Re: I Don't Understand

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There's snow, and then there's absolutely slick ice. If the conditions were just right that everything is a skating rink, and they don't have the salt/sand to deal with it, that could be really ugly.

Or they're all mouthbreathers. Who knows?

(Did I mention that I took a really interesting fall this morning on a patch of ice on the way to the subway? Both feet out from under me, and straight down on my ass (and my left hand a little). I'm going to be walking funny for days.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:45 PM
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My brother said he was only stuck for 1/2 hour and he lives in the city. So I'm going to blame suburbs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:47 PM
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8 snowplows for the whole city?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:48 PM
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1.3: how were you breathing at the time?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:52 PM
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There are lots of hills


Posted by: liveinatlanta | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:52 PM
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4: Through my mouth. I'm Irish enough that my sinuses fail to work from October through May. We are a sniffly people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:55 PM
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This comment explains most of the clusterfuck.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:56 PM
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You should discourage such jokes, because we differently-abled sinusians are offended, even damaged. Oh, why oh why can't I get some Seldane?

Is there snow in Atlanta?

We Dallasites are getting pissed off at our weather. Two days of 30 degrees, two days of 70, repeat all fucking winter long. The northers from OK and Panhandle are biting, the Southers from the coast carry pollen and blahs, from wherever, wind is always running towards 20 mph. Barometric pressure like a yoyo. Weirding us the fuck out.

Exp is that we are the bottom tip or leading or following edge of those polar vortices the yankees have summoned by their sins and stupid trades


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:56 PM
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Aha. So it wasn't so much the weather as everyone hitting the road at once. Some googling has also revealed that a bunch of semis jack-knifed, further snarling traffic.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:07 PM
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5: Only one of which has the images of racists carved into it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:07 PM
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Slate also had a good summary of the clusterfuck. As someone on that MF thread said, Atlanta traffic is only a couple accidents away from that kind of catastrophe every rush hour.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:11 PM
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I saw a picture of an SUV abandoned in the middle of a highway. That's just shameful. All this time I thought "being able to drive in the snow" was the official excuse for buying an SUV.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:14 PM
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Oh, why oh why can't I get some Seldane?

Keith Humphrey?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:14 PM
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Also too, it seems to be the result of decades of auto-centric development. If you want to live that way, occasional 8 hour traffic jams are the risk you take.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:16 PM
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Oh, why oh why can't I get some Seldane?

Keith Humphreys?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:17 PM
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Apologies for the double: I wondered whether an edited entry would replace the earlier version. I swear I saw a misspelled word corrected yesterday, and would love to know how.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:19 PM
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A friend in the South observes that Northerners always think that they can drive on snow. But they can't. They can drive on snowy roads that have been treated. Here plowing is sort of irregular on the grounds that when the sun comes up the snow will melt quickly, and my eight-minute commute has taken me an hour once or twice if I've mistimed leaving the office.

I think the problem in this case though was that everyone went to work expecting no snow, and then snow was forecast so everyone left early, creating a hellish traffic jam made more hellish by the snow.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:24 PM
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I can totally drive on snow. You just have to accept that you're going to slide around.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:27 PM
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All this time I thought "being able to drive in the snow" was the official excuse for buying an SUV.

In Cleveland the main route from University Circe to the East suburbs is up a fairly steep hill. Back when I lived there I used to have fun each winter watching huge SUVs get stuck trying to go up it while those of us in compacts left them behind.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:28 PM
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Historical memories make plowing difficult. They figure leaving all the snow in place will make it harder to light the city on fire.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:29 PM
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There are lots of hills

No one believes you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:31 PM
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They figure leaving all the snow in place will make it harder to light the city on fire.

They lit their own fucking city on fire. Mouthbreathers, the lot of them.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:31 PM
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Oh, why oh why can't I get some Seldane?

Allegra doesn't work for you?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:36 PM
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Has someone linked the Atlantic article on the OP? It's good but I'm giving the aforementioned quiz and can't link it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:36 PM
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I wonder if any stranded commuters had to sleep the night on the floors of Atlanta's world famous strip clubs?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:38 PM
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There's a pretty nasty and super high traffic one around Peachtree and MLK


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:38 PM
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Alternately: they should melt the ice with the power of HOTLANTA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:38 PM
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Hill, that is, not strip club


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:38 PM
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28: could be both, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:39 PM
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Very likely both, yes.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:40 PM
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I just read the Atlantic piece. I think it blamed slavery.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:41 PM
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melt the ice with the power of HOTLANTA.

Godamn plane ticket prices need to come down so I can wear something like this next time I go to my brother's house.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:55 PM
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Wow, so 3 inches of snow paralyzed the entire city? I hadn't realized it was so little. That is a little shocking.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:00 PM
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It's not how deep the snow is, it's what you do with it.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:01 PM
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My memory of Atlanta was that it's pretty hilly. But maybe my memory is faulty.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:02 PM
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It's interesting that in the Metafilter thread, people point out that the weather was all right at first, it was melting on the major roads, but when traffic stopped moving, ice formed.

And indeed, it seems like places in the US where traffic is endemically horrible every single day are not places that get a lot of snow. Which is basically a historical and political coincidence.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:09 PM
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And indeed, it seems like places in the US where traffic is endemically horrible every single day are not places that get a lot of snow. Which is basically a historical and political coincidence

Chicago?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:12 PM
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I could be misremembering the hilliness of Atlanta. Sounds like I am.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:20 PM
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Chicago

Here's a surprising list of the cities with the worst traffic: Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston aren't on it. One can imagine other methodologies giving different results.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:34 PM
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I remember hills in Atlanta, at least in the centre, and I haven't been there since 1988. Went to the election night party of whichever fraudulent televangelist was doing best in the Republican primaries that year. Pat Robertson? Anyway, he was down a steep hill from my hotel, which was a cylindrical thing on the ridge. It was my first trip to the USA and I kept expecting people to shoot me on the street, even in Georgetown.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:34 PM
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39: that entry about Boston is impressively yellow journalism for a fifty word blurb in a listicle!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:43 PM
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but when traffic stopped moving, ice formed.

One key to being able to drive in snow is not to drive 6 miles per hour. Some people feel the need to do that due to freakout, and I curse them. Sometimes it's just because there's such gridlock that there's no other option, other than to shelter in where you are, which is sometimes the smartest move.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:44 PM
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When I lived in Tennessee. People seemed to flip out over the notion of driving in snow. The roads would be empty aside from first responders and, well, me. Learning to drive in NE Ohio has some advantages.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:45 PM
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Oh, why oh why can't I get some Seldane?
The FDA pulled it because it's one of the classic examples of a hERG inhibitor and they don't want you to drop dead when your ventricles decide to play syncopation. It was an especially tricky one because the drug is normally metabolized quickly in the liver to a non-dangerous form, but if you happen to take other things that interact with liver metabolism (grapefruit or some antibiotics) you can suddenly die from taking Seldane even if you never had any problems before.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:47 PM
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US where traffic is endemically horrible every single day are not places that get a lot of snow. Which is basically a historical and political coincidence because air conditioning became widespread in the same era as the motorcar.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:58 PM
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it seems like places in the US where traffic is endemically horrible every single day are

places that were basically unlivable before air conditioning was invented.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:05 PM
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Re: 19

Yeah, a couple of years back when had snow (discussed at the time) my little Peugeot cruised past 4wd SUVs and big fancy cars that were spinning helplessly or completely stuck. Partly driver error on their part, and partly small car with front wheel drive and reasonably pokey engine is a pretty decent snow car.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:58 PM
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pokey

What does this mean over there? Over here, a pokey engine is a slow engine.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:47 PM
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I would guess that Ttam is saying that, in his experience, a small car with front wheel drive and a weak engine is preferable to big massive cars, ostensibly meant for snow. I couldn't say, except that it is definitely true that a big fucking car with a good engine, which drives only in good conditions, can often beat SUVs pretty badly, I'd guess, especially if their drivers are under a lot of pressure and accustomed to relying on controlled substances to deal with it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:02 PM
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"Reasonably pokey" would be a very strange construction if "pokey" meant "weak." I suspect it means there the opposite of what it means here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:04 PM
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No, I meant has a bit of poke. Power. It's not a big engine but reasonably powerful for a small car. So you can pull yourself out of difficulties if you aren't an idiot and use the clutch, etc properly. And the weight is all over the drive wheels.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/poky_3


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:07 PM
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Here I think pokey has several connotations. Generally one imagines a horse moving at a slow pace -- maybe because of Gumby and all that -- but whether for laziness or some other reason, it isn't necessarily clear.

My ex-wife used to occasionally call me "Pokey," when I was taking too long getting ready, for whatever reason. I never took it to mean that she was calling me stupid, probably because that would have been ridiculous, coming from her.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:09 PM
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Wow, that's going in my "obscure US/UK usage notes" file.

"Pokey" also means cramped, like a room. And now that I think of it I have no idea what it means in the book "The Poky Little Puppy," although that was a childhood book of mine.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:09 PM
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I remember that book. I thought it was because he poked his nose into places.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:12 PM
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53: Isn't he a slowpoke who gets lost because he can't keep up with his siblings?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:13 PM
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Soon to be updated for the internet age as "The Pwned Little Puppy."


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:16 PM
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He is a slowpoke. They all get home in time to get scolded for going out under the fence, then he comes home after they're all in bed and eats the dessert they were sent to bed without.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:17 PM
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"Pokey" means slow. That's the only thing it means in my language. Specifically for an engine, it means weak, it takes a long time to get up to full power.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:20 PM
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the slang is explicable thusly: on knifecrime island, power comes from the blade of the knife. so, knife to stab to poke to pokey: powerful


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:28 PM
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Snow cars in two different threads at once.

VW Bug--I bow to general usage--had its engine cantilevered behind the drive axle, the rear. The advantages that front-wheel drive has in putting weight on the driving wheels also apply in this case. And it was flat-bottomed, without obstructions to catch snow, and had large diameter wheels. And not too much power.

I've had a Subaru and 2 Hondas since, all front wheel drive. The Subaru had been based on a VW design, and used many of the same parts and tools. VW had done a design essentially turning the Bug around, making its rear drive a front drive unit. They decided in Wolfsburg to start instead with a clean sheet of paper, following Alec Issagonis' formula originally used in the Mini, with a tranverse-mounted in line four cylinder liquid-cooled engine over, or just in front of the front axle. Became the Golf, originally marketed in the US as the Rabbit. The earlier, swapped end Bug was sold to Fuji Heavy Industries, and became the Subaru.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:30 PM
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59: The slow blade penetrates the shield.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:31 PM
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That's the only thing it means in my language.

I had heard that the asshole dictionary only had one definition per entry. I guess paper is expensive.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:51 PM
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I had heard that the asshole dictionary only had one definition per entry. I guess paper is expensive.

Are assholes necessarily broker or more stingy than other people? I feel this jibe could use some tightening up.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:54 PM
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(Some might say, "'broker' is not a word and 'stingier' is; what the fuck happened there?" And to them I would have no satisfactory answer.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:55 PM
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They're stingy I guess. But yes, I could do a better jibe:

I had heard that the asshole dictionary had only one definition per entry. I guess assholes are pokey.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:57 PM
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"Pokey" means slow. That's the only thing it means in my language.

It's also slang for jail in mine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:58 PM
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Or, you know, they're tight.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:59 PM
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Jail and slow are the meanings in mine, although they both have a talking-to-kids feel; I don't think I'd use the word "pokey" with an adult, for either meaning.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:01 PM
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But just to be really pedantic, because that's what this blog is supposed to be about, "slow-poke," or "pokey," in American English refers to someone who is taking too long, either in completing a task or getting from A to B, where the excessive length of time is that person's fault, due to some character flaw, such as day-dreaming or laziness. It is usually a somewhat affectionate term. I've not heard it often applied to engines, but to use it as a synonym for "weak" in most situations would be inapt -- it would be a poor use of the language, in which there are lots of words for "weak" that one can choose -- ineffectual, underdeveloped, etc. It would be an even poorer use of the language to use "pokey," in place of "stupid". I suppose if you were being clever you might describe a person's neurons as being "pokey" perhaps due to adolescent overuse of stimulants, something like that. But by itself, "pokey" would be inapt. And there are lots of words for stupid in our language to choose from! Such as idiotic, inane, and various medical terms which I'm sure we all know well.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:10 PM
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There's something missing in that MeFi explanation of the snow re-freezing. For one thing, if you have an air temp of 27F here, and it hasn't been markedly colder before that (had it been, in Atlanta?), the snow's just not going to stick, to pavement, at least, as there's enough heat coming up from the ground to melt it. I don't know anyone in Mpls. who uses snow tires either. Here, you just have to accept that all but the biggest streets will generally spend much of the winter with a packed down crust of 1"-3" of snow/ice/crud on them. Also, that gizmodo piece was saying that a snowfall of this magnitude has happened 4 times in the last 30 years -- if you have a 1 in 8 chance of something happening, mightn't it be a good idea to have SOME kind of contingency plan? The way the Atlanta mayor was talking, he didn't even have the school superintendent's phone number available.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:31 PM
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Shit, what if you were having, say, a large international sporting event, and there was, for instance, a terrorist bombing? Wouldn't you want to have a situation room and phone tree and sets of protocols to deal with various eventualities in that case? Clearly there is more incompetence to be found here than just "the weatherman didn't get it right."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:35 PM
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Snow tires were common in the bias ply era, because tires were more rigid then and the extra tread was necessary for winter traction. Radials, which had taken over completely by the 80s are much less rigid and provide all the traction you need.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:36 PM
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Snow tires were common in the bias ply era, because tires were more rigid then and the extra tread was necessary for winter traction. Radials, which had taken over completely by the 80s are much less rigid and provide all the traction you need.

I had no idea!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:40 PM
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Well, there you have it. That gizmodo doofus doesn't know what he's talking about.

Having now read "The Day We Lost Atlanta" it does sound like there were both structural issues and individual/collective incompetence at play. I understand things were nearly as bad in Birmingham though, which presumably is not prey to all the same structural governance issues as the ATL.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:45 PM
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Yeah, Idp's just dishing out the obscure automobile history here. Fascinating stuff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:45 PM
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On the original question of the flatness of Atlanta, I'm surprised no one has tried so far to address it by looking at a map. Looks pretty hilly to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:47 PM
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Empiricist.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:49 PM
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I don't deny it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:50 PM
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76: I'm not sure this new coblogger is going to work out.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:56 PM
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Radials, which had taken over completely by the 80s are much less rigid and provide all the traction you need.

This is why, when I hear "snow tires," used figuratively or what have you, I generally think I'm hearing someone reading some sort of material prepared ages ago.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:58 PM
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So what's the proper cognomen for those tires one does see occasionally nowadays that are all knobby and snow tire-esque?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:01 PM
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According to Google shopping, the answer would generally seem to be "winter tires" or "all terrain tires." It should be noted that some of the model names for tires are almost as good as those for toilets. Take the "Goodyear Wrangler Authority Tire" for instance. With a great name like that, you can write awesome copy such as:

The Goodyear Wrangler Authority Tire LT245 75R16 is a hardworking tire that complements today's full-size trucks.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:04 PM
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Up here people generally still call them "snow tires," though I guess "winter tires" is also used, along with "summer tires" for the other type. Use of the tires themselves is nearly universal. The studded ones seem to be the most popular, presumably because they provide a significant additional advantage over all-season radials which studless "snow tires" may not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:11 PM
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I won't have it implied that I don't know about all-terrain tires. I'll just come out and say that I don't know very much about them.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:14 PM
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It all makes me think of What's In Alaska? this old Carver story whose major source of meaning is sex and drug innuendo. The idea I guess is that these two couples are getting high and can't or don't choose to hide the obvious sexual implications of what they're saying. Which is fine -- it works for that story, and it probably seemed transgressive when he wrote it. And it's a good story. But I don't know what I would do if I met people like that in the current era, aside from laughing.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:28 PM
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Actually, I'm going to give Carver (and Lish) some credit and say that they probably didn't think it was transgressive -- they thought it was fairly mundane, and maybe that was part of what made the story work.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:40 PM
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I read that story when I was 7 or 8. I still remember "I want to be fucked. I want to be diverted. Can you divert me?" Based on my limited knowledge of how profanities worked, I assumed "fucked" was a slightly more abstract term than "diverted."

Seriously, no one alive would not laugh if someone said that to them. Or near them. Even if stoned.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:48 PM
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I suppose I should be impressed that you remember a sentence from something you read at age 7 (or 8). I read the story more recently and what I recall as the central joke -- "what's in alaska?" -- hinged on a fairly mundane association between snow and a drug with which a few here are probably familiar. If I'd read it at age 7 or 8 I might not have gotten that. But some kids are raised differently.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:58 PM
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The two couples engage in some other fairly obvious symbolic language. Or rather, one husband and the other wife do so. I don't recall the "fucked" line. Maybe it didn't stand out so much as the cuckolded husband raising his shoe at the rat.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:03 PM
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I suppose I should be impressed

Impressed? You have some pretty odd suppositions. The line might not even be from that story; I don't have the book in the house to check. There was an entire recent thread about age-inappropriate reading, I think.

No one, least of all me, wishes to see you let go of your spite and contempt.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:09 PM
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I just can't find it in me to stay mad at you, lurid keyaki.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:16 PM
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I hope you get your whole library back together. Didn't you say that it was dispersed?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:25 PM
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It's mostly collected at my ex-wife's house, throughout which it is dispersed. I have a few books with me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:29 PM
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If 'pokey' made you wonder the breadth of your vocabulary, try this test:
http://vocabulary.ugent.be


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:27 AM
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(Some might say, "'broker' is not a word and 'stingier' is; what the fuck happened there?" And to them I would have no satisfactory answer.)

Broker is a word. Stock. Insurance. Ship. Pawn.

Also, Peter Cook as Harold Macmillan: "Britain must be an honest broker in the Middle East. Because surely no nation could be more honest. And surely no nation could be broker."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:41 AM
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ttaM's use of pokey to mean powerful is a bit odd even by dextroatlantean standards. Poke to mean power is quite common, but I would interpret pokey as small or cramped.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:42 AM
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94: I know 88% of the English.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:00 AM
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I know someone who had a friend in high school whose first name -- his actual honest-to-God legal first name, bestowed by his parents -- was "Pokey". He legally changed it in his early 20s.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:01 AM
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re: 96

Mulitple meanings of poke/pokey, I suppose. As per the dictionary entry above, poky or pokey to mean powerful is a recognised usage. Maybe not typical? Don't know. I've heard it used a fair bit.

'The 2 litre Vauxhall Shellsuit VX has plenty of poke.'

'Give it some poke, stop dawdling, your holding up the traffic.'



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:02 AM
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My husband uses pokey in the sam sense as ttaM, for a data point. I never paused to think that for me it meant the complete opposite.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:06 AM
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It's actually a reference to President James K. Polk, who wielded great power and advanced the cause of manifest destiny substantially, as detailed in the popular song. Also, he poked people. "Polk! Polk!" he would say, while poking them with his finger.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:12 AM
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97: I know all of the English. But a lot of those words aren't English, they're American (shagbark, guayule, launce, bobwhite) and therefore SHOULD NOT COUNT.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:16 AM
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103

I've shot at a bobwhite.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:17 AM
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104

94: I got 81%.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:19 AM
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105

You haven't lived until you've shagbarked a guayule with your launce. And you can trust me on that one, bobwhite.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:19 AM
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106

94: I deny that "successfulness" is a word, despite what that quiz says. What's wrong with "success"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:24 AM
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107

What's wrong with "success"?

That's what I keep asking.


Posted by: Opinionated 1%-er comparing Obama to Hitler and Occupy Wall Street to Kristallnacht | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:27 AM
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108

Despite the mengry, velching quaning of the jasps, the paractair's agnocetion of amroggrerics led him to successfulness.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:28 AM
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106: Right. I got stopped by a number of words where, although they were comprehensible, I would have challenged them at scrabble (annoyingly, I clicked away from the results screen before I realized it had a list of my wrong answers so I don't know if I was making right or wrong calls on those.) I mean, I understand "prismy" -- transparent, faceted, and shiny/glittery -- but I'm not confident that it's a word.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:30 AM
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110

101: Also, his taciturn nature and skill at cards gave rise to the term "Polker face."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:32 AM
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111

You can take it again. If it's comprehensible, it's probably a word by their lights. (Although they deny that 'nontrap' is a word, so not always.)

They're not trying to trick you.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:39 AM
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112

You said yes to 93% of the existing words.

You said yes to 0% of the nonwords.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:43 AM
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113

I don't believe that "adversitive" and "creamily" are legitimate words. I know what they would mean if they existed, but that's a different question.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:43 AM
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114

Also, it tells me that "seconds" is a non-word. Excuse me, this test will self-destruct in thirty... er... thingummy... it's on the tip of my tongue...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:46 AM
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115

I'm sure I've used "creamily".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:46 AM
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116

Send them an e-mail about 'seconds'

http://vocabulary.ugent.be/wordtest/faq


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:47 AM
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117

"I think I'll have the burrata pizza," he said creamily.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:50 AM
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118

I got 91 last night and 97 this time, with no wrong guesses (which apparently penalize you hugely?). Some of them (halberdier, alkylation) I'm not sure I've encountered before but I figured they had to be words.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:53 AM
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119

Halberdier is one of those Swiss guys with the spear-axe, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:55 AM
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120

Wikipedia says I'm right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:56 AM
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121

119: well, yeah, somebody who wields a halberd, presumably. Halberds have obviously played a big role in my life but I don't think half-orcs usually have job titles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:59 AM
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122

Halberdier is one of those Swiss guys with the spear-axe, I think.

...

D&D Night at the Vatican! I bet Pope Francis plays a paladin every time but brings such great snacks no one minds.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:03 AM
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123

The Swiss aren't orcs anymore. Except the one who married Michele Bachmann.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:03 AM
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124

Orcs couldn't have built such a lovely train system.

Wow that was racist.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:05 AM
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125

122: come on you know he's not going to resist trying on a lady thief character every once in a while as long as the DM doesn't go blabbing about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:05 AM
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126

Speaking of older weapons, I was once trying to figure out who still uses a sword most often for professional reasons. I got the list down to fencing coaches, the Swiss Guard, and Sean Bean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:08 AM
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127

125: "Come on, guys, I just want to role-play an elf for a change!"

126: Does Saudi Arabia still execute by decapitation?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:10 AM
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128

127: Yep.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:12 AM
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129

I realized a few weeks ago reading my wife's nominations for words/expressions that annoy people, posted on a site we frequent that I don't care much about this sort of thing anymore.

ttaM's use of Pokey was familiar to me from somewhere, but his meaning was clear from context anyway.

I must have made up half a dozen words yesterday on these here threads, obvious derivations or elaborations.

I realize we usually challenge each other's words light-heartedly, to keep the conversation going, to tease one another. Occasionally I can't tell when someone might be serious, but maybe that's the joke.


Posted by: ldp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:16 AM
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130

I PUT ON MY CHASUBLE AND POPE HAT.
If you're virtually the only man in the world with trained halberdiers at your beck and call, the temptation to LARP must be almost irresistible.

126: army officers use swords quite a bit for formal parades and so on. I mean "use" in the sense of they carry it and wave it around a bit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:17 AM
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131

I'm assuming Sean Bean has spent more time on set with a sword than any officer spends on parade.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:21 AM
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132

A lot of folx use machetes at work, but that's not quite the same thing. The Queen uses one to knight people pretty often too.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:22 AM
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133

Maybe you can use a sword to help shape the exterior of your cob house?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:24 AM
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134

Do machetes count as swords? Popular for both crime and for cutting sugarcane. Google machete matar for a selection of latin-american lurid crime.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:25 AM
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135

If the queen used a machete to knight me I might be tempted to rethink my stringent anti-monarchism ...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:27 AM
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Machetes are a common modern form of what's damn close to a sword. Bought 2 for $15 apiece last year and enjoyed watching my son and his friend use them on vines in our backyard. Reminded me of the young Michael York in The Three Musketeers, seventies version.

Look at a fireman's ax next time you see firefighters up close. Derivation from Halberds and other medieval weapons seems patent. You get the same impression in reverse looking at weapons in an art gallery. I'm sure this has been explored, and I may be half remembering some presentation in saying this, but firefighters do seem to be equipped with and wearing modern forms of Renaissance military gear.


Posted by: ldp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:28 AM
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137

That's why city officials call the fire department whenever mounted enemies become a problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:29 AM
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135: Yes, that was inelegantly phrased.

Wikipedia shows 29 current monarchs, although that includes some of the iffy ones, like for Andorra. Some fairly big fraction of them probably strap on a sword occasionally.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:29 AM
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133: You can, but most sources suggest a flat-bladed shovel or a machete.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:30 AM
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140

This is probably more than you want to know about my familiarity with knives, but Cold Steel has been making machetes-in-the-shape-of-swords for some time now. I think the Roman gladius, 2 handed katana and 1917 cavalry saber are the only current ones, but there might be some others. In the past though, they've done a bunch of different kinds.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:32 AM
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141

"Making sugar cane harvest fun again."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:33 AM
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Ah, forgot about the Cold Steel Kopis and Kukri machetes (which has got to be the most in-betweeny edged weapon/tool ever.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:37 AM
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If the queen used a machete to knight me I might be tempted to rethink my stringent anti-monarchism ...

I think this queen may have done that.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:38 AM
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Re machetes as weapons: Have I ever talked about the Samoan attitude toward machetes (locally "bush knives" in English, and I can't remember the Samoan for it)? Very violent place, lots of fights, lots of deadly violence. Lots and lots of bush knives around -- probably a 1-1 population to bush knife ratio, and that's counting adults and children. People used them all the time, for everything. Except hurting each other. I'm not saying it never happened, but I never heard of a fight or an assault with a bush knife -- rocks, yes, bush knives, no. It didn't seem to be a taboo, exactly, just that they were so firmly thought of as useful tools that they didn't occur to people as weapons.

I had a hysterically funny day in class once: one of the kids (Tagiapea? Maybe) had been sent a big hunting knife (10" long?) by a family member overseas, and he was fooling around with it and freaking people out by mock-threatening them with it, feinting toward them. And they were shrieking and running around, "Oh my god, he has a knife!" In the same classroom, maybe five kids had bush knives, twice the size of his hunting knife, leaning against their chairs, that they were carrying around in case they needed them for something during the course of the day, but no one thought of those as "knives." I was leaning against the board, laughing helplessly, and completely unable to explain to the kids what was so funny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:50 AM
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Machetes in the shape of swords? How is that different from actual swords? It sounds to me like "lemons that taste like limes and are green." I imagine there's there's some technical aspect I'm ignorant of.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:52 AM
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144: Maybe stabbing is considered fundamentally different from slashing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:53 AM
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Child and I are working our way through Le Comte de Monte Cristo but darn it is written at luxuriant length. Do not think we will be delving into Queen of the South as our follow up bedtime reading tho, he is only 12.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:53 AM
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97% / 0%.

I "didn't know" thriven and chidden. Interesting that they are both past participles(?) based respectively on "thrive" and "chide."

I'd wager heavily that neither of those words has ever (well, hardly ever) been used outside dictionaries, and these "words" appear because Middle English verbs ending in "e" can be made past tense by adding "n," like drive->driven.

Except most of them aren't.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:54 AM
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149

You couldn't translate "that's not a knife" into Samoan?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:54 AM
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I got 88%, being pretty conservative about not saying yes for things I really didn't have a clue as to the meaning of, as well as things I understood but didn't think were words. But the non-words were badly generated; you could knock most of them out as orthographically impossible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:56 AM
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Also find it a bit disappointing that fencing isn't part of standard male dancer training. Weight training yes but Errol Flynn style dueling no :(.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:56 AM
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Google translate doesn't have Samoan as an option. I picked Icelandic as being basically the same in the sense of both being islands settled by people who were big on long distance sea travel. It's "það er ekki hníf."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:58 AM
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According to Google Books, it turns out Woodrow Wilson used "thriven" in a speech, and some guy named Shakespeare (obv. pseudonym amirite?) used "chidden" in a play named after a board game. "Othello"? O RLY?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:58 AM
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154

Google translate doesn't have Samoan as an option

Do they have Hawaiian or Maori? Should get you close.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:02 AM
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97% the second time through. I think my first round had a fluky number of hard calls -- this time through I had nothing that was comprehensible but unconvincing as a real word.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:02 AM
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154: If you want to go with the obvious, but I think Icelandic is good enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:03 AM
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157

I'd expect a cob logger to use a sword.

Think I'll put that picture I took of some Yemeni kids in the pool.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:04 AM
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154: Hawaiian yes, Maori no. It's still a very related language, but there's a bunch of phonetic changes that makes spotting cognates really difficult (at least for me).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:04 AM
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Kukri machetes (which has got to be the most in-betweeny edged weapon/tool ever.)

The Foundation for the Preservation of Antiquated Jokes requires me at this point to make a joke about there being lots of Nepalese restaurants in Britain because the Gurkhas are famous for their kukri.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:12 AM
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That test has an awfully large list of languages to not have included ASL.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:16 AM
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but there's a bunch of phonetic changes that makes spotting cognates really difficult (at least for me)

Interesting. Are these real, like the famous consonant shift that distinguishes High German from the other Teutonic languages, including English, or due to spelling conventions?

The Pacific is a big place, and the linguistic equivalent to Darwin's finches is a natural notion, but I'd like know for sure.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:17 AM
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162

I know I don't really need to sign my comments, but I really mean to.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:19 AM
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I would if I could figure out how to puts pics in the pool. They seemed to have changed stuff -- does anyone know how to do it with the new page?

Picture anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:20 AM
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164

I got 86%.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:21 AM
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161: I don't actually know -- I haven't heard (as opposed to seen) much Maori. I think there are both, though -- phonetic changes, and different spelling of the same words. (Like, "wh" is all over written Maori, and it's not a sound in Samoan, which is a phonetic change. The sound represented by the letter "t", on the other hand, is usually pronounced "k" in Samoan (you do pronounce "t" as "t" if you're speaking in the formal register, but you usually aren't), so words spelled with the letter 'k' look unfamiliar and confusing to me, even if they're pronounced exactly the same as the Samoan word.)

The net effect is that Hawaiian looks pretty much like Samoan on the page, although there are a fair number of vocabulary differences (although it also has the k/t issue), but Maori looks weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:29 AM
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puts pics in the pool

That's not a euphemism, is it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:29 AM
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167

Last time I checked this thread, everyone was discussing the meaning of Pokey. Now you all are talking about Hawaii.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:35 AM
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168

This is one powerful puppy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:36 AM
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169

I haven't heard (as opposed to seen) much Maori

Where's Harvey Keitel when you need him?

I'm always impressed by the vividness of your memories of there--Samoa. Reminds me of the memories of WWII vets I knew when I was growing up. Having been in the South Pacific seemed to make them susceptible to a kind of reverie whenever the subject came up.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:40 AM
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On Kauai they kept the t sound long after the other Hawaiian islands had switched it to k.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:41 AM
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Well, I was young, and it was a very different period from the rest of my life. And the stories I tell here are fossilized at this point -- I tell the student-with-the-knife story probably at least once or twice a year in one context or another.

Stuff does fade, though. Coincidentally, the older brother of Buck's high school best friend was Peace Corps Samoa about ten years before me, and so every so often we interact on FB or in person, and drag out the remnants of our Samoan to use on each other: he was genuinely fluent once, and I could struggle along through a stereotyped polite conversation, and understand 50% or so of Samoans talking naturally to each other. By now, though, we're both down to saying "Dude!" "Feminine form of dude which is a distinct word, but 'dude' covers it pretty exactly!" There's just hardly anything left either of us remembers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 9:45 AM
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And the stories I tell here are fossilized at this point

A very real risk, which I'm always afraid of, even if it doesn't seem to show here. There's a deadly sentence in Hemingway's great short story Soldier's Home: "In this way he lost everything."

Yours remain fresh to me; I can feel the breeze off the Ocean.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 10:02 AM
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Likewise. Besides, fossils are really neat.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 10:12 AM
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174

Based on the feeling that I'd be unstartled to discover that "chidden" was still used in (for example) rural parts of Yorkshire, I googled it alongside "Yorkshire dialect" and discovered this, from Charlotte Bronte's Shirley (chapter 4): "The true poet is not one whit to be pitied, and he is apt to laugh in his sleeve when any misguided sympathiser whines over his wrongs. Even when utilitarians sit in judgment on him, and pronounce him and his art useless, he hears the sentence with such a hard derision, such a broad, deep, comprehensive, and merciless contempt of the unhappy Pharisees who pronounce it, that he is rather to be chidden than condoled with."

So not just in dictionaries, and I'd still not be startled to discover it's used in some rural places in the UK, or was in my lifetime.

Hullo, unfogged: happy new year!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:41 PM
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175

We're not all Chinese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:54 PM
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176

My first reaction to the list in 39 was surprise at seeing DC on it. My second reaction was to laugh at my own stupidity, because I was in the middle of a traffic jam that ultimately took me an hour and a half to go four miles.

Normally I bike and don't even notice about traffic problems, but it's been cold enough lately that I didn't feel like biking, and man, that bus's route was congested. I think construction was involved too. I'm biking tomorrow no matter what.

As for "pokey," it seems to me like an auto-antonym, like "sanguine" or "buckle."


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 5:05 PM
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