into marketing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:26 AM
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You people are definitely weird, but the ad strikes me as the standard kind of double-reverse fakeout that ads are so into these days; the story is engaging, but you (the male viewer) are not meant to think "I want to be that guy!" You're meant to think "oh man, I'm glad I'm not that guy, but damn, that Denmark has some pretty cool social policies if that chick is all happy about getting knocked up. And hot women, too! And this ad doesn't bother them? What a cool place!"

And you're meanwhile supposed to link the ad all over the place because you, like everybody else, are trying desperately to figure out who the literal meaning of the ad is targeting. The answer is nobody; it's just a good story hook to get you to think about the secondary and tertiary characteristics.

Hasn't anybody ever seen an ad which seems to imply that, say, people who use the product being advertised will die horribly, or be otherwise caused harm, or that the people using the product advertised are in some way or another horrible?

So weird, you people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:30 AM
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I think it went without saying the ad is weird.

It's also offensive.

As for the point -- my guess is that somebody thought that it would get attention. They were right.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:33 AM
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Hasn't anybody ever seen

Why, yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:33 AM
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I finally googled "dirndl", after Moby's ten-thousandth mention.

Everyone knows the ad isn't new, right? It was pulled in September from YouTube since it was so patently offensive.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:33 AM
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"oh man, I'm glad I'm not that guy, but damn, that Denmark has some pretty cool social policies if that chick is all happy about getting knocked up. And hot women, too! And this ad doesn't bother them? What a cool place!"

Not, "Oh, man, I'm glad I'm not that guy in real life. But Denmark is fantasy Disneyland where what happened was absolutely okay! Imagine how delightful a world would be where knocking up a one-night-stand wouldn't be my problem at all! And it actually exists! What a cool place!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:36 AM
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131: See. Marketing is in my blood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:36 AM
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It's true. Thanks to your subliminal efforts and speedy Internet delivery, I'm wearing a dirndl right now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:38 AM
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It was pulled in September from YouTube since it was so patently offensive.

Seriously? That's crazy. How does it stack up against this or this?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:39 AM
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You've just successfully driven me onto a new meme.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:39 AM
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132: eh, kind of, I guess. I still think the specifics of the ad are very much designed to make it compelling viewing, rather than particularly aspirational (except for bangin' the hot danish chick).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:40 AM
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136 to 134.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:40 AM
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It's not an invitation to unprotected sex. It's an invitation to hygge, which, for some small set of folks, might include sex with an attractive woman. We're cool. You'll like us. Who doesn't want to go to Denmark?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:41 AM
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139: When I was there years ago, I remember that beer and cigarettes were pretty expensive. That's about the only bad thing I can remember. But, you could buy snuff, which the English wouldn't let you do (but the Scottish would).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:43 AM
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135: Pulled by the advertising agency, I mean. Other people have uploaded copies to YouTube, of course.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:44 AM
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Oh. Right. That makes more sense.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:45 AM
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I've been to Denmark. No Vikings. No hot slutty women. Just gray skies and lots of nice people who look at you funny when you accidentally violate some social norm.

My review is tainted somewhat due to the fact that I was only there for a long weekend and was hammered the whole time, but the I am confident on the Vikings and hot slutty women because I was actively searching for both. Unfortunately my search area was limited to the immediate surroundings of a little shack in the countryside and a little patch of Copenhagen, but I searched diligently!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:49 AM
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No Vikings. No hot slutty women.

You should try Minnesota.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:51 AM
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Aren't the slutty women in Sweden? I hear there's a bridge now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:51 AM
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But Denmark is fantasy Disneyland where what happened was absolutely okay! Imagine how delightful a world would be where knocking up a one-night-stand wouldn't be my problem at all!

I don't think about the guy's perspective much at all when I see this video. I do think, wow, the abortion-or-not decision would be an entirely different one if I were in Denmark.

The "I haven't slept with anyone else" line was silly, though. So what? Maybe you slept with someone else, say, the day before you met touristdude.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:52 AM
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There are no Vikings though, thanks to the deleterious effects of the welfare state.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:52 AM
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Just gray skies and lots of nice people who look at you funny when you accidentally violate some social norm.

I suppose there is that, but I'd just come from the U.K., so I was used to both. For some reason, everybody in Denmark and Germany thought I was local (until I tried to talk or something). Everybody in Italy knew I wasn't local, despite half of my ancestors being Italian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:53 AM
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146: They're trying hard to cut off competing narratives. "Denmark, full of women who sleep with you and then lie and claim that you knocked them up." That's why she talks about how she's not a bimbo, and how it's not his fault, etc. This should have been a sign how ill-conceived the ad was. An ad doesn't have that kind of careful control over message.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:55 AM
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The "I haven't slept with anyone else" line was silly, though. So what? Maybe you slept with someone else, say, the day before you met touristdude.

Until she met anonymous tourist dude she was a virgin.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:58 AM
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Until she met anonymous tourist dude she was a virgin.

That's just how awesome Denmark is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:00 AM
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"Denmark, full of women who sleep with you and then lie and claim that you knocked them up."

Why compete with Delaware when you can create a new marketing hook?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:02 AM
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If you come to Denmark you get 72 virgins, but then they each have your kid.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:02 AM
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Or so they claim.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:04 AM
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this guy sounds pretty badass.

Wow, no kidding. Surely the Norsemen have made multiple movies of his life?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:09 AM
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Thanks to feminism, they're too embarrassed by him. They don't read Norman Mailer either.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:10 AM
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Maybe they should try Tycho Brahe. Wearing a gold fake nose has got to count for something. Plus, I understand that science is very popular these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:13 AM
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||

So I'm reading this stupid cycling blog, and in the most recent post the author uses "reticent" incorrectly (to wit: "I'm reticent to use [a bag you put water in]"). Oh well, says I, happens all the time. But then the dude brags about using reticent (along with "menagerie") as it is indicative of the kind of fancified vocabulary you'll encounter on his site. Really?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:17 AM
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Unfortunately, Uraniborg hasn't existed for four hundred years.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:17 AM
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re: 155
Ten-a-penny in countries north of the 55th parallel ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:18 AM
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158: His blog is the penultimate place to go for cycling news.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:20 AM
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If you come to Denmark and kill a cartoonist you get 72 virgins


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:20 AM
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161: His is one of the most unique cycling blogs out there.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:21 AM
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158: Is that Bike Snob NYC? He misuses "nonplussed" so much I can't figure out whether to laugh at a running gag or track him down and smack him until he cries out, "non plus!"


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:22 AM
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164: Maybe he means 'non-pulsed,' as in "the food processor is broken so the garlic is non-pulsed."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:25 AM
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162: Without even having to die.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:26 AM
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If they wanted the ad to be truly edgy and verisimilitudinous, they shouldn't have depicted the baby feeding out of a bottle.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:27 AM
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158: What's wrong with that usage of reticent? He's using it as a synonym for reluctant, which isn't exactly uncommon. Though, I do think reluctant would be a better word in that situation.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:29 AM
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Reticent doesn't mean reluctant, it means reticent. This usage comes from confusing the words "reticent" and "reluctant" because they look similar.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:31 AM
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Reticent doesn't mean reluctant, it means reticent.

Ned works toward his dream of writing for Webster's.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:32 AM
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164: no, not him. The other allegedly funny one. You know, the Mormon with the dead wife.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:33 AM
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167: I bet within the ad agency they discussed the pros and cons of that for several hours.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:34 AM
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172: I bet they filmed it that way and keep the tape at home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:36 AM
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169: This usage comes from confusing the words "reticent" and "reluctant" because they look similar.

I don't think that's the sole origin of that usage, though it is probably contributory. I think a larger part of the reason those words are connected is that reticent most commonly means "reluctant to talk/be expressive", but people have generalized it to mean "reluctant" in general.

Crap, I have run off to a meeting to explain to people why they can't just display password hints on a login page, without any additional layers of security.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:37 AM
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158: If that annoys you, you should probably stop reading Fatty's blog.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:39 AM
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Back on the OP, I think Sifu's take is basically right. I mean, I do think that it's fairly stupid and offensive and anti-feminist (and DULL), but I think that the intention is 90% meta - the goal was to "go viral" with an "edgy concept," possibly increasing "mindshare" by accessing "eyeballs." The form of the edgy concept is secondary, and the intended cleverness there was mostly "Hey, instead of showing that Denmark is sexy via swimsuit models, let's flip it and show a single mother - a hott one." It's supposed to leave an impression of hotness, not a literal experience to be sought in Denmark.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:39 AM
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175: oh, I definitely should stop reading that blog, for many reasons. And yet I don't. Shame! Shame!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:39 AM
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"Crap, I have run off to a meeting to explain to people why they can't just should be reticent to display password hints on a login page, without any additional layers of security."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:40 AM
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Ten-a-penny in countries north of the 55th parallel ...

WIMPY 54-40 OR FIGHT


Posted by: OPINIONATED MANIFEST DESTINY | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:40 AM
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Huh. I always thought people misused reticent because it sounded like hesitant, not because it looked like reluctant.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:41 AM
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they shouldn't have depicted the baby feeding out of a bottle

Right. It should have been swigging akvavit out of the bottle.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:42 AM
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The depiction of single mothers as not desperately poor and unhappy is attractive enough, even outside the sex tourism angle.

And it's hard for any Danish advertising campaign to look weird nowadays, compared to this.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:43 AM
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I bet within the ad agency they discussed the pros and cons of that for several hours.

I'm struggling to come up with a con.

I mean, seriously, I'm long past being titillated by breastfeeding, but given that the goal is to be meta-sexy outrageous while emphasizing how laid-back Denmark is, why wouldn't you go there (aside from practical matters relating to biology)?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:43 AM
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Ned works toward his dream of writing for Webster's.

Except Webster's has reluctant listed as one of the definitions of reticent.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:48 AM
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183: Lots of childless men are made uncomfortable by it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:49 AM
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184: So reticent = reluctant, except when it doesn't? I'm just going to keep using 'penultimate' instead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:51 AM
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I'm just going to keep using 'penultimate' instead.

Before you do that, you should keep using "antepenultimate" instead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:53 AM
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For JRoth, "titillated" and "made uncomfortable" are synonyms. "Erotica of awkwardness" will be the next big trend.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:53 AM
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187: Antipenultimatedisestablishmentarianism?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:55 AM
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Which means a supporter of the 2nd to last Anglican.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:58 AM
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190. Not long now...

"Erotica of awkwardness" will be the next big trend

This is called being 16. Nobody wants to go back there.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:59 AM
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183: Yeah, I think there's a fairly common perception of breastfeeding as actively anti-sexy, which would explain the avoidance here.

I hate the misuse of 'reticient', largely because ten years ago it was a straightforward error, but it's gotten common enough that I bet in another five or so we all really will be kind of silly for objecting -- it'll be a newly legitimate use.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:02 AM
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Nobody wants to go back there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:04 AM
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192: I've stopped objecting to 'decimate' as 'completely destroying' because that barn door was left open for too long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:04 AM
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I still have a bug up my ass about nauseous/nauseated, but weak-willed dictionaries have given in to the vulgarians.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:08 AM
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(I'm probably using vulgarian incorrectly)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:09 AM
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"Hey, instead of showing that Denmark is sexy via swimsuit models, let's flip it and show a single mother - a hott one."

I admire their commitment to truth in advertising. When I visited Denmark, even the girls handing out maps in the airport were foxy to the platinum-blonde power.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:09 AM
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195: Yet, either term would seem to have at least some validity for the 'bug up the ass' scenario.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:10 AM
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192.2 Which begs the question of when misuse of "begs the question" going to become the accepted standard usage.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:13 AM
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199: It's already the accepted standard usage among people who haven't seriously studied philosophy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:14 AM
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I have trouble getting pissy about 'begs the question'. While I use it in the technical sense myself, the other usage is a fair straightforward literal reading of the three words of the phrase (and I've actually never quite gotten, due to insufficient Latin skills, a perfectly clear sense of how to get from 'assumes the conclusion' to begs the question. I know it's a literal translation of 'petitio principii', but I haven't got enough Latin for that to help me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:18 AM
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200: I know. Just fighting a heroic last-ditch rearguard action to buy time for the brothers and sisters to organize covert cells for the Nosflowian Jihad.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:20 AM
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Philosophers can always switch to using "assumes the conclusion" if they are annoyed by people inexplicably using the word "beg" to mean something other than "assume", and "question" to mean something other than "conclusion".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:23 AM
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201: think of it as meaning: "begging [you to assume the truth of] the [matter in] question" - i.e. your answer to the question "is X true" starts off with you saying "first, let's assume X."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:24 AM
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202: Impostor! Real jihadists say "Nosflovian".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:24 AM
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192

I hate the misuse of 'reticient', largely because ten years ago it was a straightforward error, but it's gotten common enough that I bet in another five or so we all really will be kind of silly for objecting -- it'll be a newly legitimate use.

My Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (copyright 1971) does not list "reluctant" as a meaning for "reticent" but the Ninth (copyright 1983) does so I think the horse left the barn some time ago.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:26 AM
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The horse left the barn, fucked a sheep, and created a new definition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:29 AM
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193 to?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:29 AM
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180 - Yeah.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:30 AM
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193 to?

191.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:42 AM
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I think using "reticent" for "reluctant" is fine, because they are quite similar.

But people who use "literally" to mean "figuratively" - THE EXACT FRIGGIN' OPPOSITE MEANING - should be shot.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:43 AM
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I think using "reticent" for "reluctant" is fine, because they are quite similar.

It's funny, I find it much more esthetically displeasing. Literally/figuratively is a more serious mental error, but reticient/reluctant makes it sound as if you just don't know the word. It's like "hone in on" which is, if not a pet peeve, at least a partially tamed peeve I feed occasionally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:47 AM
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a partially tamed peeve I feed occasionally.

I like that expression.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:48 AM
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But people who use "literally" to mean "figuratively"

They don't. They really, really don't. (They don't use it to mean "not figuratively," which is what you would like them to do, but they don't use it to mean "figuratively," either.)

It's time for me, once again, to link to my favorite paper on the subject!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:49 AM
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but reticient/reluctant makes it sound as if you just don't know the word

Or it might mean that you looked up the definition within the last 27 years.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:51 AM
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215: I'm a hopeless horrible snob for feeling this way, I abase myself and I am ashamed. That said, if you didn't have a strong belief about what 'reticient' means and how it's used in a sentence before looking it up (and you were over twelve or so at the time), I do not have a high opinion of your level of literacy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:55 AM
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214: It's not that they use 'literally' to mean 'figuratively', it's that they use it in a figurative, rather than a literal fashion. Which, as a word one of whose functions is to flag an utterance as non-metaphorical, is annoying, because it makes that function not work as well as it might.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:57 AM
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But "hone in on" is an eggcorn, which is supposed to reflect a genuine misapprehension. Reticent/reluctant can't be that because they don't actually sound remotely similar in any dialect I know of - I suppose there's a semantic connection of sorts in reticent people being reluctant to make a scene, but it's a bit thin. It would be easier if everybody learned Latin, so they understood the etymologies.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:58 AM
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I love/hate it when people use the adverb "physically" to describe something they're doing on the computer. As in, "I had to physically move the files to the folder."


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:59 AM
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216: (And, everyone has inexplicable gaps in their knowledge, there are things I don't know that are just as surprising as not knowing how to use 'reticient' in the manner I prefer, I really am not entitled to say anything bad about anyone on this basis. Sorry to everyone I've just insulted.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:59 AM
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219: I have a 30 pound mouse, so it seems at least plausibly accurate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:00 AM
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218: I think alliteration is quite a strong link in people's heads for 'sounding alike'. The words have similarish meanings, and they start with the same syllable -- that's enough to lead to the confusion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:01 AM
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if you didn't have a strong belief about what 'reticient' means and how it's used in a sentence before looking it up (and you were over twelve or so at the time), I do not have a high opinion of your level of literacy.

How are you expecting people to develop a strong belief in its meaning? I see it used "incorrectly" as much as correctly so getting a belief from the usage seems problematic. The other way is to look up the definition and the dictionary also lists the "incorrect" definition so I don't see how you can fault someone at this point for picking up the "incorrect" meaning.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:02 AM
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212, 215, 220: What's your opinion of people who don't have a strong belief on how "reticent" is spelled?


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:03 AM
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How are you expecting people to develop a strong belief in its meaning?

Reading old books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:04 AM
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223: I'm a snob, I apologize for being a snob, and all that. And I haven't actually collected data to support what I'm going to say. But I'd bet you that if you sorted users of 'reticient' into people likely in your estimation not to make usage errors (generally broadly read, well educated, whatever) and people more likely to make usage errors, you'd notice that the former category of speaker was more likely not to use it as a synonym for reluctant. And that you'd notice that you never, or very rarely, saw it used as a synonym for reluctant in published prose more than a decade or two old. That kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:06 AM
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A friend of mine, a reformed misuser of "reticent," explained her epiphany: "I learned that 'reticent' didn't mean 'reluctant,' it meant 'reluctant to speak.'" She was pleased that she got to keep her reticent/reluctant connection and win the approval of usage snobs.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:07 AM
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24: We are the salt of the earth. I had a whole post bitching about reticent and screwing it up a while back -- the misspelling is ingrained in my fingers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:07 AM
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That should be 224.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:08 AM
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I love/hate it when people use the adverb "physically" to describe something they're doing on the computer. As in, "I had to physically move the files to the folder."

What? My computer's a physical object. It works by moving electrons around, which are also physical objects. Do you have some sort of Platonic computer or what?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:10 AM
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217 explains the problem with literally/figuratively nicely. In general, I don't have problems with words shifting meanings as long as they don't do harm to the original meaning.

This is why I like "irregardless", because its a good word to annoy language snobs with, but it doesn't actually do damage to other words.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:14 AM
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What is wrong with "hone in on"? Are we angry about preserving "home in on" (which I think is pilot slang or something) the proper phrase? "Hone" seems at least as plausible.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:14 AM
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"I had to physically move the files to the folder."

I think I usually say "manually," to connote the laboriousness and annoyingness. I don't think I would use the word "physically" in such a case, but maybe I would.

What *should* people say, in your opinion?

Also, I am annoyed by the impoverishment of vocabulary due to other people's misapprehensions and maturity levels. I still generally use "oral" when I mean "oral," but most of the rest of the world has switched to "verbal," apparently because of the sexual connotations.

Flimsy, scanty/scantily, fondle, and fetish have also been sufficiently contaminated by their sexual definitions or connotations that they are nearly unusable in business settings. Grrr.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:16 AM
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I had to physically move the files to the folder.

But is there a better word than "physically" to describe act of doing things on the computer that might otherwise occur as part of an automated process?

"Manually" is perhaps marginally better, but has the same objection as physically.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:17 AM
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What is wrong with "hone in on"?

Because the word is "bone", dammit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:17 AM
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I can't think of a business setting in which you would want "fondle" to be usable.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:17 AM
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234 pwned by 233


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:18 AM
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You might hone in on the perfect edge, but otherwise I don't think it's that plausible.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:18 AM
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I have a hard time coming up with business settings that require the word "fondle."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:18 AM
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||
Bummers: Two more friends lost their jobs yesterday. One of them was expecting a promotion, had already given notice on her place and packed up her stuff to relocate for the job, then got the sack "because of the economy". The other one was probably fired either because she was not interested in the boss's advances or because she was doing some union organizing.

And to top it all off, there was a triple homicide a couple of miles away. 3 Somali convenience store owners dead in a botched robbery. This will NOT be good for the community, already under so much stress and scrutiny because of the young fellows who were lured back to Somalia to fight.

Okay, resume pedantry, but try to be amusing!
||>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:18 AM
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aaand pwnd by Ajay.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:19 AM
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236: You've never fondled a dongle?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:19 AM
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239: Massage therapy, Breast-feeding consultant, and pre-bust real estate sales.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:19 AM
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I have a hard time coming up with business settings that require the word "fondle."

Allow me to help.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:21 AM
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The problem is that there's no non-metaphorical use of 'hone' where you'd follow it with 'in'. It's not a different metaphor, it's an eggcorn of the 'home in on' (which I think was originally pigeons) phrase. I can say 'home in on', and be using the phrase in its original meaning, of a bird returning to its nest, if I happen to be talking about birds. I can't say 'hone in on' and be talking about anything actually relating to sharpening, because if I'm talking about sharpening, then I'd never use 'hone in' rather than just 'hone' by itself.

If you want to describe a process of approaching something by metaphorically likening it to sharpening a blade, that's fine with me. Hone your arguments, hone your skills, hone what you like. But don't hone in on anything unless you can show me someone honing in on a knife, tool, or other piece of metal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:22 AM
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Whoops, 240 was me.

Also, to 233: It's bizarre that people are so circumspect about using words from your list, and yet one so often hears "I'm just completely anal about physically moving the files around on my desktop." (Or similar use of anal[-retentive].


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:22 AM
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Fondle: To treat with fond indulgence; to cocker, pamper.

It is not impossible that one might want to use that in a professional setting. Ajay's and togolosh's reactions just prove that Witt is right.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:23 AM
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234: I've had exactly this thought -- wanting to use 'physically' in the 'moving files on a computer by dragging icons' sense, rejecting it as silly, and then being unable to find a replacement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:24 AM
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)

Also, I can deal with just about any other example of poor diction, but when people say "jive" when they mean "jibe" (in the sense of "to agree with" or "to match") I am overwhelmed with teeth-grating irritation. Literally.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:26 AM
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249: My brother!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:27 AM
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It should have been swigging akvavit out of the bottle.

Or better yet, drinking it from a breast. I'd be on the next flight to Copenhagen.

Speaking of breasts, I need to work "gets on my tits" into my lexicon. As in, the use of "enormity" to mean "enormousness" gets on my tits.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:28 AM
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I confess to being annoyed that I can't use "molest" to mean "relentlessly annoy", but had no idea there were non-sexual uses for "fondle". Might as well put "ejaculate" and "intercourse" on that list too, Witt.

Fondle: To treat with fond indulgence; to cocker, pamper.

"Fondle" used to mean "coddle"? Here I think it's good that the two similar words are moving away, rather than towards each other.

If you want to describe a process of approaching something by metaphorically likening it to sharpening a blade, that's fine with me. Hone your arguments, hone your skills, hone what you like. But don't hone in on anything unless you can show me someone honing in on a knife, tool, or other piece of metal.

The image "hone in on" calls to mind for me is something like sharpening a pencil. As you remove the outer layer of wood, you get to the inner layer, or "nitty-gritty". Or simply, by sharpening something, you make it more accurate.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:28 AM
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"Sharpen in on" vs. "Return home in on"? Both are weird. Whichever one you use is kind of folksy-slangy, and I don't see much basis for preferring one over the other. I don't use either phrase much or at all, but I didn't know that this was a language snob issue.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:29 AM
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but when people say "jive" when they mean "jibe" (in the sense of "to agree with" or "to match")

No, I quite like this. Because it conjures up a wonderful image of "your company's proposal" lindy-hopping around the room with "the client's view of their requirement". To something by Louis Jordan, I think.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:33 AM
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The difference is that "Home in" has been used for a very long time to describe birds and other things actually returning to their homes. So someone using "home in" when speaking metaphorically of anything approaching any destination is likening it to a bird returning to its nest.

No one has ever (probably not literally true, but close enough) used 'hone in' to describe sharpening a tool. So someone saying 'hone in' to describe a process of approaching a goal isn't drawing a metaphorical likeness between two different things, they're just making uncomprehended noises with their mouths they're just not actively thinking about the meaning of what they say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:34 AM
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,i>I confess to being annoyed that I can't use "molest" to mean "relentlessly annoy"

Hang out with more Spanish speakers.

Might as well put "ejaculate" and "intercourse" on that list too.

Eh, those were lost by the end of the 19th or early 20th century, I think.

246 is so true. I avoid it out of unabated dislike of the underlying theory, though. It's been 15 years since I was forced to read Freud, and I don't like his ideas any better now.

236, 239: I dunno, trying to describe somebody affectionately touching an object. Sometimes it's just the most appropriate word to use to describe how someone treats his new car.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:39 AM
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255: But people who study albatross or turtle migration, or whatever, don't say "homing in" either. They just say "homing". "The albatross homed toward its breeding ground", etc.

I'm with 253 in that both forms are slangy. But I am also one of those people who, even when both forms sound fine, will always use the form that is etymologically correct, and doesn't understand why people would want to use the "incorrect" form when they know it's incorrect.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:40 AM
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I confess to being annoyed that I can't use "molest" to mean "relentlessly annoy"

Learn Spanish; you'll have the verb molestar at your disposal for this very meaning. (On the other hand, the Spanish verb violar has a similar problem to "molest" in English.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:41 AM
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Pwittned.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:42 AM
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I think I prefer "hone in".

"Home in" is clunky because "home" is noun that's pretty awkward to use as a verb.

Hone, at least, is a solid verb, and works better with "in."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:42 AM
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214: It's not that they use 'literally' to mean 'figuratively', it's that they use it in a figurative, rather than a literal fashion. Which, as a word one of whose functions is to flag an utterance as non-metaphorical, is annoying, because it makes that function not work as well as it might.

Indeed. I don't really mind when people find it annoying (though I do love to link to that paper) but I do mind when they are imprecise/wrong about the usage that annoys them.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:42 AM
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Language Log says that "home in on" showed up in the 1940s as American pilot slang, and "hone in on" emerged slightly thereafter. And Ned's vision kind makes intuitive sense to me. But, now that I know that people care about this as a mark of literacy, I'll avoid the phrase.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:44 AM
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The way I see it, P.G. Wodehouse is a contemporary writer, and he uses "molest" in the sense I would like to use it. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's use of "ejaculate" is archaic and anachronistic.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:45 AM
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255: But people who study albatross or turtle migration, or whatever, don't say "homing in" either. They just say "homing". "The albatross homed toward its breeding ground", etc.

I don't think this is a correct description of actual usage -- 'homed toward', for example, clangs a bit for me. It's not that every usage of 'home' as a verb meaning to return home is followed by 'in', but where an animal is 'homing' in the sense that it is returning to its home, finding it by some inexplicable or at least obscure process of memory or sense perception, 'homing in' is standard English for describing that process. If you wanted to call it 'folksy' or 'slangy', okay, but it's been conventional usage in this context for a very long time.

'Honing in', on the other hand, isn't even a slangy or folksy way of talking about sharpening. If you're really talking about sharpening, there's no usage I'm aware of, slangy or folksy or otherwise, where you'd say 'hone in' rather than just 'hone'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:47 AM
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Hone, at least, is a solid verb, and works better with "in."

Hone is a transitive verb, and doesn't work with "in" or any other preposition.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:48 AM
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pwned again...


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:49 AM
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But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's use of "ejaculate" is archaic and anachronistic.

Really. Now Sherlock Holmes seems so much more boring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:50 AM
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And 'home', of course, is a verb as well as a noun. A verb generally taking the preposition 'in'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:52 AM
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I'll avoid the phrase

I can't remember having found a use for the phrase in either form in a very long time, anyway. What would you say? "We're homing/honing in on the ... central nugget, the crux of the biscuit"?

Maybe in hunting, you might use it. Whether as "homing" or "honing", it describes zeroing in on a target. Maybe of use in the military.

In everyday life, though, I'm not seeing an occasion for its use.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:52 AM
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264, 265: Testify. Since we're bitching, here's another irksome example I heard just now on the radio: "ground zero" for (among other things) "zero."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:53 AM
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233

Flimsy, scanty/scantily, fondle, and fetish have also been sufficiently contaminated by their sexual definitions or connotations that they are nearly unusable in business settings. Grrr.

I was unaware that "flimsy" had sexual connotations. Is this supposed to be common knowledge?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:53 AM
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I think flimsy, like scanty, has lingerie connotations.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:54 AM
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"Flimsy" is inevitably followed by "lingerie". I fear that you do not watch enough cinema.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:55 AM
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Screw you, Apostropher.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:56 AM
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So, what's a good alternative to saying that the evidence for something is flimsy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:56 AM
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275: p = .123.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:57 AM
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269: I hear it often enough to have lost some dental enamel gritting my teeth over it, although I'm not coming up with a sentence to quote. That one, for some reason, often tends to come from people who I'd generally regard as highly literate -- it annoys me, but I don't take it as evidence of anything about the speaker.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:57 AM
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265: OK, maybe not a "solid" verb, but a lot better of a verb than "home"

What about the phrase "to give in"... "give" is a transitive verb, but I don't see a problem with that usage.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:57 AM
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278: Spike-

Try it this way. (1) "Hone in on" is a metaphor, likening the process of approaching something to the process of sharpening something. (2) "Hone in on" is a phrase that would never be used if actually talking about sharpening anything. Therefore (3) The fact that the metaphorical usage is a phrase that makes no literal sense suggests that it originated in a mishearing of the phrase "home in on".

Do you disagree with (1) or (2)? Or do you just not think that (3) follows from (1) and (2)?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:03 AM
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Screw you, Apostropher.

Only if you're wearing something flimsy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:03 AM
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I don't really understand 264. "The bird homed in it's nest" was a standard phrase, meaning "returned to it's nest"? I could see "the bird homes" or maybe "the bird homes to it's nest" but the phrase "home in" doesn't really work with that verb either, so both "home in on" and "honed in on" seem like equally weird constructions, if the standard is close relationship to a pre-existing meaningful English phrase. Not


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:04 AM
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273

"Flimsy" is inevitably followed by "lingerie". ...

Not in the NYT


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:04 AM
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what's a good alternative to saying that the evidence for something is flimsy.

"Crotchless".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:05 AM
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283: That might work for the underwear bomber.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:05 AM
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What if it's scanty, rather than flimsy?

(Actually, I wouldn't hesitate to use flimsy or scanty if I had occasion to. Would that really make people giggle where you work? I remember some academic type around here (I don't think it was AWB, although I think she was in the conversation, and maybe the conversation was on her blog) talking about how a visiting speaker used the word 'straddle' and the academic's department snickered as one, flummoxing the speaker.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:06 AM
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279

... The fact that the metaphorical usage is a phrase that makes no literal sense suggests that it originated in a mishearing of the phrase "home in on".

Um, so what?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:06 AM
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What if it's scanty, rather than flimsy?

Best just take it off now, rather than trying to beat the odds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:09 AM
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Growing up, I'd hear "hone down" among older people, which is maybe an Appalachianism of some sort but always made sense enough to me. They're also the same kind of people who'd say "warsh" or "terlet," though, so it's not as if I'm pushing for etymological purity, just adding prepositions to the list.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:09 AM
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281: No, standard usage is either "The bird homed in rapidly, landing only 1:43 after it was released from Greenwich," or "The bird homed in on its nest." And then through pilot slang "The radar-guided missile homed in on its target". And then to approaching any target by further metaphor.

It's easier to find metaphorical usages than ones actually talking about bird behavior, but look at the first couple of pages of this, and you'll see some examples.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:12 AM
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279: (3) The fact that the metaphorical usage is a phrase that makes no literal sense suggests that it originated in a mishearing of the phrase "home in on".

I don't disagree with this statement at all. I just don't have a problem with phrases originating as mishearing of other phrases. Seems to me that's how languages evolve.

I agree that hone in is more idiomatic than home in, but, as I've said, I think its grammatically superior. That's probably one reason its survived.

Another reason is I think "hone in" and "home in" have slightly different meanings. "Home in" (as in "to approach") applies well to a location, but I think "hone in" (as in "to sharpen or refine") would apply better to an idea.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:14 AM
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286: Oh, the fact that it drives me nuts suggests that I don't have enough real problems. But the first person who said it (in my belief, based on the above described evidence) was straightforwardly making a mistake. He heard someone using a phrase, didn't catch it correctly, and repeated it wrong. And enough people have either made the same mistake, or learned the phrase from people who had made that mistake, that the fact that it originated in an error is being lost.

This is very unimportant in the greater scheme of things. It just irks me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:15 AM
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I agree that hone in is more idiomatic than home in, but, as I've said, I think its grammatically superior.

Does it bother you at all that 'hone in' cannot be correctly used of actually sharpening anything? (And when I say cannot be correctly used, I'm not being nitpicky about what's correct. I mean that people talking about sharpening do not use it.)

And I don't understand your 'grammatical' objection to 'home in' used to describe what pigeons and missiles do. That's simply not a solecism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:18 AM
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Maybe we could use 'fondle' for sharpening things?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:24 AM
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I don't remember the "straddle" anecdote, which probably means it originated with me. I only don't remember things I say.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:25 AM
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290: I just don't have a problem with phrases originating as mishearing of other phrases. Seems to me that's how languages evolve.

Where's M/tch? It seems to me that I argued (and possibly lost) with him not too long ago over this, though I can't for the life of me remember what the disputed word or phrase in question was.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:27 AM
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And I don't understand your 'grammatical' objection to 'home in' used to describe what pigeons and missiles do.

My objection is that home is primarily a noun, and really only used as a verb in the "home in" context. It feels a lot more grammatically comfortable to me to go ahead an add a preposition to a transitive verb than to verb an entire noun.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:29 AM
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Right. At this point, I have no choice but to challenge you to a duel.

Broadswords in a twelve-foot pit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:35 AM
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The penultimate one standing wins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:38 AM
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297: How about brickbats at three quarters of a mile? That would be much safer.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:38 AM
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Well, I basically agree with Spike or Shearer that the right response to "this was initially a mistake" is "who cares" (language snob circa 1850: "God, I can't stand it that the ignorant naturalist turned "home" into a verb'. The bird WENT HOME. Etc.).


But I also don't think the alleged source for your snobbery is coherent. I can't link to the language log post from my phone, but it claims that the verb "to home" in the of a bird returning home, was from the late 19th century. "Home on" meaning moving towards a beacon first appears in 1940. The first use of "home in on" in the OED is from 1956, and "hone in on" shows up 10 years later. So basically these were slang phrases that were evolving at the same time. And there's no obvious reason to prefer "homed in" -- "the bird homed in rapidly, landing in it's nest" should probably, strictly speaking, be "the bird homed rapidly, landing in it's nest.". "The bird he'd rapidly in on it's nest" sounds right to my ear, but that's because the phrase is already in use, and there's no evidence that there was some correct ornithological use of the phrase that began before the use of "home in on" as slang, which in turn was nearly simultaneous with "hone in on."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:43 AM
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I'm going to blame all the weird errors and typos in the post above on my phone, but the truth is I'm pretty illiterate, too.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:47 AM
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I still have a bug up my ass about nauseous/nauseated, but weak-willed dictionaries have given in to the vulgarians.

Have they really? My dictionary is holding the line.

I'm a hopeless horrible snob for feeling this way, I abase myself and I am ashamed. That said, if you didn't have a strong belief about what 'reticient' means and how it's used in a sentence before looking it up (and you were over twelve or so at the time), I do not have a high opinion of your level of literacy.

Jesus Christ. I know this has been beaten to death by now, but I hope all that stuff about abasing yourself and being ashamed was heartfelt and genuine, not just humorous self-deprecation. Because that's awful.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:47 AM
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I bet the easygoing Danish women wouldn't be so judgmental.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:49 AM
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It's so Unfogged 2.0 that interest in hot Danish women pales in comparison to enthusiasm for linguistic nitpicking. The next hundred comments will be devoted to Halford's misuse of the apostrophe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:52 AM
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303: The Danish are so lax about language that it can be hard to distinguish between "Are you wearing a condom?" and "Hello sailor. Had a long cruise?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:55 AM
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I don't like when people pronounce the "t" in "often" or the "h" in "Amherst."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:58 AM
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True or false: Many well-educated types harbor an internal listener which does note poor locutions, misuses of terms, problematic pronunciations, attempts to master a vocabulary the speaker hasn't really mastered, and so on.

That internal monitor isn't always actively "on," but it's there. The conclusions, or judgments, reached about the perpetrators of such missteps will vary. (Sometimes you barely even notice.)

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night, in which a final scene reveals that the female protagonist pronounces library "liberry." Oh, bummer, says the male protagonist to himself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:01 PM
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Broadswords in a twelve-foot pit?

In that small a space I think I'd want a stabbing weapon rather than a slashing weapon.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:04 PM
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The next hundred comments will be devoted to Halford's misuse of the apostrophe.

Dude, I could barely take LB seriously about the use of "reticent" when she kept misspelling it.

/kidding


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:04 PM
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My wife mispronounced "Goethe" a couple of weeks ago. I corrected her pronunciation, and told her that "some people" make a big deal out of mispronouncing it. "Some people" was of course Unfogged, but I left that part out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:05 PM
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Pronouncing the "t" in "often" is extremely archaic (common in England among people born before WWI). But pronouncing the "h" in Amherst is correct British, and I think Australian and NZ usage, so it depends where you are if you should let it irritate you.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:08 PM
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And I just got an E-mail that uses "hone into".


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:09 PM
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I had trouble taking both John Kerry and Howard Dean seriously in 2004 when they kept pronouncing "idea" as "idear". And lord, but it was a campaign of endless idears.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:09 PM
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John Kerry lost me when he started talking about "Lambert Field" in Green Bay.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:12 PM
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Pronouncing the "t" in "often" is extremely archaic

I almost always hear it with the T pronounced. Maybe that's regional. "Offen" sounds wrong to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:14 PM
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306: My pet peeve is people not only pronouncing the h in "where," "when," and "why," but getting it in the wrong place: "Hwere," "Hwen," "Hwy." My father was a major offender in this regard, but I've run into it elsehwere.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:14 PM
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313: I've always assumed that that's a Northeasternism originating in the phonetics of our former imperial overlords. Both of my parents have/had it; my siblings and I don't.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:15 PM
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I don't even know what to do with American handling of the German ö - the ubiquity of Gerbells and Gerte is overwhelming, and there doesn't seem to be the least awareness that it's a pretty distant approximation. Then there's Danke Shane.

It's weird that, with so many German descendants in this country, there's so little awareness of German as a language beyond crude cliches of Ach.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:17 PM
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It bugs me when tourists mistake gemütlichkeit for hygge.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:17 PM
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"Hwere," "Hwen," "Hwy."

I have been mocked for this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:19 PM
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316. Again, something you'd hear from any middle class English person over 70. I do it to convey mock formality, but it came naturally to my parents.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:19 PM
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I assume, btw, that part of the reason for this is that, since 1066, the de-Germanification of English has been an ongoing project, and so all the sounds we used to share have been softened or silenced, so that the typical English speaker struggles with every non-shared sound (trilled Rs, short As, CH in all its forms, etc.). Not like English-speakers have great faculty with French accents, either, but the block seems to be more complete.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:20 PM
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Maybe I'm really an elderly Brit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:21 PM
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300: The distinction that seems very clear to me (and which is driving my at this point irrational and insane blood lust over the issue -- you're up next after I duel Spike), is the difference between a grammatical error and a dead (or really, never living) metaphor. I really don't see the grammatical problem with 'home in on'. "Home" is a verb, and it's a verb that's properly used in conjunction with the prepositions "in on".Those are the words native speakers of English use to describe what pigeons do to nests, and by analogy what missiles do to submarines, and I can't see any authority for calling them ungrammatical.

But say I'm missing something and there's some sense in which "home in on " is ungrammatical. It's still a functional metaphor -- if someone says "we're homing in on a solution" I get a picture in my mind of someone in a submarine looking at a radar screen, watching a small blip approaching a larger blip. The metaphor adds something that the word 'approach' doesn't have -- a sense of searching, and of inevitability.

"Hone in on", on the other hand, is word salad. It's not a metaphor: there's no process in the physical world that you would describe in those terms. It's just a three-word synonym for 'approach', with no added value. ("Honing", without the "in on" is a perfectly good metaphor for the process of, say, perfecting an argument -- a laborious and skillful process of making very small changes that end up making a huge difference in usefulness. But there's no reason to add the words 'in on' if you're actually using a sharpening-related metaphor, and IME 'hone in on' tends to be used in ways where I can't make sense of what 'sharpening' rather than 'approaching' would have to do with it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:22 PM
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Is there really a discernible difference between hwere and where if the W is aspirated in the latter? I can't imagine how to aspirate an initial W with the breath coming afterwards.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:22 PM
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324: If this is going to be settled by popular acclaim, I agree.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:24 PM
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313 is making me laugh, to the extent that I haven't even read beyond it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:26 PM
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316ff: Never been mocked for it, but it's definitely what I was taught in my (decidedly not-posh) elementary school. I still sort of do it, I think.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:26 PM
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325: Nah, I think the bitching is about people who aspirate the 'w' at all. Hwere just means that it's distinguishable from wear.

I think I aspirate sometimes but not always -- maybe for comic overformality like OFE?

302: Well, everyone's snobbish about something. I generally try to keep from showing IRL, and I know I shouldn't be a snob about things, but I'm not actually beating myself up that hard about having the reaction so long as I manage not to show it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:27 PM
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Oh, "hw" has precedence, if you want to be picky...

Hwæt. We Gardena in gear-dagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,

hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

But so hwaet.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:28 PM
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324: You really sharpened in on the distinction, LB.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:29 PM
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Never been mocked for it

The woman I dated between my marriages found it hilarious. Nobody else had ever pointed it out, and I'd never noticed that other people didn't pronounce the h. Before that, I did manage to break myself of pronouncing milk and bridge as if they were spelled melk and bredge.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:31 PM
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LB, I think your snobbery is not only accurate but entirely acceptable. So long as you cover it with manners, you can assess people's literacy by markers in their speech at will.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:33 PM
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My folks who both speak with pretty strong Czech accents say Hvere, Hvy, Hvot, and so on.

It looks like there are 10 Goethe streets; the Chicago one is not pronounced like a German word. I think people here have already made the joke about the French pronounciation of Detriot being affected.

How widely read is Goethe among people with no German? I never have, and can barely ask prices in German.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:33 PM
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329: I suppose if you wanted to be an apologist for things that are bad you could call it "aspirating the w" but I prefer to simply point and laugh at people who talk funny.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:37 PM
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322: I say "squirrel" oddly -- two syllables, 'squeh-rul' rather than one, 'squirl' like most Americans. (I think this may be an NY thing -- I brought this up here once before and someone else had the same pronunciation, maybe oudemia?) I'd never noticed it until a couple stationed at my school in the PC thought it was the funniest thing ever, and would not drop it. I spent a month or two training myself out of it, and now mostly stay with the one-syllable pronunciation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:37 PM
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336: I say "tree rat".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:40 PM
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318: There is a "standard" German pronunciation, but within German-speaking countries there is considerable variation in how its pronounced in practice. In Switzerland, for example, the pronunciation is closer to English. So "w" is pronounced less like "v" than in standard German pronunciation, and more like the English "w". "Neun" is pronounced more like "noon" and less like "noin".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:42 PM
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Snark says "melk"!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:43 PM
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How widely read is Goethe among people with no German?

I think that at least some Goethe is pretty common in American high schools that do non-English lit.

The difference between American pronunciation of Goethe and Detroit is that there's no R in Goethe, yet people pronounce it with one. Not that I'd be thrilled with people calling him "GO-thee" or whatever, but at least it wouldn't be this weird, failed attempt at an accent.

On a side note, I do think that placenames are different in this from personal names. Placenames are sort of communally-determined, and it's the norm to use non-local spellings and pronunciations for lots of places (e.g., Florence). Whereas, with personal names, it's however the person pronounces it - the J in my name doesn't become a Y sound when I go to Germany, they just pronounce it as a J, as best they can. We refer to DaVinci with the ch sound that I assume is relatively correct. Chopin isn't sounded like a relative of a foul-mouthed FB poster. So the utter fail with Goethe irritates in a way that North Versailles (rhymes with hails) doesn't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:46 PM
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336: My father said squh-rull (think, say, Tony Soprano accent), and my pronunciation is sometimes a pale imitation of that (more r -- so, kinda, squr-ull), or generic "squirl."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:46 PM
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I like the fact that Texans (I think it's Texans) pronounced "lawyer" the way it's spelled.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:46 PM
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I drift weirdly toward saying "keller" for "color" but don't actually wind up all the way in the former -- but I do raise and front that one vowel a bit. It annoys me in myself!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:48 PM
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I say "squirrel" oddly -- two syllables, 'squeh-rul' rather than one, 'squirl' like most Americans.

Do you have a short male friend with a moustache who often wears a trench coat?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:50 PM
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339: I've run into "mulk" and "mealk."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:51 PM
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"Hone in" is a perfectly good metaphor. You hone a knife to a sharp edge, so as you are honing it (which is to say, removing extra metal), you are progressing in towards the perfect edge that you wish to achieve. Makes total sense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:51 PM
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I think that at least some Goethe is pretty common in American high schools that do non-English lit.

In other words, very few American high schools teach Goethe.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:51 PM
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as you are honing it (which is to say, removing extra metal)

Except that honing steels don't remove jack.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:53 PM
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346: You're simply trying to drive me mad, aren't you? Three duels in a day seems like a lot, but after I hone my skills and my sword I'll be ready for all of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:54 PM
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346: Sifu can help me pick out my brickbats before the duel.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:58 PM
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349: given that "hone" is derived from the norse word for "stone" I'm not sure that a steel would be the canonical honing apparatus, and if you're using a stone to sharpen a knife, you are indeed removing metal.

Anyhow that's not really relevant to the point, as you're still moving and/or ablating a dull blade, so the inward progression towards an eventual sharp edge still obtains.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 12:58 PM
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Honing steels remove burrs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:00 PM
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351: Let's deny common sense and say that you are right about 'honing in' as a progression toward a sharp edge. Giving that 'homing in' implies seeking a location and not a condition, wouldn't 'honing in' still be pointless and annoying to use the later when you mean the former?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:14 PM
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say that you are right about 'honing in' as a progression toward a sharp edge

Entertainingly, he can't quite make himself use the words 'hone in' or 'honing in' to describe sharpening something. BECAUSE IT'S WRONG AND NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:17 PM
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NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT.

You've got another thing coming.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:18 PM
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353: the edge of a knife isn't a location?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:19 PM
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356: Yes, but it really isn't a 'movement' in any common-usage sense. When we (and by we I mean sensible people and myself) talk about 'honing in' the connotation is one of fiddling with the details as you would when you are taking a dull knife and making it work better. Nothing in that implies looking for something or somewhere, which would be implied by 'homing in'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:24 PM
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Update to 357: Quit screwing with my head. You've got me saying 'honing in'. I meant 'honing.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:26 PM
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I pronounce the h, but no one ever mocks me for it. I'm from Kansas.


Posted by: Dorothy Gale | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:27 PM
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You can hone a spear to a point, right? You're stripping away excess material so as to reveal the specific, discrete point at the tip of the spear that will cause the spear to be useful. It's actually quite a beautiful metaphor for discarding the extraneous in the pursuit of the desired. Much better than the ugly verbing of "home in". I mean, "homing"? I suppose that offers the tantalizing possibility that going to the office counts as "working", but still: ugly, ugly, ugly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:29 PM
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Something's wrong with the last sentence of 360, but I can't hone in on it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:31 PM
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You can hone a spear to a point, right?

Not in my idiolect.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:33 PM
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I think that at least some Goethe is pretty common in American high schools that do non-English lit.

Huh. My high school had a year of "world literature", but we didn't read any Goethe. What would you read from him in high school? Poetry?

Faust in translation is dull indeed.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:33 PM
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361: "There is something wrong with the last sentence of 360 and I can't hone it."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:33 PM
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Chopin isn't sounded like a relative of a foul-mouthed FB poster.

No idea what that would sound like, but that isn't the best example, because nobody much pronounces Szopen as Polish (outside Poland, I daresay), and wikipedia says he actually gallicised his own name, and if he'd wound up in New York instead of Paris, happen he's have settled for "Shoppin'" quite happily.

I can't get fired up over the pronunciation of foreign names, any more than I'm bothered if somebody wants to call London, "Londres". I know an English guy called Stepanjuk, who pronounces it "Steeplejack" because people can get their heads around it. If somebody wants to call Goethe, "Gertie", that's only a problem if it isn't clear who they're on about.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:33 PM
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Is this "homing in" formulation used in office-speak? Or even "honing in"?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:34 PM
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"He continued to hone the spear in on towards the point that, sharp as a needle, would lead the weapon into the prefect's chest." &c.

(Sorry, been watching Rome)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:34 PM
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The best thing about the attempted taunting here is that Sifu really can't bring himself to claim that 'hone in' means 'sharpen' or any process relating to sharpening. Teasing is one thing, but there's a level of illiteracy he just doesn't have the commitment to stand up and claim.

Come on, Sifu. Pretend that you'd use the words 'hone in' to describe doing something to a blade. You know you want to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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I'm probably not going to get away with 367, but just wait until my historical novel gets published.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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I watch in awe as Moby Hick hones in on a more and more sharp and accurate description of his brain waves.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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344: Do you have a short male friend with a moustache who often wears a trench coat?

If I had it all to do over again, my Unfogged handle would be "Mayor Avaricious J. Wardheeler"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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You can hone a spear to a point, right?

Well, you can if you're a mediaeval peasant, sure. These days, I'd be more likely to machine it to a point, ugly verbing or not.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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368 so totally meet 367.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:35 PM
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He continued to hone the spear in on towards the point that

To me this is nonsense. Even worse than "he continued to hone the spear to the point that …".

What would you read from him in high school? Poetry?

The Sorrows of Young Werther, duh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:36 PM
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Oooh, I hadn't seen 367 yet. Yup. That sentence is exactly what 'hone in on' sounds like to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:36 PM
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(Sorry, been watching Rome)

That's "Roma"!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:36 PM
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Well, you can if you're a mediaeval peasant

Guilty as charged!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:36 PM
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Huh. My high school had a year of "world literature", but we didn't read any Goethe. What would you read from him in high school? Poetry?

"Young Werther" is pretty short.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:37 PM
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I propose a compromise: they're both noisome phrases and should be banished from polite English. Instead we may say "close in on" or "zero in on".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:38 PM
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378 is the kind of pwn I really love out of this place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:38 PM
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365: I know an English guy called Stepanjuk, who pronounces it "Steeplejack" because people can get their heads around it.

Says the fellow from the land of Tagliaferros and Cholmondeleys.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:38 PM
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Saying the h in "where" and "why" seems to be an old-fashioned northeasterner thing to me. I associate it with saying "I know it" instead of "I know".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:39 PM
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Oh, duh. Werther always slips my mind for some reason. High school's probably a good age for that book.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:39 PM
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In a rapid change of topic back to the original post, is Europe having tourism industry problems from lack of Americans with the money to travel? I honestly have no idea how big the American part of the European tourist market is, or if the recession has affected it all that much -- I've just been noticing ads from the Austrian tourist board on WNYC podcasts, and it seems unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:40 PM
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Christ, hone doesn't even look like an English word to me anymore. From the OP to vocabulary dickering instead of Scandinavian lust, depression, alcoholism, the Icelandic struggle for sovereignty in the face of crushing debt (how low would the kronor have to drop for Bjork to simply buy the country?).

How about a link to a populist economic trend?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:41 PM
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383: Werther always slips my mind for some reason.

You mean you don't say something like "Suddenly I feel a strange sense of melancholy" whenever someone offers you a Werther's Original? Because I do. Every single time.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:42 PM
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if he'd wound up in New York instead of Paris, happen he's have settled for "Shoppin'" quite happily

I doubt that. He was half French, so Chopin would have been natural in a way that an Americanization wouldn't have been.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:42 PM
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Incidentally language log like totally agrees with me on this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:42 PM
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Instead we may say "close in on" or "zero in on".

You mean "ground zero in on."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:44 PM
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Don't know any Tagliaferros, so I can't pronounce it, but I'll cop to Wymondhams and Leveson-Gowers. The point about J//n Stepanjuk is that he knows his parents were Polish, but he's a salesman, so he takes the line of least resistance. Like Szopen, when he wanted French travel documents.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:44 PM
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If somebody wants to call Goethe, "Gertie", that's only a problem if it isn't clear who they're on about.

But if I want to mock them mercilessly for it, there's no problem with that, either.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:45 PM
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I would have guessed Tagliaferro should be pronounced as if Italian. How is it said?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:46 PM
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Tagliaferro

Tolliver, isn't it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:47 PM
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392: "tuffo"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:47 PM
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Is Polish 'sz' not pronounced like English 's'? Why didn't Chopin go with Sopin or something?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:47 PM
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I will graciously admit, having won the "home in" vs. "hone in" argument, that I was totally making 394 up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:47 PM
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391. Absolutely, but then you must logically accept LB's right to take the mortal piss out of people who talk about "honing in".

(Oh, while you're there, are electrons physical objects, and whatever they are, by what definition? Can't remember which thread that was in)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:49 PM
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I only recently became aware (thanks to Blume and Mad Men) of the way the English pronounce "St. John", and may I say: what the fuck?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:49 PM
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388: They totally fail to address the point I make in my 324 (reasonably, because I made it here long after the LL post was written, but still). It is interesting that the 'in on' is a fairly recent addition (in print -- probably existed orally for a while before that) to the verb 'home', but doesn't change the fact that 'in on' still doesn't attach to 'hone' in the literal sense of sharpen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:50 PM
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398: Enlighten me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:50 PM
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401

400. Sinjon, where the "o" is a schwa.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:51 PM
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Oh, while you're there, are electrons physical objects, and whatever they are, by what definition?

I would say 'yes', but I'm not sure I know what "physical object" means. I mean, they seem to be real stuff, to the extent that any other abstraction like 'chairs' or 'stuff' are real stuff. (Maybe this is a question for some variety of philosopher.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:52 PM
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Subject/verb agreement are not real stuff.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:53 PM
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And I join Sifu in his reaction to the pronunciation of St. John. I spent a while boggling over that one when I first found out. (And wondering when it applies -- only for proper names, or are the Evangelists Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, Saint Luke and Sinjin? Would an English reader want to call the university in Queens Sinjins?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:54 PM
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Thus I refute to you


Posted by: Sam Johnson | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:54 PM
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Sam Johnson

Pronounced 'Simjins'n'.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:55 PM
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399: but sure it does. The fact that nobody uses the phrase outside of this particular metaphorical meaning isn't relevant; nobody uses "home in on" when they're talking about pigeons, and even the pigeon-related verbing is pretty recent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:56 PM
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sz in Polish is sh in English. Electrons are absolutely physical objects, they have spin and mass. Extension is complicated-- I learned that they were point particles, in the sense that all experiments to probe internal structure failed to yield results. Though it's been a while.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:57 PM
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"Sifu" is actually the British pronunciation of "Shepherd's Pie Covered in Aspic and Painted Blue", spelled phonetically.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:57 PM
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St John is only pronounced Sinjin when it's somebody's name, like these guys. St John's College, Oxford is pronounced like the university in Queens (mutatis mutandis).


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:58 PM
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sz in Polish is sh in English.

Really? But 'sz' in Hungarian is 's' in English, right? I thought the two languages agreed on 's', 'sz', 'zs', 'c', and 'cs'. I guess I need to modify my algorithm for guessing how to pronounce vaguely Eastern-European-looking names.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:58 PM
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I learned that they were point particles, in the sense that all experiments to probe internal structure failed to yield results. Though it's been a while.

This remains true.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 1:59 PM
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Yes, it is stunning how Language Log fails to address your completely irrelevant distinction, except to point out that the use of "home in on" (which makes no sense, even if we're thinking about a bird, and at best is a weird extension of a jargony verbalization of the noun "home") and "hone in on" )which is a marginally better metaphor, were both slang phrases that arose at roughly the same time and in the same milieu. But feel free to hang your snob hat on that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:00 PM
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This is starting to remind me of the previous debate over usage between LB and Sifu.

Though, from my perspective, that one was more interesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:02 PM
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I think Mr. Halford misused "verbalization", there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:02 PM
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414: oh, don't bring that one up. I actually spent quite a bit of time figuring out how I could have better made my case, eventually determining that it would have involved using the word "reification", and nobody wants that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:04 PM
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414: oh, don't bring that one up.

I don't know if you noticed, I posted another comment in that thread about two weeks after it ended. So I am, in fact, interested in a more precise restatement of your case.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:06 PM
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Hungarian is not slavic. All the slavic languages and I guess Hungarian too, needed to cope with a written alphabet that did not represent all the languages' sounds. Cyril and Methodius introduced "Ш" while languages represented in Latin instead of the Cyrillic modification of the greek alphabet used diacriticals, Š. Since much typesetting was actually done in protestant Germany where these were largely unavailable, sz cz and the like were widely used also. Current orthographic standards were set during the 18th century for most languages, in a faint echo of the enlightenment that led to the creation of dictionaries and grammars for what were largely dying languages, Russian excepted.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:06 PM
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is Europe having tourism industry problems from lack of Americans with the money to travel?

That, and the high Euro-Dollar exchange rate. At $1.40 or $1.50 to the Euro, it's well-nigh unaffordable, even for Americans with the means to vacation abroad in the midst of a recession.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:06 PM
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pigeon-related verbing

Oh, I'm in love with that phrase, which I'll never be able to reuse!

People who aren't caught up on Mad Men learn about St. John because of St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre, as I recall. Or did I just have extra pedantic parents who wish they'd ended up with LB instead of me?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:07 PM
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417: I think the fundamental problem there was mutual imprecision in the use of the term "metaphor".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:07 PM
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I think the fundamental problem there was mutual imprecision in the use of the term "metaphor".

That makes complete sense.

But, still, do you think that my potato salad example is helpful?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:11 PM
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re: 351

It's from Old English, not Old Norse, surely?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:12 PM
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||
Have we discussed this yet? I can't find it in the Fucking archives, but it seems like perfect Unfogged-bait.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:12 PM
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Oh dammit. Anyhow, if I actually have a point, it's that I hate what look like made-up-after-the-fact attempts to ground language snobbery in some sort of regalia of a priority principle. "Hone in on" sounds weird or uneducated to you, and that's fine, but that's just because you stand in a particular social position vis a vis a changing language, not because there's some objective truth about ornithological metaphor that other people are failing to grasp. I think when LB says she's a language snob, she means something like "language connoisseur" or "language guardian," but "snob" in the pejorative sense is more accurate.

Was that offensive enough? I actually really like LB.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:14 PM
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426

423: why can't it be both?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:14 PM
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427

I say "crick" for "creek" and "rut"* for "root".

Also melk. And baig.

Here's what I've suddenly started noticing: all the younguns saying "legitimately" to mean "extremely". Weird.

*where is the character palette on Snow Leopard? Damn this stupid OS and all its stupid minor details. Anyway my 'root' does not sound like 'rut', it sounds like the vowel in book.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:14 PM
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428

In the spirit of "hone in" (LB is correct, btw): "try and" makes no sense. Try to do it, don't try and do it. If, in addition to whatever you plan to try, you will also do the it in question, just skip trying, or at least postpone the trying until after you do it.

Do or do not, there is no "try and."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:16 PM
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429

Ok, choosing to get into this particular debate while typing rapidly from an IPhone probably wasn't the best idea. Pretend what I just said made sense, or not.


Posted by: Robert hford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:16 PM
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430

Really? But 'sz' in Hungarian is 's' in English, right? I thought the two languages agreed on 's', 'sz', 'zs', 'c', and 'cs'. I guess I need to modify my algorithm for guessing how to pronounce vaguely Eastern-European-looking names.

cz in Polish is cs in Hungarian
sz in Polish is s in Hungarian
s in Polish is sz in Hungarian
ż in Polish is zs in Hungarian

I think they agree on c.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:17 PM
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not because there's some objective truth about ornithological metaphor that other people are failing to grasp.

Don't make me ask Chopper to attack you on Facebook.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:17 PM
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432

And baig

OK, I give up. Indian international cricketer in the 60s (Abbas Ali Baig). What else does it mean?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:17 PM
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433

St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre

Me, too, but it was in college, not from parents.

I have had several uninformative discussions since then about whether or not any similar process is applicable to other St. X names. Particularly What's-his-face, Peter Wimsey's nephew.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:18 PM
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434

432- bag.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:18 PM
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435

430: Ned, I have a question that it seems you would be very suited to answer.
I used to know a family whose name started with 'Jeff' when spoken but was spelled starting with 'Dz'. Is that an actual pronunciation or was it just somebody trying to annoy the rest of the town?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:20 PM
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428: if you try, you will succeed. So try it, and thus do it! Try and do it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:21 PM
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437

After we read Young Werther in high school, it was good that we got Big Fun to play prom.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:21 PM
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438

It's said that some Europeans wear underpants.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:21 PM
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439

not because there's some objective truth about ornithological metaphor that other people are failing to grasp.

It's not so much the truth about ornithological metaphor that's getting to me, it's the truth about sharpening metaphor. But I should drop it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:22 PM
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440

I used to know a family whose name started with 'Jeff' when spoken but was spelled starting with 'Dz'. Is that an actual pronunciation or was it just somebody trying to annoy the rest of the town?

Why would that not be an actual pronunciation?

This guy's name is pronounced "Jekko".

"ž" in a lot of Slavic languages is like "j" in French.

So "Dž" is like "Dj" in French. Or "J" in English.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:23 PM
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learn about St. John because of St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre, as I recall

This is definitely the first place I encountered it, but I continued to call him Saint John in my head until at least my mid-20s. It was then that a friend of mine had made up a crazy dream man for herself, named St. John. Correct pronunciation, of course.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:24 PM
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442

439: the reason I'm arguing it, aside from my generally querolous nature, is that I learned the "wrong" form initially, but rather than use it unthinkingly I considered the underlying metaphor and found it quite compelling, notwithstanding the funny phrasing. So it wasn't word salad (backup singers: "no wasn't word salad") to meeeeee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:26 PM
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whether or not any similar process is applicable to other St. X names

... not, to my knowledge. Wimsey of course pronounced his second name like the rider on the pale horse, whereas it's more common in England to rhyme it with "Teeth" or even go for a fake "de Ath".


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:26 PM
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444

424: I think we have. I seem to recall noting that Gretchen Rubin frightens me: the frank careerism, the unironic examination of her goddamned Upper East Side lifestyle, the credential-sniffing, the approving of Penelope Trunk when any sane person would shun her.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:26 PM
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445

Why would that not be an actual pronunciation?

Because it's a 'Dz' and I don't see why anybody would use that for a 'J' sound except that, as I have discovered by moving to Pittsburgh, people with ancestors from Eastern Europe deliberately try to irritate me nearly every chance they get. Among regular people (Irish or Italian) only my relatives seem to be deliberately irksome.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:26 PM
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433: St. Clair => Sinclair.

My parents nearly named me "St. John."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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447

442: Asking straightforwardly, not trying to be a jerk: if you find the sharpening metaphor compelling, why not drop the 'in on', and use the same words you'd use to talk about sharpening?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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448

||

OT bleg: Fleur has acquired a fancy-dancy i-pod touch, thanks to the generousity of her ever-doting husband. I would like to be able to send her emails with calendar entries from Outlook and have her add them directly to her calendar.

Does anyone know how to do this? Does it require a special app? Which one?

|>


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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449

It's not 'Dz', it's 'Dž'.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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450

"Hone in" is lovely.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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451

"querolous"? Stupid autocorrect shoulda caught that, stupid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:28 PM
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443- ! I thought he pronounced it to rhyme with teeth. Isn't there a whole thing about that in that one book?

I meant the nephew though. St George? I can't remember. I like making up ways to pronounce it though. Sinjurg, probably. Or just singe.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:29 PM
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453

439: I'm not a lurker, and this isn't email, but I support you nonetheless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:29 PM
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454

447: well, I mean, why don't you drop the "in"? Because that's not the phrase.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:30 PM
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453: And that support is allowing me to hold onto the few vestiges of sanity I have left.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:31 PM
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448: No idea, but that's what I got my wife for Christmas also. I wasn't aware that it got me promoted to 'ever-doting' (four steps up from 'marginally attentive).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:32 PM
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Cecily, I think British people just pronounce "St" as "Sin". "St James' Park" is "Sinjames' Park". "St Andrew's" is pronounced "Sinandrews". I don't know about "St John's College, Oxford", but I am guessing it's pronounced "Sinjohn's College, Oxford". Unlike our "St. John's University", which is pronounced "Saint John's University", unless you're talking fast and slurring your words.

And the use of "St John" as a given name is an exception to that rule.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:32 PM
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458

I meant the nephew though. St George?

Would standardly be as written, though Sayers was quite capable of playing games with it. Did Wimsey call it "Deeth"? It's been thirty years since I read them, you're probably right.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:32 PM
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452: It's in a couple of spots (Murder Must Advertise and a wine-tasting short story, maybe someplace else) and he always points out that most people rhyme it with 'teeth' but he likes it better rhyming with 'breath'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:32 PM
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460

456 was me, doting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:32 PM
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461

||
I'm supposed to be in Baltimore being fancy and learning what real linguists say about all these things. Instead I am (still) in my bedroom, and Hulu won't play anything right, and Netflix online is not captioned, and I have watched everything else that is not downstairs. It is very hard.
|>


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:33 PM
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454: I don't drop the 'in on' from 'home in on', because those are the same words I use to talk about pigeons and missiles, the source of my metaphor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:33 PM
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463

And anyhow, the whole thing makes sense to me! Honing is directional -- you're moving the hone towards the edge of the blade, and the edge is ablating towards the ideal edge. The fact that people don't use "hone in on" when talking about knives is sort of irrelevant, because who besides unfogged spends that much time talking about knife sharpening?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:34 PM
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[W]ho besides unfogged spends that much time talking about knife sharpening?

Foodies, I assume, given the nerd-macho cachet of "knife skills."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:36 PM
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463: That just stupid. Not like "I left my car keys on the counter" stupid, but like "I let Lady GaGa pick my clothes" stupid. Honing isn't directional. It's "movement" toward an improved (or ideal condition).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:36 PM
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466

461: Hope you are feeling better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:37 PM
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unless you're talking fast and slurring your words

That's the point. In standard southern English people always talk fast and slur all their words. So they may in fact say "Sin James' Park" (actually "Sən James"), but they think they're saying Saint James' Park. Except for Norman St John Stevas and St Clair, as pointed out, where it's a conscious contraction.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:37 PM
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467: One hesitates to speculate about a connection between the slurred prefixes and the upper-class "drawl" so often referenced in historical novels.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:39 PM
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467: What we Americans do is different. We make an attempt to say the word "Saint". So "St. John's University" is most often called "Sət John's", never "Sən John's".

British pronunciation of "St. Louis, Missouri" sounds very odd. Never has an American called it "Sinlouis". Or "Sinlouie".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:39 PM
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The fact that people don't use "hone in on" when talking about knives is sort of irrelevant,

Perceiving this as irrelevant has got to be one of those basic brain structure things. I completely buy Halford's (savage and heartbreaking -- I weep piteously at my desk. No, really I do) criticism of me above insofar as it applies to new usages of words like 'reticent'. That one annoys me, but I know I'm wrong to be annoyed, and if I were thirty years younger I'd never even know to be annoyed about it -- it's pure snobbism.

The hone/home thing, though, man. That one still has me going "But it doesn't make any sense!" How can that be irrelevant?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:41 PM
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471

Sometimes we say "San Diego."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:41 PM
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472

Right, the weird part about St. John is that the stress is on the (normally neutralized to schwa) first syllable, while the proper name part gets unstressed. Even St. Clair/ Sinclair is more faithful to the underlying form than St John.

Still, if I ever meet anyone named St. George, I'm going to call him Singe. This is my New Year's resolution. I like resolutions where I don't have to worry about if they are accomplishable or not.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:41 PM
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473

How to pronounce British names.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:41 PM
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474

Or San Luis (Obispo).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:42 PM
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475

St Clair

It just now occurred to me that Sinclair=St. Clair. Does it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:42 PM
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476

or San Antone.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:42 PM
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477

465: you're just stupid.

That said, what are you talking about? Honing a knife implies that you are using a tool to make the knife sharper, right? Which direction do you move that tool in? Does it matter? Okay, then that's one direction attached to the action. Secondly, as you move the tool in that specific direction, is anything happening to the line of metal defining the edge? Yes! It is moving -- by ablation or just by being shoved around by the stone -- in the direction of the eventual single, straight line which defines the edge of an ideally sharpened blade. So again, that's a specific direction. If you were honing a conical sphere point, both of those directions would be aligned, and would go from the body of the spear towards the point of the spear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:43 PM
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478

I don't know anyone who says "Saint Diego." I would know that person isn't a local.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:44 PM
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479

One time I had to ask someone if San Antone and San Antonio were the same place. One time like 8 months ago and the someone was Armsmasher and he was much politer than I expected in his answer.

Turns out they're the same place.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:44 PM
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480

Just to utterly confuse the issue, here are a bunch of knife nerds talking about the definition of "honing".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:44 PM
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481

477: Am not.

Also, when honing, the actual direction of the movement of the knife is very much multi-directional if you actually want to get an edge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:45 PM
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482

conical sphere point

Make up your mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:46 PM
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483

Throwing around epithets like "knife nerds" a bit freely, what?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:46 PM
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484

Language Log doesn't so much agree with Sifu as acknowledge that people say "hone in".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:46 PM
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485

bit freely

That's what it said on the report that got me kicked out of pre-school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:47 PM
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486

Goddamit I deleted "spherical" about four times in that comment and it just kept sneaking back in. What kind of fucked up geometry am I thinking in (on)?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:50 PM
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487

Obviously any point is spherical, assuming that it is tipped with a single atom, which is spherical.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:51 PM
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488

484: well, they acknowledge that there's significant semantic support for "hone in on", enough that it could have plausibly developed independently.

I'm not trying to argue that it is more correct, or even that it's correct at all. I merely take issue with the idea that it is "word salad" with no coherent underlying metaphor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:52 PM
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489

483: I've seen pictures from their meetups.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:52 PM
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490

The difficulty for me with Sinjən is that I'm used to St. John as an iamb. S'nJohn doesn't bother me. But Sinjən seems to scan as a trochee when initial or a pyrrhic if in the middle of a name.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:53 PM
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491

Pwned by 472. I am slow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:53 PM
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492

Hungarian is not slavic.

Of course; I was just, somehow, under the impression that it used similar orthography, probably because of seeing things like 'sz' in both languages and incorrectly assuming it was probably pronounced the same way. 430 makes it apparent that this is completely wrong.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:53 PM
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493

489: The sword is the soul of the samurai knife nerd.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:54 PM
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494

Uniting the two threads here, "Albert Szent-Györgyi" is pronounced "Albert Saint Geörge" (basically).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:55 PM
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495

484: well, they acknowledge that there's significant semantic support for "hone in on", enough that it could have plausibly developed independently.

That, I find totally implausible. I believe that a certain number of 'hone in on' speakers are thinking about sharpening (in a weirdly confused manner, but I'll put that to one side). But I can't believe that anyone came up with the extraneous 'in on' bit without a historical connection to 'home in on'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:56 PM
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496

I'm honing in on homing in on coming to the conclusion that this debate could go on for light years. Even though LB is obviously right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:56 PM
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497

I only recently became aware (thanks to Blume and Mad Men) of the way the English pronounce "St. John"

"Mad Men"? Clearly you've forgotten your "Airwolf".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 2:59 PM
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498

this debate could go on for light years.

I think it's more likely to stay put.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:00 PM
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499

"Albert Szent-Györgyi" is pronounced "Albert Saint Geörge" (basically).

The town of Szentendre in Hungary is pronounced "St. Andre"


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:00 PM
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500

Sifu's sharpening stone has a light at one end, which he calls the honing beacon. Which is nonsense, as are all arguments in this thread contrary to LB's.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:01 PM
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501

233:
i think the same about the word 'queer'

probably should write up my thought on it for NRO


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:01 PM
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502

499: that is, pronounced the way the French would pronounce "St. Andre". More or less.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:01 PM
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503

497 is totally Airwolf.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:02 PM
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504

Foodies, I assume, given the nerd-macho cachet of "knife skills."

It deserves mentioning that there are legions of people for whom knife skills are neither nerdy nor macho. These include people who use knives professionally, and many who don't.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:04 PM
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505

Obligatory response to 503.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:05 PM
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506

there are legions of people for whom knife skills are neither nerdy nor macho. These include people who use knives professionally, and many who don't.

Do slasher movie villains count as professional users or not? What about real life serial killers?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:07 PM
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507

504: "When well-known TV Chef Jacques Pepin was asked 'What kind of knives do you like the most?' his reply was 'I like the sharp ones'."

Jacques Pepin will cut you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:07 PM
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508

495: well, okay, if we're talking about your subjective belief about plausibility, then that's fine. But that's hardly firm ground into which to anchor pedantry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:12 PM
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509

FOR THE FOOLISH MAN ANCHORED HIS PEDANTRY IN SAND


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:13 PM
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510

505: If I were a confectioner, I would make a fortune selling delicious fudgewolf.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:15 PM
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511

506: The actors who play them count as professional users; serial killers may, depending on whether they consider murder a vocation or an avocation.

507: Actually, I know his daughter, so I could probably get her to prevent that. Anyway, he's small and elderly. I'd snap him like a stalk of asparagus.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:16 PM
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512

511: Did you see Ninja Assassin? Who do you think Sho Kosugi was playing? Open your eyes, dude.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:17 PM
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513

And keep in mind the "historical" connection of "in on" to "home" predates the historical connection of "in on" to "hone" by (per language log's research) a whopping nine years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:17 PM
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514

The use of "And" at the beginning of 513 is fairly tenuous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:19 PM
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515

508: Remember, this is my subjective belief. That's demonstrably sufficient to anchor any amount of pedantry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:20 PM
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516

And another thing: I am deeply gratified to learn that the first in-print usage of the allegedly incomprehensible "hone in on" construction is attributed to George freakin' Plimpton. If you can't trust the editor-in-chief of the Paris Review to eschew obvious word salad, who can you trust?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:22 PM
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517

Indeed, Plimpton would never steer anyone wrong.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SIDD FINCH | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:23 PM
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518

LB is right.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:23 PM
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519

If you can't trust the editor-in-chief of the Paris Review to eschew obvious word salad, who can you trust?

LB. Duh.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:25 PM
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520

Sifu, would you defend "for all intensive purposes"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:27 PM
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521

Of course not. That makes no sense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:32 PM
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522

And I was actually kidding about defending "try and do it". "Try and see if you can do it" makes perfect sense, but "try and do it" is pretty goofy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:33 PM
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523

Of course not. That makes no sense.

It presumably makes as much sense to the people who say it as "hone in on" does to people who say that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:34 PM
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524

"Try and see if you can do it" makes perfect sense

Try and diagram that and see if you still think so.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:36 PM
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525

Try, and see if you are able, to do it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:37 PM
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526

523: you're welcome to try and make that case, but it's not like I'm some kind of semantic hippie, taking all possible interpretations as valid in their own way. "Hone on in" just happens to be perfectly plausible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:38 PM
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527

No idea what that would sound like, but that isn't the best example, because nobody much pronounces Szopen as Polish (outside Poland, I daresay), and wikipedia says he actually gallicised his own name, and if he'd wound up in New York instead of Paris, happen he's have settled for "Shoppin'" quite happily.

I was referring to Chopper. My point is that even Americans pronounce it show-PAN, not CHOP'n, which is what they'd do if they thought it was an English-derived name (possibly CHOPE-in). IOW, they don't pronounce it according to American phonetic rules, and it's in the ballpark of what gallicized Szopen intended (note that his own choice to gallicize reinforces my point - a person's name is what a person wants it to be, and people generally respect that*). The typical American pronunciation of German names with oe/ö is neither a decent approximation of a German pronunciation nor a reading according to American phonetic rules - it's a weird bastardization.

Anyway, this is totally not a big deal (unlike hone/home). Part of why it strikes me so is that there's not an educated/uneducated divide; the only Americans who say Goethe's name correctly are the ones who've studied German (whereas all sorts of Spanish, Italian, and French names get approximated decently by most educated people).

* AB has a Frenchy first name (funny, given her father's native Francophobia). When we first met I asked how she wanted it pronounced (A as in want or A as in ask); she said she didn't care, but I listened to her voicemail to determine how she herself pronounced it. Now, granted, Americans aren't trying to get into Goethe's pants, so they're probably not trying as hard as I was to get things right....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:39 PM
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528

524: eh I forgot the comma. "Try, and see if you can do it. Do not try, and you will never know." It uses "see" as a synonym for "learn", but that seems pretty uncontroversial to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:39 PM
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529

Sigh. I hate it when I find myself on the prescriptivist side of an argument, but I just can't make sense of "hone in on" as a reasonable thing to say.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:40 PM
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530

I don't even know if I forgot the comma. Did I need a comma there? Pedants? Let's be friends again -- I need you!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:40 PM
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531

I can't believe I wrote "hone on in" in 526. What's the term for when words lose their meaning, again?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:41 PM
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532

The nearly simultaneous first appearance of both phrases suggests to me that one unhoned from the other.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:41 PM
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533

Fascinerende: Diskussionen af en post om falske enlige mødre i Danmark sporer fuldstændig ud og kommer til at handle om ligheder og forskelle i udtalen af polsk og ungarsk. Og dette uden reference til "ham-I-ved-nok".

Internettene har overgået sig selv i dag. Dette er i sandhed en historisk tråd.

(Clue: Neither English, Polish nor Hungarian)


Posted by: Jacob Christensen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:41 PM
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534

533: It's how we roll, Jacob.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:43 PM
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535

Yeah how's this different from any other thread, Jacob?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:44 PM
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536

Goddamnit, you just don't understand what it's like!


Posted by: ham-I-ved-nok | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:45 PM
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537

Semantic bleaching.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:45 PM
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538

437: I never knew there was a word for that until someone mentioned it here recently.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:48 PM
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539

Add 100 to my last, if you would?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:49 PM
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540

a written alphabet that did not represent all the languages' sounds

I see that I missed, by over 100 comments, my chance to bitch about Gaelic as she is written. Were the Roman characters applied to Gaelic phonemes by someone who had never heard a language that used Roman characters? WTF?

I assume that Jesus' daughter's name is pronounced "Millie."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:50 PM
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541

539: Sorry, LB, this is a language thread. You'll have to look elsewhere for a math thread.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 3:51 PM
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542

477, 481, etc.: I'm kind of stunned that Sifu really doesn't know how to hone an edge. I mean, I was a freaking Webelo for one year, but I learned how to use a sharpening stone (which, thanks to Neb, be know is the origin of hone) on a blade. And it's non-directional. Which is why it's no more logical to hone in on something than it is to fry behind it.

Look, if you want to combine some words together and try to convince people that they mean something else, feel free. Just don't pretend that etymology's on your side.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:00 PM
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543

540: For minor things that hack me off, Polynesian orthography. There's really only one sound that's not standard in English - 'ng' can be the first sound in a word. Other than that, it's pretty straightforward vowels like the Romance languages, consonants pretty much like English. And yet the missionaries couldn't decide from one island to the next how to spell 'ng'. In Samoa, it's 'g' -- Pago Pago sounds like Pango Pango. In Fiji, it's 'q'. Elsewhere, it's 'ng'. Would it have been so hard to get together sometime in the 19th Century to standardize?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:05 PM
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544

(You know, I wrote that and realized that I actually wasn't sure about non-Samoan Polynesian languages not having surprising sounds in them. But I do know that you'd spell the same sound in different ways depending on which country you were in, which annoyed me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:09 PM
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545

540: Tell me about it. Slainte, Taosieach Siobhan! Or, as my uncle once said, "No, fuck you, Gaelic."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:30 PM
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546

302: Well, everyone's snobbish about something.

I don't believe this is true.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:33 PM
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547

542- why is it more logical to add the preposition to 'home'?

I don't get the general idea floating around that a prepositional phrase should "make sense". They generally don't, in English. So 'hone in' (or 'hone in on') will mean something different than 'hone', just like 'home in (on)' means something different than 'home' and 'bring up' means something different than 'bring', with no predictable information added by the preposition.

The making sense part of it seems totally unrelated to the etymology/mishearing part.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:40 PM
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548

547 gets it exactly right. There's no reason "in on" would make more sense following "home" than following "hone", except blind adherence to tradition.

Prepositions don't make sense in general.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 4:41 PM
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549

I don't believe this is true.

Brock is snobbish about being a man of the people.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:01 PM
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550

Here, I'm going to teach you how to sharpen the curvy parts of your Cuisinart with a honing stone. Wow, what a lot of curvy pieces and nooks and crannies. OK, let's begin. Pick up your honing stone and hone the inner part of the first blade. That's right, hone right in there. Now, pick up the second blade. Turn it towards you. And pick up your stone and hone in there, that's right, on the inside of the second piece. Then, hone in on the bottom side, and out on the top side. Sharpen it to a fine sharpness. Then, pick up the blade and use it to stab a grammar pedant.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:03 PM
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551

Prepositions don't make sense in general.

Cryptic ned is all up ons the truth here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:05 PM
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552

Then, pick up the blade and use it to stab a grammar pedant.

I always thought the phrase was 'grammar pendant'. Which makes sense because a pendant is wrapped about your neck choking you just like a pedant is in this case. It you don't agree with me, it is clearly your problem. You should maybe learn to relax a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:08 PM
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553

552 is pretty much definitive.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:17 PM
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554

We've travelled to a bizarro world where the pedants are the people telling non-pedants to relax. This is like watching Newt Gingrich take on Big Business.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:19 PM
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555

That's pendants telling the non-pedants to relax. Don't you read Language Log?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:20 PM
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556

wikipedia says he actually gallicised his own name

Not willing to let this dead horse go unflogged, I checked my New Grove and found that, hard as it may be to believe, Wikipedia is wrong. Szopen is a Polishization of Chopin, Freddy's dad's original name.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:21 PM
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557

Ok, 547 is just the right answer, provided by our real linguist.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:25 PM
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558

557: Except that it doesn't point out much worse 'hone is on' is compared to 'home in on'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:30 PM
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559

You are in on crack, Halford.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:32 PM
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560

Well, we do need to keep up the illogical word/preposition constructions we've had since 1956, whereas the illogical word/preposition constructions we've had since 1966 must be banished forthwith. Hail Little Richard! Down with the Lovin' Spoonfull.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:43 PM
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561

"Hone is on" is definitely wrong. Why? Is is not a preposition.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:47 PM
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562

561: Prescriptivist!


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:49 PM
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563

557- no, no, I very carefully avoided any semblance of an answer. I just asked some more leading questions, see? And said vague generalities about both options. Now I'm sitting back to observe all y'all's linguistic behaviors.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:52 PM
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564

Cecily is hosing is on a breakthough here.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:53 PM
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565

Ned is at my team! Bring it under, pendants! We will argue in argue to argue behind we have won!


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:57 PM
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566

Huh, I'm not sure what I thought all those argues would have as prepositions. Whatever. In the New World, prepositions are conjunctions, too.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 5:59 PM
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567

Chopper, if you're still around, would you please email me? I swear you had an email address somewhere but I'm not finding it now. I'd love to give your wife my ravelry name if she's looking for friends. It's fairly pseud-destroying and so while I only marginally care about that I don't want to put it out here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:02 PM
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568

Ugh, since I can't edit, I suppose the link on my name is a link to my blog and I'm an idiot. motherissues at gmail dot com. Thanks.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:03 PM
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569

I'm imagining 533 pronounced as if spoken with scrambled eggs in one's mouth.

That's the way I've known Swedish speakers to describe the Danish language, anyway. For my part, I was utterly unable to hear the difference.

Of course, I pretty much flunked out of Swedish.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:11 PM
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570

St Andrew's" is pronounced "Sinandrews"

Either I can't hear the difference between Saint Andrews and Sinandrews, or this isn't correct. (I think OFE says above that the "sin" thing is more of a southern English thing, which might explain it.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:12 PM
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571

542: okay, first of all? We know that "hone" comes from the Old English for whetstone thanks to me, unless you mean that nosflow did the original genealogical research that informed the dictionary entries that I referenced.

Second of all? You could completely eliminate my arguments about the directionality of the whetstone and "hone in on" would still make sense. To wit:

Here is an un-honed knife edge:
--__--_--__-^--___----_

And here is one that has been honed:
----------------------------

Look! All of those molecules of metal have converged in on a central line (or "edge"). That is to say, they (that is, the molecules which make up the edge) have been honed.

Third, if we're indulding in weird ad-hominem-y things at the end of our comments, you're fat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:17 PM
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572

The second-to-last-line of 571 has some infelicitous phrasing, but I trust you all grasp my point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:22 PM
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573

as if spoken with scrambled eggs in one's mouth

A Swedish roommate I once had in Germany claimed it to be porridge.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:33 PM
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574

(Clue: Neither English, Polish nor Hungarian)

I know! Flemish, right?!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:36 PM
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575

I believe it is Flautish.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:37 PM
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576

477, 571:

I guess there isn't any point in pointing out the damage you did, since you already know that, and I am sure have learned from it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:39 PM
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577

What's frustrating about this thread is that I am (more-or-less) correct and the vast majority of you are wrong, but I keep getting a bit flustered and phrasing things infelicitously, and therefore I have as yet been unable to explain the situation (you being wrong) clearly enough that you all get it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:42 PM
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578

That said, 576 is funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:43 PM
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579

I had a strange relationship with a Swedish man, who managed to fit every single stereotype - perfect English, very liberal, well-educated, etc, etc (well, except for one - he had auburn hair, not blonde). When he spoke in Swedish I had no idea what he was saying but I always felt that with the written language if I squinted and ticked my head just so to the left I'd be able to understand it perfectly. (Sadly, it never worked.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:43 PM
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580

For sharp notes: honing pidgin.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:45 PM
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581

580 deserves to be contemplated in ecstatic silence for a few moments.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:51 PM
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582

579: I had a strange relationship with a Swedish man, who managed to fit every single stereotype

Did he chew snoose?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:53 PM
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583

All of those molecules of metal have converged in on

Wait, "converged in on" is an argument FOR your position? Not that English prose can't be improved by randomly sprinkling prepositions about, but that's kind of ugly.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 6:59 PM
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584

583: and "homed in on" isn't ugly? We are, all of us in this thread, shoulder deep in the muck, Neil. Might as well accept it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:01 PM
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585

575: Can't be. I studied Flautish for 11 years. (Crossover with the other current thread!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:02 PM
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586

582: Yep.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:02 PM
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587

585: shoot, I forgot you're a Flautist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:03 PM
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588

Thanks for making that explicit, Sifu you tool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:04 PM
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589

584: Why, when we're having so much fun?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:04 PM
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590

I'm not claiming that "homing in" is a logical use of the preposition and "honing in" is not; Cecily's right, prepositions aren't a matter of logic. I'm claiming that "homing in" is used both in a direct, primary sense, of a bird returning to a nest or a missile approaching a target, and in a metaphorical sense, of anything approaching a goal. "Honing in", on the other hand, is only ever used in a vaguely metaphorical sense, usually meaning something like approaching a goal (which suggests to me that its origins lie in a misunderstanding of "homing in on"). "Hone" in the sense of "sharpen" can be used directly or metaphorically, but isn't accompanied by "in".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:04 PM
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591

If you drop the "vaguely" I'm willing to ring the comity bell.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:06 PM
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592

Are there any other instances of two similar phrases that get confused where the newer version sounds better than the original? "Hone in on" sounds, subjectively, better to my ear (it's the Ns I think), even while I fully acknowledge that LB's right on all the historical development stuff.

(Also, I'm cheesed, because I never caught the "uncharted/unchartered water" thing until I posted the wrong one recently. I swear I heard it; it sounded good!")


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:12 PM
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593

My first place of employment was an Arby's and I once heard a customer ask for a "mel[?]". I couldn't tell if he had said "melt" (melt sandwich) or "milk" (pronounced 'melk'), hilarity ensued.

I enjoy slightly pronouncing the "w" in "sword". I would say 'of-ten' and 'ob-vious' (I was once called out for saying 'ovious' in a debate round by a judge and I won't forget it).

Fellow descriptivists: let us toy with those learned prescriptivists who would get cheap thrills from correcting or mocking those who innocently make mistakes by making them on purpose!

217 is precisely why I appreciate that use of "literally", though I probably wouldn't use it thus myself. A tool with many uses is not thereby less effective than a tool with few. I suppose avoiding ambiguity is a reasonable goal, but what's the harm in asking, "Did you mean ...?" That's how I feel, anyways.

It's news to me that "flimsy" and "scanty" have sexual connotations. I've most frequently encountered them with "evidence", "justification", etc.


Posted by: currence | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:13 PM
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594

you're fat.

Wrong again!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:22 PM
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595

591: But of course comity! Who could withhold comity over a mere word like "vaguely"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:25 PM
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596

KA-BLONG!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:26 PM
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597

Don't give up so easily, LB! Sifu is all wrong in on this topic. Let the thread go to 1000.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:27 PM
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598

Yo, man, the bell has been rung in on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:28 PM
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599

A tool with many uses is not thereby less effective than a tool with few.

But words aren't tools, they're signifiers*. And things that can signify two opposite meanings are pretty darned ineffective ("That red, octagonal sign means that you should either come to a full and complete stop or just continue through at full speed.").

I don't see how literally can keep its two opposite meanings without eliding them into a single, bland intensifier. We know how this story ends: we know it really well.

* I never took any course that even began to approach sight of semiotics; be gentle


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:28 PM
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600

I hope that random (mis)use of prepositions doesn't become the defining characteristic of comments around here; that could become exhausting.

Plus, I don't think I could successfully get in on it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:30 PM
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601

And things that can signify two opposite meanings are pretty darned ineffective

Another inflammable claim!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:33 PM
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602

Everyone remembers the little girl objecting to her mother's choice of bedtime story, right? "What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read out of to up for?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:34 PM
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603

I don't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:38 PM
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I don't see how literally can keep its two opposite meanings

They aren't opposite, even if the broader, looser use that licenses its use with reference to figurative language partially undermines its other (not actually original but at least earlier and stricter) sense.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:42 PM
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Everyone remembers the little girl objecting to her mother's choice of bedtime story, right? "What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read out of to up for?"

a propos of nothing: LB, you should post more frequently.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:42 PM
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"What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read out of to up for?"

This is incredibly charming, and I forgive the thread everything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:42 PM
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607

602 wins the thread.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:44 PM
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608

591: I'll call comity on that, but if you try to call it 'conity', things will get ugly.

Also, what was in 590 that wasn't in about a dozen places above that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:47 PM
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609

And, your shoes look stupid, unless we've stopped indulging in weird ad-hominem-y things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 7:49 PM
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610

"...read to out of up for" sounds more accurate to me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:32 PM
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611

608: an homest appraisal of what came before on.

609: you smell like trees. Stupid trees.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:46 PM
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I don't get the objection to moving the files "manually" on a computer. Or rather, I think it's wrong. To the extent that you can be said to do anything manually on a computer, dragging stuff with a mouse counts as manual. Contrast that with setting up an automated process of moving files where you're not dragging.

On the other hand, I'd probably see the contrast as being about numbers of files moved at a time and say something like "one-by-one" or "individually." But then, some automated processes also move files individually.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:58 PM
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When you use the mouse you're moving files digitally.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 8:59 PM
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614

You're always moving files on a computer digitally. That is, with you fingers.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:00 PM
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Rajan: You can go right to the meta-political level, but let me leave that aside for now. If you hone down on the banking sector itself, I think it was a situation where it was extremely competitive. Every bank was looking for the edge. And the typical place to find the edge is in places where there are implicit guarantees. ...

From: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/01/interview-with-raghuram-rajan.html

Hone down? Edge? Somehow this sounds strange to me.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:00 PM
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614: thanks for making that explicit, all-thumbs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:01 PM
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When you use the mouse you're moving files digitally working inefficiently. Keyboard shortcuts for everyone! Layoff slips for everyone else.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:03 PM
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618

Also "anal" is short for "analog." When you move files on your desk, you're moving them "analogically."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:03 PM
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618: I don't think anyone remembers my forlorn little comment, stranded up there, so high on the thread.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:18 PM
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Why not? That was the comment 618 was building on. I have not read most of the comments between 250 and 600. And won't.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:19 PM
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Natilo! The Works was a huge hit. Sally's been poring over it and muttering things like "Cities are very complicated," while occasionally asking "So, what kind of engineering do you need to know to build cities?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:20 PM
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622

I print, laminate, frame every comment you make.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:20 PM
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623

622 to 619 (and it's missing a conjunction).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:21 PM
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624

Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks and bourbon work surprisingly well together.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:42 PM
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621: Oh good! I thought it would be a good pick. Maybe you could get Sally a copy of Arcology: City In the Image of Man (sic) next year.

Someday I will get back to NYC and use everything I learned from The Works. I had hoped to this winter, but I am sadly too broke.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:48 PM
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Here's what I've suddenly started noticing: all the younguns saying "legitimately" to mean "extremely". Weird.

That's interesting. There's probably a general process where words that begin by meaning something like "genuinely" tend to end up getting used to mean something like "extremely".

cf.:
"It's really cold out there"
"It's truly cold out there"
"It's genuinely cold out there" (maybe)

And, of course:
"It's very cold out there"
(From something like "verily", i.e. "truly").

"Actually" seems to be an exception.


Posted by: One Of Many | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 9:57 PM
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Now I'm going to think twice before I next use "unambiguously" as an intensifier.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:26 PM
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"What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read out of to up for?"

yesssssss


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:29 PM
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629

Hey look, Dinosaur Comics presciently responded to this thread a few weeks ago.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:54 PM
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You might not have known this, but I am T-Rex.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:55 PM
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Damn dude it must be hard to type with those stubby little arms.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 10:58 PM
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465. I would not. Complain


Posted by: video phone | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:03 PM
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627:

Responding nicely to a delurker, that's right neighbourly of you.


Posted by: One Of Many | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:09 PM
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Delurkers should follow Thorn's excellent example. We wish you would join us more often.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:14 PM
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On behalf of the lurking masses, Megan, I thank you for your encouragement.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 01- 7-10 11:55 PM
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This whole unpleasantness could be avoided if we all just switched to using "drill down" instead.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 12:24 AM
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And things that can signify two opposite meanings are pretty darned ineffective

If we're going to concede "literally" as a synonym for "figuratively", can we reinstate "tropically" as a synonym for "figuratively". E.g. "It's tropically colder than deep space out there".


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:14 AM
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126: i suppose that the apex of intesification is when you use a word noone has heard of in the last 100 years (excepting of course you lit-at-uni wankers). using a word you;ve used thrice in the last minute can't really intensify very strongly.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:31 AM
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I thought we were conceding, or rather acknowledging, that "literally" is a word that, like many words, can be employed in a figurative fashion and that the contrast between its meaning and that of "figurative" in their usual senses causes the impression of discord that causes people to object to its use in the figurative sense.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 2:53 AM
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634:-but-wine-was-spilled-on-my-MacBook-last-night-and-the-spacebar-has-gone-out,-so-not-only-will-I-probably-be-quiet-all-weekend-but-I-won't-even-be-able-to-use-my-preferred-scrolling-through-comments-technique-(nor-can-you-tell-that-"scrolling-through-comments"-is-hyphenated-up-there)-and-so-I-may-not-even-lurk-well.

But-if-it's-any-consolation,-the-last-use-of-the-spacebar-post-Gewürztraminer-was-when-I-was-trying-to-respond-to-heebie's-40s-post-and-there-were-suddenly-hundreds-of-spaces-spilling-out-and-then-sadly-none.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 4:40 AM
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625: that book is amazing. Also, Soleri is an utter kook.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:07 AM
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That's interesting. There's probably a general process where words that begin by meaning something like "genuinely" tend to end up getting used to mean something like "extremely".

Read the paper I linked to!!eleventy!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:50 AM
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"literally" as a synonym for "figuratively"

Sob.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:51 AM
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644

He was using "synonym" figuratively, rfts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 6:56 AM
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645

540,545:
Taoi Éireis laingoid ios speild camplítligh laidicligh.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 7:32 AM
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If using literally figuratively literally means figuratively, figuratively, then, for all I care that's a synonym. And I mean that literally.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:01 AM
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647

Literally used figuratively literally means exceptionally except only partially synonymously obviously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 9:04 AM
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641: Soleri is an utter kook

Oh, I don't know. He doesn't have much of a head for business, that's for sure. But he caught on to environmentalism WAY before the rest of the architecture world, and specifically his fellow mid-century superstar architects. And he's been willing to change with the times and modify his designs instead of being a stick-in-the-mud about it.
Have you ever been out to Arcosanti, Sifu? I was there in 2007. It was pretty great, if not as overwhelming as I had hoped. And I got to chat a little with the great man himself!!! It was to swoon. And he was still sharp as a tack. And funny.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:21 AM
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I meant utter kook affectionately. His take on architecture is not all that much more humanistic than Le Corbusier's, but he's unquestionably a visionary. I haven't been to Acrosanti; I'd be fascinated to go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:29 AM
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I didn't do a very effective job of responding to the actual content of your comment, which therefore effectively counters much of mine. I'm not super familiar with his recent stuff -- I know Arcosanti by name, and have read about it, but not in a while -- so would love to know more about how he's changed with the times.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:31 AM
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Hmm, I think a lot of the earliest designs for the big, pie-in-the-sky arcologies were not as humanistic as they could have been. But that's what I meant about changing with the times. A lot of people voiced that concern in the 70s, and he modified his later designs to be more in accord with human-scale ideas. And the things that have actually been built are pretty nice. And unlike Wright (not to mention Johnson and Rapson and them) he never got seduced by big money and big names to compromise his vision.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:33 AM
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651=>649, obvs.

651:
The most recent plans for Arcosanti itself are much more "village-in-a-building" than "city-in-a-building". And he did a plan for Chinese highway construction a few years back called "The Lean, Linear City" which is really fascinating -- takes the superhighway as a given, but includes wildlife corridors and lots of green, people-scale amenities. His post-Katrina dike city concept is pretty awesome too.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:37 AM
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I assume that Jesus' daughter's name is pronounced "Millie."

Oh, the names I'd love to use if I had more daughters. Maedhbh. Órfhlaith. Dearbhaile. Aoibheann. Caoilfhionn. Real character-builders, those.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 11:38 AM
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Polish pronounciation: There are two sh/ch/zh sounds in Polish. One is harder than the English equivalent, one is softer. The sz/cz/rz is the hard one, the ś/ć/ź or just the letters minus the diacriticals followed by an 'i' is the soft one. Rz can also be written ż, and when rz is preceded by an unvoiced consonant it is pronounced like an sz (e.g. Mike Krzyzewski which would be pronounced Kshizhevskee - the z should have a dot). Polish also has nasal vowels so Lech Wałęsa's surname is prounounced the way Valinsat would be in French, except the crossed l is pronounced like an English w (the a with a tale is like the French 'on'). The ń is like the Spanish n with a squiggly thing on its own, but when followed by a consonant it is link the English sang, ink, etc. An ó is pronounced like a u, i.e. oo.

I was told that the sz/rz/cz thing is the original Slav spelling that was replaced in Czech with the haceks by the Hussites. When the various other Slav languages got codified in the nineteenth century they used the Czech system. The Poles didn't switch, and since the written language was in continual use, it didn't get a new written form in the nineteenth century.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:25 PM
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652: that's cool. I'm a little disenchanted with architectural master plans that don't allow for organic growth of uses, but maybe that's integrated, too. The dike city sounds very interesting; I know a few people were talking about floating housing post-Katrina, but all of it seemed pretty small-scale.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 1:31 PM
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Read the paper I linked to!!eleventy!

I propose a bylaw whereby one is deemed not to be pwned if the relevant material is not immediately contained in the body of a previous comment. I think that would be fair.


Posted by: One Of Many | Link to this comment | 01- 8-10 4:40 PM
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specifically his fellow mid-century superstar architects

Ahem.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 7:28 AM
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658

Another inflammable claim!

Unpeeled!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-10 7:29 AM
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LB is so, so very right about everything in this thread. sifu, are you trying to drive me mad?//??11!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 2:53 AM
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629: That's how trolling is done right, my friend. In these fallen days, we see it so rarely in its true form.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 3:13 AM
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That should be 659. My daughter gets 2s and 5s mixed up, and apparently it's contagious.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-10-10 3:14 AM
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