Re: Reading the tea leaves

1

It makes pop genetics seem like it follows in the tradition of astrology more than science.

I dunno if that's a fair analogy. Also, it's banned.

Anyhow, I feel like they aren't just making stuff up out of whole cloth (or if not whole cloth, then from fragments themselves made up from whole cloth at some past moment). SNP assessments just are a really noisy measure of the genome, and not terribly well suited to giving you information about an individual. There are probably some blockbuster mutations where all of the companies are going to tell you the same thing -- things like BRCA or whatever -- but mostly their assessments are going to be really noisy and confounded by the population they're comparing against and so on. All the things people say, in other words.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:48 AM
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2

No, but it's catering to the same desire in people that sends them to the gypsy tent at the fair.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:14 AM
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3

To get away from the pervasive stench of deep fried butter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:15 AM
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4

2: the desire to know about themselves? I mean, sure, but I don't think that's quite the problem with astrology. The genetic testing services are giving you real information, if noisy and contradictory. Astrology is just feeding you generic bullshit that can fit whatever preconceptions you have. It could easily be (probably is) that the testing services don't do a good enough job of explaining just how noisy things are, but it still seems categorically different than making up some bullshit divination.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:31 AM
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5

Sorry, the desire to know about themselves and be less completely engulfed in fried-butterstench.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:31 AM
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6

There are probably some blockbuster mutations where all of the companies are going to tell you the same thing -- things like BRCA or whatever -- but mostly their assessments are going to be really noisy and confounded by the population they're comparing against and so on. All the things people say, in other words.

All the more reason, as I said on the other thread, why the likes of 23andMe shouldn't be allowed to make health-related claims in their test results unless they can back them up to an FDA/MHRA/NICE/whatever standard.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:31 AM
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7

I'm going to open up a traveling booth that predicts your future based on a live reading of a PET scan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:36 AM
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8

6: I'm not particularly arguing against that. Although, I'm not particularly arguing against that at least in part because I'm not remotely informed enough about what they actually say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:36 AM
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9

"There's your lifeline! Oh wait, that's your pituitary."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:38 AM
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10

"I found your missing thumb drive."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:39 AM
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11

7: "Step right up and allow me to inject this radioactive substance, then go away for an hour and ride some rides and then step right up and hear your future told!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:39 AM
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12

"You're about to pass a lot of gas."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:56 AM
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13

For the record, the line quoted in 1 is not an analogy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:57 AM
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14

It totally is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:59 AM
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15

Or, I dunno it could be. It plausibly is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:00 AM
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16

Heebie is banned!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:01 AM
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17

Hmm. Quite often, the line between science and magic is a question of how well specified things are. I can well imagine that you might fool yourself and your patients that you're providing real information when in fact you're just imagining patterns in a wall of noise, all the more easily with the aid of the technology.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:06 AM
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18

you might fool yourself and your patients that you're providing real information when in fact you're just imagining patterns in a wall of noise

Like using fMRI to read the mind of a dead salmon. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/2012/09/25/ignobel-prize-in-neuroscience-the-dead-salmon-study/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:30 AM
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19

DON'T KNOCK THE THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM A DEAD SALMON.


Posted by: OPINIONATED FINN MAC COOL | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:32 AM
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20

Hey wait, Saturn returns are real.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:33 AM
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21

I thought they were supposed to be very reliable cars.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:35 AM
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22

We ordered our brick, but technically past the deadline, and on my phone, but they did take our money, so. Errors may abound. We went with "ceci n'est pas les [last names]." The "une brique" version didn't quite work for me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:40 AM
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23

Oh, I hope you didn't put an 's' on the end.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:45 AM
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24

Time to be excited about memorializing your family's non-grammatical French for the next 50 years!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:45 AM
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25

Which s is wrong? Les or pas?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:51 AM
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26

I'm not too bothered. I could probably email them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:52 AM
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27

I assume I said "This is not the [lastnames]" as opposed to "These are not the [lastnames]".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:57 AM
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28

"ceci n'est" is third person singular but then you used a third person plural article, les.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 9:59 AM
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29

I know I seem bothered but I'm really just curious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:00 AM
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30

28: I think that's grammatical, though. "ceci" refers to a singular object, the brick, and agrees with "est", which is also third person singular. And "les" refers to "[lastnames]" which is plural.

"This is not the Lastnames" is OK in English, why shouldn't it be in French?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:03 AM
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31

But that is correct. This (brick) is not the Geebies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:04 AM
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32

"This is not the Lastnames" is OK in English, why shouldn't it be in French?

Well, it should be "This is not the Lastname" in French, for a start. I'm not too fussed about "ceci n'est", given the context, but I'm not sure how a French person would view it. It "should" be "Ce ne sont pas", I think. And possibly "des" rather than "les", though it seems weird with a proper noun.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:11 AM
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33

So the s on the end of Geebie is the problem?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:12 AM
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34

22, 31: The "une brique" version didn't quite work for me.

Me either. Good modification.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:13 AM
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35

I think I'll just leave it alone. "This is not the Geebie" seems weird.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:14 AM
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36

12: I had an ultrasound once and the tech said that to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:16 AM
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37

I think I'll just leave it alone. "This is not the Geebie" seems weird.

Well, yeah, because that's not how we do it in English.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:18 AM
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38

In my version of Texas, the "English Only" people will refuse to print this brick. Also they will think it's in Spanish.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:24 AM
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39

If it is ungrammatical the problem might be that in French, the form of "to be" must accord with "the Geebies" rather than "this".


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:27 AM
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40

So in French you would say, "This are not the Geebies". And when you think about it, it's fairly arbitrary as to which grammatical rule a language would apply in that circumstance. So no need to fault the French for that one.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:29 AM
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41

Not very different from "Arsenal are" or whatever they say in KCI.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:34 AM
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42

Ceci needs to stand in for the object and act as the subject, so the joke doesn't really work at all with "Les Geebies." "Ce ne sont pas les Geebies." Better stick to English -- "This is not the Geebie family brick."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:37 AM
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43

39: ah, thanks. Is that actually true of French or just your theory?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:44 AM
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44

I'm not big on grammar theory, but I don't think 39 is right. The problem has to do with "Ceci"; it's a singular pronoun and needs a singular referent. Thinking about it, "This is not the oranges" is not grammatical in English, either; it feels even more jarring in French to me for some possibly wrong reason.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:56 AM
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45

I think "This is not the oranges" would make sense in plenty of contexts, like if you're trying to sort out shipping crates.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:59 AM
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46

And not just make sense, TBC, but sound right as well.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 10:59 AM
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47

"This is not the oranges" is not grammatical in English, either

I think it's grammatical, just factually jarring -- you were expecting a plural object and encountered a singular one. If you open a box labeled "Sunkist Orchards, one dozen", and a bobcat leaps out of it, "This is not the oranges" would be a grammatical reaction to have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:01 AM
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48

Maybe, but not if you're thinking of "oranges" seriously as a plural, as opposed to a singular category description.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:02 AM
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49

In any case, "The Geebies" is apparently plural but, I would argue, functionally singular. It's referring to a family unit. Imagine looking at photos from a party: "This is alameida, this is Natilo and Apo, this is ttaM, this is the Geebies - no, wait, this isn't the Geebies, this is just LB and that damn bobcat."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:07 AM
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50

49 - Yeah but since French is a different language maybe things work differently, you know?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:10 AM
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51

Ce n'est pas la brique des Geebies.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:10 AM
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52

Hey, no badmouthing the bobcat. I'm very fond of my imaginary bobcat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:11 AM
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53

51 clearly works.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:11 AM
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54

Ceci n'est pas
la brique que
vous cherchez.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:11 AM
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55

LB only opens boxes of oranges while on quaaludes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:11 AM
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56

Ceci n'est pas la brique que nous cherchons.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:13 AM
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57

51% Of People Think Stormy Weather Affects 'Cloud Computing'. If the 'cloud' were on a zeppelin it might!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:15 AM
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58

Wrong thread.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:15 AM
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59

Ceci n'est pas les grammar correct.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:16 AM
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60

Hey, no badmouthing the bobcat. I'm very fond of my imaginary bobcat.

You just need to buy an office chair instead of oranges.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:16 AM
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61

I'm rusty and probably wrong, but ceci basically means "this thing here" (as opposed to "that thing there"). Think of someone pointing to the object in question. You could either say Ceux-ci ne sont pas les Geebies ("These things/people here are not the Geebies") or Ceci n'est pas les Geebies ("This thing here is not the Geebies.") which would make sense for something like a statue where it's a single object. Which I guessed is exactly what 49 says but with the added value of the proper plural sentence.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:18 AM
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62

Life is like a brick of oranges:
it doesn't make much sense.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:18 AM
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63

I guess, ugh. All grammar used up on the French plurals.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:19 AM
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64

One of these days we should have a thread where we all attempt to communicate in French (or Spanish or what have you.) But I think I would only be able to contribute after a few drinks.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:23 AM
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65

Driving on the interstate in NJ, there's an exit sign for The Oranges. You could end up in Perth Amboy and say 'This is not The Oranges.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:25 AM
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66

I vaguely remember learning that the French would say La famille Geebie.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:26 AM
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67

Yes, they would. So it's wrong but for a different reason.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:27 AM
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68

Then they would spit, down a glass of red wine, and do some improvisational miming.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:28 AM
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69

Bobcats are even more real than Saturn Returns.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:29 AM
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70

French does use the "les" formulation to refer to families, so you could use "Les Geebie" (singular end, just whatever the last name is) as a reference to the family. But in this context you'd probably say "Ceci n'est pas la famille Geebie" to avoid the problem we're talking about.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:30 AM
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71

Ce ne sont pas les chats sauvages. Ils sont de Weber.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:33 AM
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72

I'm assuming that's about your grill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:36 AM
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73

CeciCelle-ci n'est pas la famille Geebie.

I think changing it much makes the joke unrecognizable, unfortunately.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:40 AM
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74

I think changing the reference from the brick in view to a family is already changing the joke a lot. Maybe include a link to this thread?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:47 AM
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75

73 is right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:48 AM
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76

The Treachery of Translations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:49 AM
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77

Actually, I think you could say "Ceci n'est pas la famille Geebie" though we're now really stretching it beyond the bounds of possible humor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:51 AM
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78

I disagree with 73.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:53 AM
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79

And it's grammatically weird. Anyhow, "stick to jokes in a language you speak well" is a good rule.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 11:53 AM
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80

78: Unrecognizable to the audience in Heebietown, at least?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:04 PM
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81

79: Maybe, but I'm still very fond of my "Vamos, es un libro de cocina" joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:26 PM
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82

That one was good enough for all to be forgiven.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:28 PM
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83

Great, because I framed OJ.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:34 PM
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84

I agree with 73. And I would go back to "Ceci n'est pas une brique", and add "Et nous ne sommes pas les Geebie".

But I'm someone who studied French for five years and didn't know that it should be "les Geebie" instead of "les Geebies", so who knows.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:35 PM
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85

?? "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is a sentence that makes sense on a painting of a pipe, but which would be false if engraved on an actual pipe.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:46 PM
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86

That makes it even better!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:50 PM
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87

86: Falsity is a virtue in the world according to nosflow?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:53 PM
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88

86: Because Plato?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 12:59 PM
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89

It is so clear that my version is perfectly fine. Thanks, all!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 1:14 PM
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90

89: There's still time to change it, heebie.

You could say instead,

"We purchased the right
To say something on this brick.
Too late, we discovered
We have nothing to say.
Our sincere apologies,
The Heebie-Geebies"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 1:23 PM
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91

This is just to say?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 1:28 PM
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92

85: but which would be false if engraved on an actual pipe

Possibly. Beneath the signifier lies the chasm.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 1:47 PM
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93

Is this thing on?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 2:58 PM
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94

Celle-ci n'est pas activée


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:02 PM
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95

Today's another travel day (the last) so I'm sporadic. Regularly scheduled programming returns tomorrow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:04 PM
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96

Ce n'est pas le français.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:07 PM
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97

85 (92): "Ceci n'est pas une brique, ceci est un message inscrivent sur ​​une brique."


Posted by: Standpipe's FAQ | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:10 PM
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98

inscrit


Posted by: FAQ Correction | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:12 PM
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99

"Ceci est votre perception d'un message inscrit sur un brique."


Posted by: Standpipe's Even More Explicit and Annoying FAQ | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:16 PM
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100

This is not french.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:39 PM
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101

43: My training in French ended at age 16, so forgive my hesitancy, but I'm pretty sure it's right. The problem isn't only with the use of "ceci". You wouldn't say "ce n'est pas les Heebies" either, you'd say "ce ne sont pas les Heebies," which is, literally translated, "this aren't the Heebies."


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:55 PM
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102

Cette brique a été faite à New York!
À New York?
Obtenez une corde.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 3:58 PM
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103

44: In English you would say, "this is not among our problems." In French I'm not sure -- would the form of "to be" need to be plural?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:02 PM
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104

Ce ne sont pas ____ notre problems? Je ne sait pas le mot por "among."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 4:57 PM
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105

Couldn't you just use the article "de"? In any case I think this example supports my theory.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 5:00 PM
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106

I suppose you could use 'de', I was thinking something more like 'entre', but thats 'between.'


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 5:04 PM
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107

I always thought of entre as being more "within". But only physically. I'm pretty sure that "de" would be most appropriate.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 5:07 PM
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108

I'm pretty sure that the preposition wanted is "parmi," but I'd like to go on record saying that tinkering with a witticism in a foreign language is probably a doomed project.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:09 PM
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109

I agree with 108 on both points.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:28 PM
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110

Blume thinks it's hilarious when I try to invent jokes in German.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:29 PM
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111

Remember those kids in high school who thought they were so clever saying "semper ubi sub ubi"?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:33 PM
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112

Ich bin ein Dudler


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:36 PM
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113

Mere hahn kay miggebletch. I swear it cracks them up every time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:47 PM
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114

Bishdo mead works pretty well to, as well as eliciting useful information.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:49 PM
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115

Shut up it'll be a great brique.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 6:49 PM
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116

108: Say, "La vie."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:09 PM
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117

I would say I was surprised that this thread about DNA testing turned into a discussion of French grammar, but I'm actually not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:37 PM
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118

Because on the veldt, people who were surprised got eaten by lions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:54 PM
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119

ceci n'est pas une veldt


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:58 PM
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120

-t


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 7:58 PM
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121

Who could have imagined that a stupid joke created with the aid of Google translate could lead to this?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:26 PM
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122

We'll be here all week, try the veldt.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:26 PM
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123

These jokes killed in Rwanda.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:27 PM
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124

Take the Sudentenland ... please.


Posted by: Neville Chamberlain | Link to this comment | 01- 6-14 8:28 PM
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125

Ceci n'est pas
une trahison
ni contient pas
une siglaison
Raser-Burma


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 1:47 AM
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126

Remember those kids in high school who thought they were so clever saying "semper ubi sub ubi"?

I don't get it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 2:49 AM
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127

126: "where" s/b "wear"


Posted by: annelid gustatoire | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 4:36 AM
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128

pas de radio de savon


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 4:56 AM
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129

I tried making a French tongue twister once. I came up with, "I only know if it's his sausage."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 5:17 AM
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130

And I'm sure you'll all tell me that if I translated it properly it wouldn't be a tongue twister.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 5:20 AM
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131

"Je ne sais que si c'est son saucission"?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 8:25 AM
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132

Yeah, the "Je ne said que" formulation is probably the correct way to do it but I used the word "seulement" instead. Je sais seulement si c'est son saucisson.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 8:41 AM
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133

I'm not actually sure it's correct. I initially thought "seulement", but it didn't seem very twisty, so I figured you must have gone the ne...que... route. I'm not sure you can with "si" though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:37 AM
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134

I learned it as "ce sont six saucissons ci". But it's not a very good tongue twister because the consonants are too constant. Where you trip up with "The Leith police dismisseth us" or "A bloke's back brake block broke" is the irregularities, not the regularities.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 7-14 9:50 AM
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