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I can’t believe that posting corrections to comments takes that much time away from real work.
August 12, 2008 11:59 AM   Subscribe


 
"there’s a personality type that will spend a lot of time demonstrating their superior English skills online"

Gosh, I wonder if any of these people read MetaFilter.
posted by oddman at 12:09 PM on August 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


Now if they could come up with a tool to fix programmers' code on the fly and make it correspond to business and end user reality, then the world would be a beautiful place.
posted by spicynuts at 12:13 PM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bolus Venture Capital. Har, har.
posted by optovox at 12:15 PM on August 12, 2008


They spelled Apostrophe incorrectly.

I wonder if I could get 25m for solving a problem that doesn't exist. Nice work if you can get it.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:18 PM on August 12, 2008


Automatic comment correction: a modest proposal, but a worthy one. Note that Typical Programmer has also published articles such as An Introduction to Abject-Oriented Programming ("Subtyping is a kind of inheritance where the variable types are changed when inheriting from the original code") and Miasma: a new framework for web applications ("The [template language] placeholders are marked in the template by surrounding them with ++var++").
posted by cobra libre at 12:20 PM on August 12, 2008


I believe this is a joke. There is no apostrophree company that I can find.
posted by shmegegge at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2008


They can count on my full Cupertino.
posted by subgear at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


something relatively benign like irregardless

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:22 PM on August 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


Their stupid if they thing anyone cares abut spelling on the internut.
posted by Plutor at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2008


Satire is now a 365-day-a-year phenomenon.
posted by GuyZero at 12:27 PM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


shmegegge: "I believe this is a joke. There is no apostrophree company that I can find."
$ whois apostrophree.com

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for "APOSTROPHREE.COM".
That's as close as you can get to proof, I'd bet.
posted by Plutor at 12:27 PM on August 12, 2008


Its a brilliant idea, but I don't think it will gain widespread exceptance, they should have illicited more imput from potential users. Someday everybody will be more careful with there typing, but until than I think this idea is a non starter. Anyways, for all intensive purposes I think most users could care less.
posted by Floydd at 12:27 PM on August 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


Then we'll be forced to find something else to argue about?
posted by peeedro at 12:28 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Indeeded. It's a mute point.
posted by optovox at 12:29 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


John Scogan was a jester in the court of King Edward IV who "loved practical jokes."
posted by Knappster at 12:30 PM on August 12, 2008


I fell for it. The idea is convincingly dumb enough to actually get $25M in funding, though.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 12:30 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Usually I don’t get through three articles in my RSS feed before I encounter it’s when the author meant its, or FAQ’s, which is almost as common on the web as FAQs, and more common than the correct FAQ, since the Q stands for “questions” and is therefore already a plural.

The state of chickenhawk armchair linguistics is such that this makes the whole thing feel more, not less, plausible. I guess that means it's good satire, but I'm just kind of reflexively gagging regardless over here.
posted by cortex at 12:31 PM on August 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


Vaprowear?
posted by lumensimus at 12:34 PM on August 12, 2008


"...the laziness implied by (sp?) works some readers into a froth."

As can iced espresso!
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I absolutely hate gross grammatical errors -- especially in professional copy. This is great idea to me!
posted by gstevens at 12:40 PM on August 12, 2008


I have to admit, i thought it was for real.
posted by empath at 12:40 PM on August 12, 2008


Obviously a joke once you get the bottom....

Any plans for spending your venture capital?
Part of the deal we have with Bolus is the acquisition of a Russian company that is working on what they call a “clue gate.” The idea is to identify and filter out postings from newbies, particularly on technical forums, so employees are not tempted to insult someone who can’t install Python, for example, or to spend an hour explaining why a real programmer has to know C and not just Java.

posted by rooftop secrets at 12:40 PM on August 12, 2008


I fell for it too. I've seen a few too many press releases that say "We're going to solve [non-existent problem] using [technically impossible method], it'll be out soon!"

The Miasma post is a lot more obviously jokey, but in my opinion it's much funnier.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:46 PM on August 12, 2008


They spelled Apostrophe incorrectly.

I'm going to spell it apostrophee from now on in an effort to make this thing explode.
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on August 12, 2008


Go crazy with those apostrophies, kiddo.
posted by cortex at 12:50 PM on August 12, 2008


I say a significant number because the people who read comment threads and post comments of their own are very often among the most highly-paid people in the organization.

Heh.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:53 PM on August 12, 2008


I was taking it relatively seriously until I got to "We’re working on some things now, like cliché removal, that look promising."
posted by languagehat at 12:56 PM on August 12, 2008


i only come here for the flame wars.
posted by msconduct at 1:02 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't they realize that 90%* of the forum users ENJOY correcting others grammar and pointing out how stupid they are? As it makes them feel superior, because maybe they were pick on their entire childhood growing up and this is their only outlet.


* entire made up number
posted by sir_rubixalot at 1:15 PM on August 12, 2008


I wonder how much funding I could get for a product that scans emails for the word "attached" or "attachment" that have no attachment and pop up a warning dialog box to the user saying:
Did you mean to attach something to this email?
It will stem the tide of emails every one of us gets every day that start with "Sorry - forgot the attachment" as well as the countervailing flood of replies saying "Hey, there was no attachment!".

It's going to be huge I tells ya. Get in on the ground floor of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now!
posted by kcds at 1:17 PM on August 12, 2008 [12 favorites]


90%* of the forum users ENJOY correcting others others's grammar

FTFY sirtotallydoesn'tknowEnglishasgoodasIdoalot.
posted by Mister_A at 1:18 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


cortex, your link directs one to a U Penn site. Penn is a glorified community college, sir, not a real Ivy League school like Dartmouth.
posted by Mister_A at 1:20 PM on August 12, 2008


I wonder how much funding I could get for a product that scans emails for the word "attached" or "attachment" that have no attachment and pop up a warning dialog box to the user saying: Did you mean to attach something to this email?

I'm sure Windows would fall over themselves to buy this "feature" from you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:26 PM on August 12, 2008


If it ignored quotes from previous emails I'd be totally sold on it.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on August 12, 2008


that Miasma article was pretty funny
posted by delmoi at 1:30 PM on August 12, 2008


If it ignored quotes from previous emails I'd be totally sold on it.

CRTAS (Chronic Reply-to-All Syndrome) is a very serious condition, and must be eradicated at all costs.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:32 PM on August 12, 2008




Their business model is all wrong. I'm going to start a competing service called "apostro-fee," which will charge you US$0.05 every time you commit a spelling or grammatical error.

That'll get people to straighten up and fly right.
posted by adamrice at 1:41 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


something relatively benign like irregardless

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!


How does adding words hurt a language? We should be getting mad at people who say "very unique," because they are degrading "unique" to mean the same as "strange;" but those who say "irregardless" are just improving the flavor of English.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:51 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's the kind of well-played joke that's funny, but so good that I now feel cold and alone.
posted by Tehanu at 1:51 PM on August 12, 2008


"Irregardless" makes Baby Jesus weep.
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much funding I could get for a product that scans emails for the word "attached" or "attachment" that have no attachment and pop up a warning dialog box to the user saying: Did you mean to attach something to this email?

Attachment Scanner Plugin for Mail.app
Do you ever forget to include an attachment on your emails? It happens to me all the time. By the time I get done writing my email, I forget that I needed to attach something to it before hitting Send. This Mail.app plugin helps avoid that problem. When you send a message, it checks if there’s an attachment. If there isn’t, and it looks like you’ve referred to an attachment in the body of your mail (by using a word like attach, attaching, attachment, etc), it gives you a warning. Most of the time, you should never notice that this plugin is running, but in those cases when you do need it….
posted by designbot at 2:01 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]




Sometimes my computer helps me not do stupid things. But sometimes it makes me stupider by trying to erase my need to think altogether.
posted by Tehanu at 2:05 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Excavated and recycled one more time... (Gracious me, I hope the pre tag does live what it does on preview, otherwise this may look strange)
      THE REC.MUSIC.MAKERS.GUITAR NEWSREADER 

This is the formal announcement of the RMMG NEWSREADER, a development long needed.
Produced in close consultation with dear Judith Martin and a committee of Canadians, its 
powerful within-text search-and-destroy capabilities can render the vilest, most 
psychopathic Usenet flamefest as genteel as a vanilla ice cream suit and a glass of pink 
lemonade.

Here's a very small sample of the RMMG NEWSREADER's remarkable abilities: 

Original:                               What you see: 
---------------                         -------------------------------------- 
low grade idiot                         Thanks for your views! 
imbecile                                My opinion differs, but I might well be mistaken. 
freaking moron                          Let's agree to disagree, shall we? 
utter fool                              Perhaps we should both check our facts and
                                        continue our discussion later. 
shove a rabid mongoose up your *ss      I do apologize if I inadvertantly gave any offense. 
*ssh*le, sh*th*ed, c*cks*cker,          :-) 
f*ck you, etc. etc. 

Pretty amazing, isn't it? And long overdue! The RMMG NEWSREADER, presently in beta, is 
fully capable of doing for the most abominable hellhole of a newsgroup almost precisely 
what Wyatt Earp did for Dodge City. (Marshall Earp, one recalls, participated in nearly two 
hundred firefights in his career, and died in his bed of old age.) 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Now, the acid test: real posts from real users whose reputations as RMMG flamers are lofty 
and secure. Marvel at the power of this  revolutionary software! 

EXAMPLE ONE: 
   Subject:      Re: Carl 
   From:         **...@primary.net (e*** t***®) 
   Newsgroups:   rec.music.makers.guitar 
   Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit 
   Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii 
   MIME-Version: 1.0 
   Organization: MOFO Inc. 
   Thanks for your views, C***g****r. My opinion differs, but I 
   might well be mistaken. Perhaps we should both check our facts 
   and continue our discussion later. I do apologize if I inadvert- 
   antly gave any offense. Let's agree to disagree, shall we? 

EXAMPLE TWO: 
   Subject:      CrackQueen 
   From:         c***g****r...@aol.com (C***g****r) 
   Message-ID:   1998071301001700.VAA18...@ladder03.news.aol.com 
   Newsgroups:   rec.music.makers.guitar 
   Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com 
   X-Admin:      n...@aol.com 
   :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-) 
   :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-) :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)   
   :-) :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-) :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-) 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 That's it, folks. The programmer rises to accept the applause of the crowd. (So *that's* the sound of one hand clapping....) 
                                     - Stevie Jim 


posted by jfuller at 2:05 PM on August 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


GONG! LOT!
posted by YoBananaBoy at 2:08 PM on August 12, 2008


How does adding words hurt a language? We should be getting mad at people who say "very unique," because they are degrading "unique" to mean the same as "strange;" but those who say "irregardless" are just improving the flavor of English.

We don't need a word that means "without a lack of regard."

But of course when people use that word, their meaning is always contrary to that implied by its construction. It's like me saying it's cold when it's actually warm, but no one caring because they figure they probably know what I meant. That's not "adding words," that's taking another step down the road toward Newspeak.

The problem is one of people not thinking about how they communicate, people who don't try to understand the tools they're using. They aren't "improving the flavour," they're choosing not to care whether it's sugar or salt they're throwing in the cake batter, and just hoping for the best.

This isn't simply a matter of annoyed pedants. An intimate relationship with language allows you to think new thoughts, to stretch your mind enough to contain new concepts. Vitally important stuff. I'm all for new words - language is fluid - but only if they're added as a result of, you know, thinking about them.

/derail

And if anyone finds any grammatical errors, I'll just chalk it up to the "casual discourse of the web" or something, and bid you adieu.
posted by regicide is good for you at 2:09 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Re: Attachment Scanner Plugin for Mail.app

It would be even better if, when it notices that you've forgotten the attachment, it just attaches a random file from your hard drive. It'll keep you spicy!
posted by subgear at 2:10 PM on August 12, 2008


Oh for fucks sake.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 2:12 PM on August 12, 2008


Uh, this was kind of a dead giveaway:

Why would an organization buy apostrophree? How does it save money?
In a typical company a small but significant number of employees read blogs and comment threads every day, sometimes several times in a work day. I say a significant number because the people who read comment threads and post comments of their own are very often among the most highly-paid people in the organization. The time apostrophree saves goes right to the bottom line.

posted by Mental Wimp at 2:13 PM on August 12, 2008


They spelled Apostrophe incorrectly. (...) I believe this is a joke. There is no apostrophree company that I can find.

It smells fishy to me, too.

I'm surprised to see Y Combinator mentioned as having given $25 Million when they are known for giving small sums to startups. Here is a snippet I found in the NYT article they link to:

If it is possible to systematize the archetypal two guys in a garage (and they are generally guys), the year-old Y Combinator wants to do it. The company's formula is to throw smart people together and provide them $6,000 in seed money per person to cover the initial costs of the company, cookie-cutter legal paperwork and an extensive network of business contacts.

That in itself doesn't negate the possibility of this being an exception but it does make me suspicious. Also: who would really pay to use this service? Is this something matt would pay to install on mefi or your random blogger would really spring for? It's nice but hardly crucial and the Tyson Gay/Homosexual guffaw has shown how tricky things can become when you try automatically replacing A with B.

These of course all aren't killer arguments and this could be real. It's entirely possible they're going to give this away for free and just charge corporate customers or sell it to google/wordpress/microsoft/whoever.

Finally: where is Arrington/Techcrunch in all this?
posted by krautland at 2:14 PM on August 12, 2008


It was this line that tipped me off to the joke:
"Technical staff are both likely to notice and get upset about errors in things they read, and they are far more likely to read articles online and post comments than managers or hourly line workers. We observed that non-technical staff with Internet access are more likely to use their computers to view and collect pornography than to post spelling corrections."

I burst out laughing at the notion that they were making a $25m deal with non-technical staff based on such findings!
posted by kaibutsu at 2:15 PM on August 12, 2008


okay, clue gate ... I missed that. case closed.
posted by krautland at 2:17 PM on August 12, 2008


i think this is really a covert republican op to make their supporters appear smarter
posted by klanawa at 2:17 PM on August 12, 2008


Thank you for your comments, klanawa, krautland, and kaibutsu. We will now begin boarding commenters beginning with the letter 'L'...
posted by subgear at 2:25 PM on August 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


We don't need a word that means "without a lack of regard."

Nor a word that means "not flammable", eh wot?

It smells fishy to me, too.

That would be the rotting salmon in yon pair of trousers.
posted by cortex at 2:28 PM on August 12, 2008


I can't take the abutilization!!!!
posted by fcummins at 2:29 PM on August 12, 2008


This has been bothering me a while: is the 'intensive purposes' thing a joke, or a genuine piece of idiocy, seen in the wild? I ask because I've only ever seen it on MetaFilter as an example of a supposedly common mistake, and I refuse to believe that anyone could mishear 'intents and purposes' as 'intensive purposes' (even if I say the former really fast in a variety of comedy American accents).
posted by jack_mo at 2:40 PM on August 12, 2008


is the 'intensive purposes' thing a joke, or a genuine piece of idiocy, seen in the wild?

Perhaps not seen, but its haunting call can be heard in deepest, darkest offices. I have heard it said, but have never seen anyone write "intensive purposes" except in jest.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:45 PM on August 12, 2008


If I may say, and not irregardlessly mind you, that I neither agree or disagree with the position that may or may not be being stated in this very thread.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:48 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised to see Y Combinator mentioned as having given $25 Million when they are known for giving small sums to startups.

That's actually not what the article said anyway; it said the $25 million came from 'Bolus Venture Capital' (should sound fishy enough on its own), after previous seed funding from Y Combinator.

It is funny how believable it was, though...
posted by dixie flatline at 2:53 PM on August 12, 2008


This has been bothering me a while: is the 'intensive purposes' thing a joke, or a genuine piece of idiocy, seen in the wild? I ask because I've only ever seen it on MetaFilter as an example of a supposedly common mistake, and I refuse to believe that anyone could mishear 'intents and purposes' as 'intensive purposes' (even if I say the former really fast in a variety of comedy American accents).

"intents 'n" and "intensive" don't sound far different, especially when you jam them up against a stop for the plosive in "purposes". I think it's as much a deliberate joke error as anything these days—a "pwn" or an "internets", to the degree the error has become the usage—but I reckon it has its roots in genuine misanalysis-and-reproduction errors.

The original idiom has a plural 'intents', which is in casual American speech more or less a homonym of "intense"; whereas my gut says almost all non-idiomatic use of that lexeme is singular 'intent'. So the mix of phonetic misdirection at the word level and the presumed rarity of the specific word form compared to its common use could generate enough interference to set up the error pretty nicely.

And the fact that the misanalysis remains somewhat coherent under a generous reading (e.g. "for the purposes of examining the subject intensively, i.e. considering it with sufficient care") helps with the plausibility of adoption and transmission.

If the idiom were "for every intent and purpose", I don't think the situation would be comperable; the phonetic difference between 'intent' and 'intense' would gut the likelihood of the initial misanalysis right out of the gate.
posted by cortex at 2:54 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once had an instructor who used "for all intensive purposes" regularly. He did not do so ironically.
posted by Knappster at 2:58 PM on August 12, 2008


while they don't sound THAT alike to me, principally because "-ive" and "and" sound so different, I can easily see someone thinking that "intensive purposes" sounds right because the words make sense together: as though you were saying "this works for even our most intense purposes, such as blowing up an asteroid made of dinosaurs and awesome-dust."

of course, in this context you are saying something quite different from the original phrase.

You know what? I blame it on people not reading enough. You would know what the words are if you fucking read them, you ignorant slobs!
posted by shmegegge at 3:04 PM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


You would know what the words are if you fucking read them, you ignorant slobs!

If I red them, or reed them?
posted by fixedgear at 3:13 PM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


principally because "-ive" and "and" sound so different

Yes, but the "suhvp" and "suhnp" of casual, quick "intensive purposes" and "intents 'n purposes" don't sound nearly as different as an A/B of standlone crisp renditions of "intensive" and "intents and". It just can't be reduced to phonemes out of context, and the much more marked difference between the written forms only distracts from what's actually going on acoustically.

There's a discenerable phonetic difference, yes. To anyone primed to listening for it (by a background/interest in phonetics, or familiarity with the troubled life of the idiom, or an expectaction that the speaker they're attending to is error-prone), it's particularly so. But to someone who isn't primed for the difference, and who is picking up the idiom from context while listening to someone else speak, it's not so big a difference at all.

And that's a huge, underappreciated key to many of these errors: language acquisition on the fly from limited examples in casual speech is an amazing feat, and it's impressive that folks don't fuck it up more often than they do.
posted by cortex at 3:17 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised to see Y Combinator mentioned as having given $25 Million when they are known for giving small sums to startups. Here is a snippet I found in the NYT article they link to:

because it's a joke?

Nevertheless, Y Combinator is basically a networking factory (and by 'networking' I mean socializing for business, not actual computer networking). These guys invest a few grand, introduce them to all their friends, and then get rich when people invest. I mean, it's kind of amazing right? They're basically getting equity for introductions.
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on August 12, 2008


Reminds me of stupid filter
posted by bonaldi at 3:35 PM on August 12, 2008


I once had a boss who was fond of saying "We have to nip this problem in the butt."
posted by subgear at 3:47 PM on August 12, 2008


1. I would like to buy cortex a bigger doughnut.

2. 'Intents and purposes' and 'intensive puropses' sound the same if you say them in a Thanveymuchlayzangennlemn Elvis accent.
posted by jack_mo at 3:52 PM on August 12, 2008


Homonymns?

Murphry's Law in effect right there.
posted by emelenjr at 3:58 PM on August 12, 2008


Satire or not, I'm thrilled I finally understand my job title. Until now I thought I was a marketing copywriter. Turns out I'm a Proprietary Language Processing Algorithms Engineer.
posted by jleisek at 4:11 PM on August 12, 2008


How does adding words hurt a language?

Sometimes it's just extremely dumb. Take "preplan". Please.
It even has a definition: To plan in advance.
Now do you really think, in your most batshitinsane dreams, that the old standby "plan" does not already suggest the notion of "in advance"?

"Regardless" already has the suffix "less", which means "without".
The redundant "ir" reverses the logical meaning. Some people could care less, but I haven't got no patience for this kind of nonsense.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:34 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


weapons-grade pandemonium: Did you intend to use "could care less" in irony?

"could care less" would mean that the subject is not the thing you care the least about

"couldn't care less" means that that the subject is the least of your cares — that there is no lesser
posted by blasdelf at 5:07 PM on August 12, 2008


"Very unique" is fine. People who complain about it, not so much.

First of all, "unique" is not always used in its absolutist sense. In fact, it has basically never been the case that "unique" was always used in its absolutist sense. And when it's not used in its absolutist sense, "very" is clearly a perfectly valid, meaningful, and nonredundant modifier.

Second, there are instances wherein it is used in an absolutist sense, but "very" is still meaningful. I can think of two broad types of examples off the top of my head:

(1) When comparing something that is unique to something else that is unique (or even to something that is close to unique). For example, Rickey Henderson's career number of runs scored is unique. The closest other player is Ty Cobb, with about 98% of Henderson's number.

Rickey Henderson's career number of stolen bases is also unique. The closest other player is Lou Brock; Henderson has half again as many stolen bases as Brock. That's very unique - Henderson's stolen base total reached "unique" long, long ago, and has since left mere "uniqueness" in the dust.

(2) When describing things that are unique in many different ways. For example, Rickey Henderson holds many unique records. He is, in this sense, very unique.
posted by Flunkie at 5:15 PM on August 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think it's safe to say it was ironic, yes.

On the other hand—and I would kick off a lengthy rant about the keening, formless noise that cuts through my mind when someone gets into this sort of GRRR RAWR peevery about the uselessness of useless word x, but I have an appointment to keep so, well, shucks—the beef with "preplan" is over-sold and silly.
posted by cortex at 5:15 PM on August 12, 2008


Mercy buckets for this great read! (That's French, you know.)
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:22 PM on August 12, 2008


That was brilliant.

I was totally falling for it until I came across the line "We've studied this for over a year." I didn't catch the name reference, but the more I read the more I realized it had to be fake. But I was thinking that it might have even been this "start up" taking VCs for a ride. Which, really, would have been even funnier; but this will do :)

In a way, it's a shame it got caught so quickly. I would have pissed myself laughing had it been picked up by various tech and silicon valley blogs as genuine.
posted by vertigo25 at 5:30 PM on August 12, 2008


That's French, you know

Nicht Verstehen
posted by Nick Verstayne at 5:33 PM on August 12, 2008


Did you intend to use "could care less" in irony?
Yes, blasdelf, I did. As with "haven't got no patience."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:11 PM on August 12, 2008


What next, software that automates the picking of scabs?
posted by mecran01 at 6:40 PM on August 12, 2008


inflammable/inflammable cleave/cleave my mind is explodian!

What gave it away to me was that no programmer has any more clue about passive/active voice than any english major about big/middle/little endianness.
posted by headless at 6:57 PM on August 12, 2008


Man, and I only got $50k in funding for StupidFilter so far. On the other hand, it wasn't fictional money.
posted by signalnine at 7:09 PM on August 12, 2008



How does adding words hurt a language?


Example: When the word "webinar" was added to the lexicon, everyone lost a fist-sized chunk of their soul.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:15 PM on August 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


I want a demo of this "middle-endian" computer.
posted by GuyZero at 7:54 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what? I blame it on people not reading enough. You would know what the words are if you fucking read them, you ignorant slobs!

I read the word 'epitome' as eppy-tome until I was twenty so it doesn't help that much. The weird thing is I pronounced it properly when I spoke, I just never made the connection between the two "separate" words that meant the same thing.
posted by minifigs at 1:37 AM on August 13, 2008


I want a demo of this "middle-endian" computer.

The PDP-11, arguably the most prominent 16-bit microcomputer, had some 32-bit instructions that operated on a little-endian pair of big-endian 16-bit words. Thus, the byte order in that addressing mode was 2-1-4-3 — middle-endian.

When you're implementing a CPU entirely in TTL, out of independent generic logic chips, it makes sense to do all sorts of odd design optimizations.
posted by blasdelf at 3:35 AM on August 13, 2008


> I read the word 'epitome' as eppy-tome until I was twenty so it doesn't help that much.
> The weird thing is I pronounced it properly when I spoke, I just never made the
> connection between the two "separate" words that meant the same thing.

Someone I know told me that he had that same experience with the word "misled." When speaking, he understood and used the word "miss-led" correctly. And when reading, he often saw the word "mizzled" --accent on the first syllable. As he pointed out, the sound of "mizzled" is very descriptive of the state.
posted by jfuller at 5:00 AM on August 13, 2008


I blame a childhood of reading alone
posted by minifigs at 6:11 AM on August 13, 2008


Jerry Brown, an very well read California politician some of you young folks might have heard of, once used the word "sigh-neck-doash" in an interview. The interviewer stopped him and asked if he meant "synecdoche". Jerry looked startled for a moment, and then said, "I've only read the word, I've never heard it pronounced." I thought, that's what dictionaries are for, no?

Now get off my lawn.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2008


I love how almost no one realized this was fake from the get-go, but then switched to CYA-mode- pretending they knew it all along.
posted by Zambrano at 11:00 AM on August 13, 2008


Apostrophree would presumably have changed that trailing hyphen to an emdash.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should of commented more on this thread.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 5:18 PM on August 22, 2008


Hello, Language Log!
posted by cortex at 10:38 AM on September 10, 2008


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