It has long been noted that style manuals and other usage advice frequently contain unintended examples of the usage they condemn. (This is sometimes referred to as Hartman's
law or Muphry's
law - an intentional misspelling of Murphy.)
Starting from this observation, Joseph Williams' paper The Phenomenology of Error
offers an examination of our selective attention to different types of grammatical and usage errors that goes beyond the descriptivism-prescriptivism debate. (alternate pdf
link for "The Phenomenology of Error") [more inside]
posted by nangar
on Nov 28, 2011 -
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq
on Apr 10, 2011 -
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works.
"There is evidence that a big part of AA’s effectiveness may have nothing to do with the actual (12) steps. It may derive from something more fundamental: the power of the group. The importance of this is reflected by the fact that the more deeply AA members commit to the group, rather than just the program, the better they fare." [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Jul 6, 2010 -
The Chroma Upsampling Error.
This incredibly detailed explanation of a common bug in DVD players will likely either bore you to tears or be gripping and utterly fascinating.
posted by 31d1
on May 13, 2008 -
Since Fox News wrongly identified a La Habra home as that of a terrorist,
its five- member family has faced an angry backlash. A FOX correspondent named an alleged terrorist connected with the July London bombings, and went so far as to provide the man's address (deep in the heart of the O.C.) "to help local police". Unfortunately, the address was three years out of date, and the current residents who have no connection whatsoever with the former occupant are being threatened, harassed by people driving by & yelling threats at them, and have had their home vandalized by a spectacular moron with a spray can. Full story here
(LA Times, use bugmenot
posted by jonson
on Aug 28, 2005 -