Pharyngula

This is my last day in California, and you people have filled up the cosmic thread I started here. You know there’s only one sentiment I can express here, and the words to this song are just perfect.

On the day I went away… goodbye…
Was all I had to say… now I…
I want to come again and stay… Oh my my…
Smile, and that will mean that I may

Cause I’ve seen blue skies, through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise.. I’m going home.

Everywhere it’s been the same… feeling…
Like I’m outside in the rain… wheeling…
Free, to try and find a game… dealing…
Cards for sorrow, cards for pain

Cause I’ve seen blue skies through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise.. I’m going home.

I’m going home, I’m going home.

My mascara is running. I can’t go on. You’ll all have to keep chattering away for me.

Comments

  1. #1 PaleGreenPants
    January 28, 2010

    This is the thread that never ends.
    It just goes on and on my friend.

  2. #2 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Dammit! I was trying to sneak that one over a thousand before you got up.

  3. #3 Azzimmov
    January 28, 2010

    And here we had no idea you were just a sweet transvestite…

  4. #4 Holytape
    January 28, 2010

    Have you ever tried to shoot the thread with a silver bullet?

    Sasquatch Jesus
    Nautileaster

  5. #5 SEF
    January 28, 2010

    @ Janine #2:

    Then you should have had the relevant locals in California lace PZ’s bed-time cocoa (or whatever).

  6. #6 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m going to whine just a little bit. No, I take that back, I’m going to whine a whole lot.

    On June 18th is the start of the biannual Newport (Rhode Island) to Bermuda sail boat race. This race usually takes four days, then there’s several days spent racing around Bermuda and another four or five days to bring the boat back home. I’ve been in the race every other year since 1978. I started out as a wincher and deck hand and worked my way to watch captain and navigator. In a previous thread I linked to a picture of me at the helm of a boat at the start of the 2000 race. I’ve been in the overall winning boat once, second place overall twice, and first place in class twice (not counting the overall win).

    Earlier this morning I saw my cardiologist. He doesn’t think I should do the Newport to Bermuda Race ever again. My wife agrees with him.

    Damn I hate getting old!

    In June I’ll be doing some serious sulking.

  7. #7 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    whoa…close call. Had this all formatted and ready to go in the groovy subThread and would have lost it if I hadn’t checked before posting. So here is some trans-subThread continuity:

    Hoookay, catching up on a long subThread, Marjanovi[fancy c]-style:

    re: vampires with canine fangs. The original cinematic depiction of a vampire (1921) had serious incisors. AFAIK Lugosi’s Dracula started the canine-fangs thing. Really an entirely different concept of the vampire.

    re: the Ross sisters: holy…freakin…shit. SfO’s mind would boggle.

    Bill Dauphin @#822: Thank you! for posting one of my all-time favorites. Best Dylan cover Evar? If only I had seen your post last night when I was stoned enough to really dig the vid.
    oo! Then SC with the ’88 Miracle…(Bobby was such a rockstar)
    AND Iko Iko [pedant's spelling] from Anaheim ’87! I was there…somewhere. Stadium shows suck. That was the tour with Dylan.

    its form points to a process very different from today’s Darwinian evolution

    This, in turn, would eventually have given way to a third stage of evolution in which genetic transfer became mostly vertical

    This bothers me. The idea of rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT) early in the history of life is very cool and has all kinds of very cool implications and is strongly supported by ever-increasing evidence, but I really do NOT see how it’s a challenge to “Darwinian evolution” in any way. Vertical GT (i.e., replication/reproduction) was always happening. And it was always differential, meaning that natural selection was always at work. HGT only provided another mechanism by which new genetic variation can be introduced into populations’ gene pools, which variation then can be sorted out by ordinary vertical/Darwinian mechanisms.
    Too much spin!!!

    it might be possible to map this behavior to that of some modern birds and thus indirectly provide evidence that birds and dinosaurs are behaviorally linked.

    Not far-fetched at all. If they were in fact T. rex eggs, then your interpretation seems probable. Extended parental care is found today in both birds and crocodilians, and via phylogenetic bracketing it is most parsimonious to infer that all dinosaurs (and pterosaurs) had it too (parallels the recent discussion of flow-through lungs). And there is plenty of fossil evidence supporting that hypothesis for a few dinosaur species.

    the fun-loving 60s rolled over into the sordid, depressing 70s

    For the quintessential dissertaion on this topic, see Thompson, H.S. (1972).

  8. #8 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I was counting on them to over serve PZ and keep him up late.

  9. #9 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010

    *breaks vinyl LP in half in front of pedantic audiophile*

  10. #10 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Like Sven (@7), I had this all ready to go on the other thread and almost lost it. Lucky for y’all (<snark>), I was able to rescue it from the aether, and I present it now for your enjoyment and delight:

    I’d probably be a lousy surfer, because I always seem to be a bit “behind the wave” of conversation around here, but regarding the prepositions-at-the-end-of-a-sentence thing, I agree that the blanket prohibition is apocryphal (the prohibition against splitting infinitives is another example of one of those schoolmarmish “rules” that isn’t really a rule, BTW), there are cases where putting a preposition at the end of a sentence is at least bad writing, if not an outright error. For example…

    That’s where I sleep at.

    In cases like this, the problem with the preposition at the end of the sentence is not that it shouldn’t be at the end of the sentence but that it shouldn’t be in the sentence: where I sleep is a perfectly adequate phrase; the at is unnecessary.

    It can also be awkward, if not flatly wrong, to split up at which. For instance, I would write…

    That’s the spot at which I crashed.

    …or…

    That’s the spot I crashed at.

    …but probably not…

    That’s the spot which I crashed at.

    Now, we could argue about whether these comments reflect actual correctness or, instead, editorial judgments about quality… but IMHO it doesn’t matter: Writing that’s awkward or ineffective should be avoided, regardless of its formal correctness. I like to think of myself as a grammar geek, but in fact I’m all about making the point using whatever structures and styles work to do so.

  11. #11 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010

    I dunno if there are any audiophile’s out there, but if there are, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell ya.

  12. #12 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Sorry to hear that, ‘Tis. :(

  13. #13 v.rosenzweig
    January 28, 2010

    “When I said ‘we’ I meant my most beautiful sister and myself.”

    They may not let you on the spaceship.

  14. #14 Lynna, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Damnit, PZ, your timing was infernally perfect! Just right to give me the “Comments not allowed” reply after I had filled the Leave a Comment box. I clicked “Submit” and was given the finger.

    Miki Z on the previous thread:

    Lynna,
         How long before BYU tells Daniels to give back his degree, do you think? Part of my childhood was spent on the BYU campus when both of my parents were students there. There is absolutely the feeling that it’s okay to let loose around members with things that would not be said in front of non-members.
         When I got engaged my family all felt the need to call me and tell me how relieved they were that I wasn’t gay, how worried they had been for me, how hard they had been praying, how awkward it had been to be around me. A few suggested that maybe getting married would clear up the ‘gay confusion’ I had been having. It took a careless aunt for me to find out that they thought my uncontrolled seizures were a mark and warning from God.
         It didn’t even occur to me to mention that my fiancee was notwhite (there’s only whites and notwhites, after all). “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” was much more kindly scripted.

    Jeeeezuss christ! Every time I think I have plumbed the depths of the cruelty inherent in mormondom, I find there is more. Sheesh. Seizures, and gay assumptions or assumptions of gaydom, and signs from god? God needs to take more care with his signs. If God does want you to be gay, he should manage without the seizures.

    And what do they care if you are gay? Oh, the horror, right? Even thinking it required 24-hour hard praying.

    Chad Hardy was excommunicated and his diploma surgically removed for simply creating calendars of shirtless mormon hunks. And this was before he featured the Mormon Muffins in all their bosomy, yeasty glory. So, yes, I think Daniel is in danger of excommunication and diploma-deflowering.

    But they’ll never get the BYU letter jacket back.

    Of course, you should apologize for making your mormon relatives feel awkward around you. Not.

    Mormons do say some odd things if they mistake you for one of them. Casting folks into Outer Darkness is one I’ve heard. The Us v. Them language gets a lot stronger.

  15. #15 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    I dunno if there are any audiophile’s out there

    not me!
    I mean, I don’t mind crystalline highs and gut-rumbling lows, and it’s not like I’m a big fan of hiss, noise, and distortion, But I find that if the music is good enough I don’t really even notice.

    I’ve subscribed to Downbeat for many years, and for a few months there they had an audiophile column in which this guy would presume to review high-end CD players. He claimed to hear all kinds of subtle differences, and even claimed that a CD player’s sound improved as it got “burned in.”

    woo, woo, woo

  16. #16 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Also, why, oh why, oh why do I keep mispelling ‘etymology’? At least I stopped mixing it up with Entomology when I was about 10. That would be really embarrassing…

    Those words bug me too.

    BS

  17. #17 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis (@6):

    Bummer, dude. I’m not a sailor myself, but sailing is something I dream about, and I envy those who get to do it. I stumbled across the Newport-to-Bermuda race on the web a couple years while looking for something else, and it looks like just an unspeakably cool thing to do. I’m so sorry you have lost that part of your life.

    Is there nothing to be done? Diet? Exercise? Transplant surgery? A new cardiologist? (I’m assuming a new wife is not it the cards!) Is the problem the degree of exertion involved in sailing, or just the remoteness from emergency care when you’re on the open sea?

  18. #18 SEF
    January 28, 2010

    My mascara is running.

    Well you shouldn’t use one which has all those little legs attached. Your squiddly sister Ursula knew how to keep her cosmetics under control.

  19. #19 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Aratina:
    “You don’t appear to know any words that would strip you of your humanity or any words that make your very existence the butt of jokes…”

    This is the best yet. After I have said clearly that the words I and others have used are such words. I have used them appropriately in context while others seem to see them as gratuitous insults. It’d be OK to criticise such insults if they weren’t hypocritically flinging insults back. What I have argued is that it’s wrong to censor. That is the clear message I took from the various prior discussions of this.
    I’m not forcing anyone to take me seriously, but, if you must criticise, please criticise what I do say rather than what I don’t. You know that is a strawman.

  20. #20 Miki Z
    January 28, 2010

    ? (watakushi)?? (watashi)
    Both written with the same character??? That’s cruel.

    Yes, both written with the same character. The written formalities are different from the spoken ones, so there’s only ambiguity here when reading aloud, not when reading for meaning. Reading aloud is hard. A recent encouragement of parents to their children to study their reading is “Don’t be a Taro”. This refers to Taro Aso (????) the previous Prime Minister who was well known for his difficulty in reading aloud. The opposition took the opportunity several times to have him read things in the parliament in order to embarrass him.

    ? survives meaning ‘self’ in several compound words and as a prefix with the same meaning (as a prefix it can also demonstrate familiarity and contempt).

    ? almost always means ‘private’ when it’s in a compound word. ???? (shiritsu-koukou) is private high school, for instance.

    politeness level / humility level (orthogonal concepts in Japanese)

    politeness depends on the relation between speaker and listener, humility on the relation between speaker and subject. It’s possible to be talking very casually about someone to whom you show deference (a boss, a teacher, a grandparent, etc.) or to be talking very politely about a friend, child, etc.

    When you’re both polite and humble, some of the verbs are replaced. Elevators tend to speak this way, using the verb ?? (mairu) instead of ?? (kuru, to come) and?? (iku, to go).

  21. #21 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Up to date.

    As noted, the previous subThread, although advertised as “mellow” and “groovy” was in fact frenetic. Almost 1000 comments in only 3 1/2 days? Out of hand and off the charts.
    I am working up some forecasts and they are already frightening me.

  22. #22 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    Still freaking out at comment 955.

    Fornication Under Command of the King

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Too bad that can’t be true. X-D

    I think that the eggs were T rex eggs

    No T. rex eggs are known. Eggs from China have, however, been attributed to close relatives.

    the sordid, depressing 70s

    They’ve been called “an epoch characterized by brutal ugliness”. I concur.

    But look on the bright side: it means that two threads from now, Ronald Reagan will ride in to save the day!

    In his bright white clothes? X-D

    ‘f*g’ is a colloquialism for cigarette; and, of course, ‘fanny’ does not refer to the same part of the anatomy in the UK as it does in the USA, so the term ‘fanny pack’ may lead to some raised eyebrows.

    And next time you want to say “to look for” in Czech or Slovak, don’t use the Polish word.

    re: vampires with canine fangs. The original cinematic depiction of a vampire (1921) had serious incisors.

    Indeed. I submit you didn’t follow the links I posted. :-)

    It can also be awkward, if not flatly wrong, to split up at which. For instance, I would write…

    I’d just write “that’s the spot where I crashed” had I ever crashed anywhere.

    (Disclaimer: I’ve done almost no driving.)

  23. #23 Paul
    January 28, 2010

    @David from the last thread

    and I remember how newfie once insisted that bitch (or was it whore even?) was gender-neutral in Newfoundland and truth machine spent a hundred comments on how he just couldn’t believe that.

    Newfie was well-aware that the term was not gender-neutral to everyone. He’s really one of the worse examples you could pick, as I noted when I linked to the thread in question from the previous unending thread. He is no different than eddie has been the last day or two, just deliberately not getting what we are saying and throwing “cunt” around to prove they won’t give in to the evil censorship machine (which nobody was proposing in the first place).

    On the other hand, I can readily attest that bitch was gender-neutral to me until somewhere in high school. I had no idea the referent was gendered. But instead of insisting I should be able to use it in any situation without being called on sexist implications by people who have no idea what referent I have in mind, I simply pick more fitting/descriptive/clear terms now. There is no excuse for Newfie/eddie style meltdowns. It’s unsightly and shows a complete lack of introspection.

  24. #24 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010
  25. #25 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Yes, I know, that’s not what you wanted to hear. I still think my criticism is valid. No-one has even tried to honestly argue against them. Pretending I’m saying something else doesn’t cut it as anyone can read the original comments.

    Should I conclude that the creo-bashing is all you can do? (Argument-wise. The science and tunes are still wonderful.) That’s too easy. I want more of a challenge. I’d hoped for better from OMs aplenty. I’m sadly disappointed.

  26. #26 toth
    January 28, 2010

    On the day I went away… goodbye…
    Was all I had to say… now I…
    I want to come again and stay… Oh my my…
    Smile, and that will mean that I may I’m gay

    Cause I’ve seen blue skies this movie, through the tears
    In my eyes
    way too many times
    And I realise.. I’m going home fucking stoned.

    [Where's your rash, Frankie?]
    Everywhere it’s been the same… feeling…
    [What's it like when you cum?]
    Like I’m outside in the rain… wheeling…
    Free, to try and find a game… dealing…
    Cards for sorrow, cards for pain

    Cause I’ve seen blue skies through the tears
    In my eyes
    And I realise.. I’m going home fucking stoned.

    I’m going home, I’m going home.

    Man, now I want to go to a RHPC again.

  27. #27 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010
  28. #28 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    I submit you didn’t follow the links I posted

    ah, no, just clicked the first. Second was cryptic.

  29. #29 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    politeness depends on the relation between speaker and listener, humility on the relation between speaker and subject. It’s possible to be talking very casually about someone to whom you show deference (a boss, a teacher, a grandparent, etc.) or to be talking very politely about a friend, child, etc.

    OIC. Thanks.

  30. #30 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Thanks, SC and Bill, for your sympathy.

    I have stable angina caused by coronary artery disease. It’s controlled by diet and medicine but it can lead to a heart attack. The doctor thinks it’s not a good idea for me to be several days away from medical treatment “just in case.”

  31. #31 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010

    I mean, I don’t mind crystalline highs and gut-rumbling lows, and it’s not like I’m a big fan of hiss, noise, and distortion, But I find that if the music is good enough I don’t really even notice.

    Nothing wrong with wanting it to sound good. (I think before “finalizing” their mixes, the pros will take their mixes and play it in their cars and on cheap speakers and stuff to make sure everything sounds good on any system they are played.)

    But yeah, there is the audio equivalent of homeopaths out there spending good money on the most ridiculous contraptions that don’t actually do nothin.

  32. #32 Lynna, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Earlier this morning I saw my cardiologist. He doesn’t think I should do the Newport to Bermuda Race ever again. My wife agrees with him. Damn I hate getting old!

    That just fucking sucks, ‘Tis.
    Start losing weight and see if you can forestall the inevitable for one more year.

    Maybe it’s a good thing to be so poor that I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I will not be prevented from dying with a rock hammer in my hand.

    Microraptor proves ancient origin of bird flight

    “The controversy was that these animals couldn’t spread their hind-wings to glide,” said Burnham. “But we’ve been able to articulate the bones in their hip socket to show that they could fly.”

  33. #33 Celtic_Evolution
    January 28, 2010

    from the “mellow thread”, eddie –

    I have never claimed criticism = censorship. I have responded to criticism and got told to shut up and go away. That part is censorship. If you object, take it up with them.

    Pure, unmitigated BULLSHIT, and a lame attempt at redirection.

    You were told to fuck off. And then you decided immediately to redirect by trying to compare “fuck” to “cunt” you disingenuous piece of shit. If you think you’re being censored every time you say something stupid and are told to fuck off, you very likely lead a very tragically censored life.

    Nobody here even once tried to “censor” you. And your attempt at trying to paint it that way is pretty pathetic.

    You said something stupid. You continue to defend it with stupidity. Fuck off.

  34. #34 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    Second was cryptic.

    It referred, obliquely, to this, IIRC.

  35. #35 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010
  36. #36 SEF
    January 28, 2010

    Two more factors in the increasing rate of posting on the never-ending thread(s):

    1. Having a target. Things were slower when no-one was even counting. Things speed up a bit when people are trying to reach a thread “new-page” (and are willing to post any old nonsense to get there).

    2. Having no topic. The original thread(s) had a moderately well-defined topic. So, mostly only people who had something to say on that topic would post on the thread. (Eg not having seen / heard / read or whatever verb is appropriate “The Watchmen”, I stayed out of things.) As an officially Open Thread, the never-ending thread attracts much of the random stuff which previously went onto other threads-of-the-day as off-topic posts.

  37. #37 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    I will not be prevented from dying with a rock hammer in my hand.

    Keep holding the hammer!
    ? Klingon proverb

    “The controversy was that these animals couldn’t spread their hind-wings to glide,” said Burnham. “But we’ve been able to articulate the bones in their hip socket to show that they could fly.”

    That I want to see. At the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in 2008, they simply took the thighbones out of the hip sockets and placed them next to the hip bones again, leaving no space for the very muscles that would have pulled the legs up? ouch, ouch, ouch.

  38. #38 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    This is the best yet. After I have said clearly that the words I and others have used are such words. I have used them appropriately in context while others seem to see them as gratuitous insults. It’d be OK to criticise such insults if they weren’t hypocritically flinging insults back.

    So you have nothin? You don’t belong to or identify with any discriminated-against minority group and don’t know what it is like, right?

    What I have argued is that it’s wrong to censor. That is the clear message I took from the various prior discussions of this.

    Is being told to go away an act of censorship? Hey eddie *knock knock knock*, why don’t we invite Stormfront on over to the neverending thread?

    I’m not forcing anyone to take me seriously, but, if you must criticise, please criticise what I do say rather than what I don’t. You know that is a strawman.

    You said:

    Codes in the context of football refers to the distinction between rugby football and association football (that some utter cunt decided to abbreviate as ‘soccer’). [emphasis added]

    It is now a matter of public record. Is your last name Blankenhorn?

  39. #39 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    Anastomosation doesn’t seem to be a factor. The topic of the other thread petered out very quickly.

  40. #40 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    A song not really about sailing but close:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlVNod_krsM&feature=related

  41. #41 Kausik Datta
    January 28, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood: (in the last subthread)-

    It seems pretty unambiguous to me that the word is a pretty nasty slur with distinct misogynist undertones. I think that it is best avoided… (On a side note, I cannot imagine what kind of misogynist moron first came up with the idea of using the [to my mind, at least] rather wonderful female genitalia as an insult.)

    Oh, absolutely. Ditto to all that. But to me, our misogynistic moron seems to have been a reproductive organ-ist! Why, there are so many other perfectly legitimate organs to be used as swear-words or words of abuse! For example, “eddie is such a bile-duct, full of bilious bitterness…”

    Janine: Please assure me that you accepted my apology for calling ulcer on your gastric mucosa in the last subthread (even if you did not notice it, I still felt bad).

    Gregory Greenwood

    a bonnet is the same as a hood unless you are actually referring to headware; a boot is the equivilent equivalent of a trunk; lorry is a term for a heavy goods vehicle; a truck is akin to a lorry and not an abbreviation of ‘pickup truck’; ‘f*g’ is a colloquialism for cigarette; and, of course, ‘fanny’ does not refer to the same part of the anatomy in the UK as it does in the USA, so the term ‘fanny pack’ may lead to some raised eyebrows.

    Having been educated in India, the English that we learnt was essentially British, and I have grown up with ‘bonnet’, ‘boot’, ‘footpath’ or ‘pavement’ (the American sidewalk), ‘lorry’, and so forth. We were also taught US and UK-variants of spellings of various words, as well as chiefly Brit system of grammar. Your comments brought back a wave of nostalgia.

  42. #42 Brownian, OM
    January 28, 2010

    That seriously blows, ‘Tis. I can only imagine your disappointment, and echo Lynna’s sentiment that there might be something you can do to persuade them that one more year would be worth trying for. (On the other hand, I’m sure I’m not the only one around here who would be very sorry if you weren’t able to comment any longer, so stay safe.)

    Perhaps the silver lining is that you won’t be tempting fate by sailing into the dreaded Bermuda Triangle!

  43. #43 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis,

    Aging sucks. I turn 50 next month. You know, I can still do everything I used to do. It just hurts a whole lot more, and I take forever to heal. Take care of the ticker.

  44. #44 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010
  45. #45 Lynna, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Here’s hoping the financially troubled Salt Lake Tribune is not bought by mormons. We need journalist Robert Kirby to keep the numbers straight. In Crunching Zion’s numbers Kirby hits several high notes, including these:

    We’re back. After more than a decade of decline, LDS population numbers in Utah have rebounded. We’re not talking a small percentage either.
         It’s more like teensy or, itty bitty, or, as the story penned by my esteemed Tribune colleague Matt Canham put it, “miniscule.” Some might even refer to the increase by a mathematical form of measurement known as “imaginary.”
         In 2009, the percentage of Mormons in Utah rose by 0.0005 percent….No one — including the people doing the counting — is exactly sure how the extra 0.0005 percent of Mormons was arrived at. Demographers say tax records, church attendance and “other” sources. Maybe they noticed a bump in ice cream sales….
         Far from prying eyes, Mormons got busy with polygamy. Forty years later, while the average American family consisted of 3.8 children, in Utah it was 16.5 offspring — per wife.
         But even with related population enhancement programs such as the Perpetual Immigration Fund, missionary work and frequent but impromptu “apostate hunts,” Utah was never more than 89.049001 percent LDS….
         But Mormon numbers really tanked in 1896. The outlawing of polygamy made it impossible to keep up with migration. Non-Mormons began arriving in Utah faster than we could reproduce. When it comes to boosting your numbers, there’s only so much one man and one woman can do.
         Even with the shorter life expectancy rates of non-Mormons — thanks in part to abortion [sarcasm], smoking, drunk driving, and the generally debilitating effects of liberal politics — it wasn’t long before the balance of power shifted.
         Today, Zion is a measly 60.4 percent LDS. But tomorrow, with the way things are going, who knows? It could be 60.401 percent.

    Even with only 60.4 percent of the population, white mormon dudes are still 85 percent of the elected officials.
    Still, it’s not exactly the “church growing by leaps and bounds” is it?

  46. #46 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Kausik Datta, the first time I read that, I did not take it as an insult. It was a play of making insults out of body parts. I laughed. There is no need to apologize. Do not feel bad about it.

    Now if we were in disagreement over an issue, I still would have laughed because you were showing some creativity.

  47. #47 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Second was cryptic.
    It referred, obliquely,…

    No, I meant ‘cryptic’ in the ecological sense: camouflaged. I didn’t see it. Two one-word links posted in juxtaposition looks exactly like a single two-word link. What I meant.

  48. #48 Lynna, OM
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis @40: Wow, I love that song. I just fucking love it.

  49. #49 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    Yeah ‘Tis, that’s depressing and difficult to adjust to.

  50. #50 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 28, 2010

    Trivia about Rocky Horror:

    It takes place on the date of Nixon’s resignation–the speech is playing on the radio as they are driving near the castle. Also, the newspaper is the Cleaveland Plain Dealer with headline NIXON RESIGNS!

    Why, yes, I have seen it before. Why do you ask?

  51. #51 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis, sorry to hear that your doctor recommends against the sail boat race. Bummer.

  52. #52 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis, Bummer, man. I’m in/out of the same boat. Used to spend months in my sailing sleep-aboard sea kayak. For me the show stopper is a sleep disorder. At least it doesn’t hurt. Physically.

    BS

  53. #53 Jadehawk, OM
    January 28, 2010

    oh for fucks sake, do we really need to explain everything to you like to a 5-year-old, eddie?

    no one gives a flying fuck about profanities. what matters is whether the words you use to insult people are words that de-humanize. so “frog” is not a profanity, but it dehumanizes the french, so you’ll get your ass kicked for using it around here. “cunt” is a profanity AND dehumanizing to women, so you’re also going to get your ass kicked for it. “fuck” on the other hand is a perfectly respectable old English word (can’t remember if the origin is latin or germanic, though) that has merely descended into profanity with time. it doesn’t dehumanize anyone, regardless of what the anti-fuck propaganda you’ve so clearly swallowed has to say about it.

  54. #54 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    The doctor thinks it’s not a good idea for me to be several days away from medical treatment “just in case.”

    Aw, that’s it? “Just in case”? Fuckin dox.
    Live, man! Seize the carp! Take your aspirin, bring a little nitro along, and get a new doctor.

    (now the wife’s agreement is a harder problem…)

    p.s. you probably know that Crosby is an inveterate sailor

  55. #55 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 28, 2010

    I still get tripped up on familial nouns (which differ by age and whether it is the speaker’s family) and politeness level / humility level (orthogonal concepts in Japanese).

    I tend to replace those things with English equivalent if I can, but often I cannot.

    On the plus side, I speak the only language [citation needed] in that family group that isn’t tonal. Well, most of the Mon-Khmer languages have poorly developed tonality anyways with exception to the Vietic languages.

  56. #56 leepicton
    January 28, 2010

    Hey there, ‘Tis.

    It’s a bummer you can’t sail any more, but you have wonderful memories to enjoy and Mrs. Tis would probably like to keep you around for awhile. Your doctor is right. If you have a heart attack, that first half hour is critical. When the husbeast had his, he did a faceplant right in front of me and the emergency squad, which arrived in less than 10 minutes, said he would have died from from his left ventricular descending blockage (otherwise known as “the widowmaker”), without immediate aid. Husbeast also sailed in a smaller class than yours in the Governor’s cup in Maryland. Twice. The second time was so exciting with the spinnaker up and a tail wind blowing them down the Chesapeake at, no lie, 14 knots. The swells would pick up the boat and they could surf them on the downside. After that he retired, saying there was no sailing experience that could ever top that and he was not going to look for it. Now that he is slowly becoming paralyzed, he has no regrets, and speaks fondly, if somtimes wistfully, about his (and ours) sailing days. Treasure your memories.

  57. #57 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Arantia Cage:

    why don’t we invite Stormfront on over to the neverending thread?

    Somewhat ironically, Stormfront is heavily censored. They want to maintain a family friendly atmosphere. Word.

    BS

  58. #58 Nick
    January 28, 2010

    And here I thought I was recovering from having Rocky Horror songs stuck in my head. Thanks ever so much, PZ.

    I remember… doing the Time Warp… drinking those moments when…

  59. #59 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Paul:
    “He is no different than eddie has been the last day or two, just deliberately not getting what we are saying and throwing “cunt” around to prove they won’t give in to the evil censorship machine (which nobody was proposing in the first place).”

    It’s very clear what people have been saying. What you are saying seems to not address any argument I have made. At least SC straight up admitted that they don’t accept ‘fuck’ is just as offensive as ‘cunt’. I contend that they are equally offensive, and equally gendered; as the evidence presented supports. Fair enough that we disagree. I have never said they or anyone else should shut up and go away, or that ‘this is _our_ community. play by _my_ rules’.

    OMs continue to attack me for positions I don’t hold or, absurdly, for positions that others hold, I will have to keep trying to make myself clear. Your “censorship (which nobody was proposing)”, to paraphrase, is simply dishonest.

  60. #60 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    can’t remember if the origin is latin or germanic, though

    Oh, Anglo-Saxon all the way. You can hear the germanicism every time it’s uttered; perhaps the quintessential A-S word.

    I have not looked into any etymology theories, but it’s always been pretty obvious to me that it’s semi-onomatopoetic, just like the Yiddish “shtup.”

  61. #61 Jadehawk, OM
    January 28, 2010

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/science_channel_refuses_to_dumb/?

    and with this link, I’m off to play in the snow. I shall have to catch up to everything this evening.

  62. #62 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis (@30):

    The doctor thinks it’s not a good idea for me to be several days away from medical treatment “just in case.”

    Ah, I was afraid it was the remoteness thing. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of recruiting your cardiologist to crew for you? Or perhaps finding a boat full of cardiologists to skipper? Or is it more a matter of facilities/equipment than access to a doctor?

    Re #40: I can’t/don’t hit YouTube links from work, so I can only guess. Don’t groan, but what’s coming to mind is Jimmy Buffet: “The Captain and the Kid,” perhaps? Maybe (given the aging theme) “A Pirate Looks at 40″?

    Mother, mother ocean,
    I have heard your call.
    I’ve wanted to sail
    Upon your waters
    Since I was three feet tall.
    You’ve seen it all;
    You’ve seen it all.

  63. #63 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    MrFire, that was just sick and wrong.

    Do you mean about the comment @953? I don’t know if you were truly pissed off at me, but if so, please don’t be – I was just being sarcastic.

    If it was about comment 959, I apologize for any offence caused. In my mind, it was just a silly story we could all laugh at. But I’ll take my lumps if you think it was too crass.

  64. #64 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Hmmm… per Sven’s comment…

    p.s. you probably know that Crosby is an inveterate sailor

    …I’m guessing that my previous guess (@62) was wrong. New guess: “Wooden Ships,” CSN? If so, I second Lynna:

    Wow, I love that song. I just fucking love it.

  65. #65 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Sorry about that MrFire, I meant that to be funny with a serious edge. And it was to #953, you stuck an other comment in while I was putting my statement together.

  66. #66 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    can’t remember if the origin is latin or germanic, though

    Well, as I’m sure you know, there’s German ficken, so if it’s Latin, it came in really early, and I can’t imagine from what.

    On the plus side, I speak the only language [citation needed] in that family group that isn’t tonal. Well, most of the Mon-Khmer languages have poorly developed tonality anyways with exception to the Vietic languages.

    I wanted to look it up, but I’m too lazy?

  67. #67 bastion of sass
    January 28, 2010

    Attn: Baltimore Pharyngula Fans

    Tomorrow’s the day for the first gathering of the Baltimore Pharyngula Fans group. (That’s Friday, 1/28 for those of you who tend to lose track of such things.)

    Brewer’s Art, approx. 5:30-8:30 PM. Look for the Sign of the Squid. Or for the folks eating babies.

  68. #68 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Thanks for the link, Jadehawk.

    Debbie Myers, general manager of the Science Channel, said the cable station has maintained a balance of 5 percent science content and 95 percent mind-numbing drivel over the past few years, and that this was as far as they were willing to go.

    …Officials also noted that the cable channel greatly values the 18- to 45-year-old demographic of louts, clods, and empty-headed dumb fucks.

    That’s you, eddie!

  69. #69 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    ‘this is _our_ community. play by _my_ rulesDon’t be surprised if violating its norms for no good reason pisses people off

    FTFY

  70. #70 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    I contend that [fuck and cunt] are equally offensive, and equally gendered

    On what basis?

  71. #71 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    Well, as I’m sure you know, there’s

    Though the vowel correspondence is mysterious. To me anyway.

    I’m off to play in the snow.

    This is close to the level where the tears of envy would break through.

  72. #72 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Jadehawk, OM @53. That’s an actual argument. At last! Not sure I disagree. I will read up on what you think I misunderstand of the etymology.

    Blind Squirrel, FCD:
    “Somewhat ironically, Stormfront is heavily censored.”
    It’s only ironic if you knee-jerk assume you’re the good guys. Aratina and others seem to think so. Observation indicates otherwise.

    Aratina:
    “So you have nothin? You don’t belong to or identify with any discriminated-against minority group and don’t know what it is like, right?”
    I’m a member of at least three oppressed (to varying degrees, only one of which I think I can do much about) minorities; covering politics, ethnicity and disability.
    Difference is: I don’t pretend that banning words does anything to help. In fact, such behaviour is giving support to the oppressors. That’s what _they_ do, as we seen clearly in the other thread. I thought you guys would get that, but it seems too uncomfortable; like holding up a mirror.

  73. #73 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Yawn, Eddie still hasn’t figured out that we don’t give a shit about is inane and wrong opinions. That show a deep lack of intelligence, cogency, and demonstrates his over inflated ego. Eddie: 1) admit you are wrong. 2) apologize for taking up our time. 3) retire from Pharyngula for a couple of days. When you get back, follow the unofficial code of word usage.

  74. #74 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    leepicton #56

    It’s a bummer you can’t sail any more

    I can still sail. I just won’t be doing any more long distance racing.

    My father taught me how to sail when I was 8. The day I stop sailing is the day I start to die.

  75. #75 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m a member of at least three oppressed (to varying degrees, only one of which I think I can do much about) minorities; covering politics, ethnicity and disability.

    And how would you feel if we were to think nothing of using a word that deliberately insults your politics, ethnicity, or disability? Would you enjoy reading the comments if we casually used words here that made you feel like an outsider? That is, to us the words would be like fun insults but to you they would be you.

  76. #76 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010
  77. #77 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    New, bold predictions from the International Journal of Thread Studies just released.

  78. #78 Walton
    January 28, 2010

    no one gives a flying fuck about profanities. what matters is whether the words you use to insult people are words that de-humanize. so “frog” is not a profanity, but it dehumanizes the french, so you’ll get your ass kicked for using it around here.

    Now that’s just silly. I agree with you that Eddie is behaving like an idiot, and that the word “c**t” is offensive. But calling a Frenchman a “Frog” is certainly not a seriously offensive epithet. It might have been so in the eighteenth century, but today it would never be used as more than a joke insult. It’s no more serious than an Australian referring to me as a “pom”.

  79. #79 boygenius
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis, thanks for the link @40. I haven’t heard that song in years. Hearing it now finally motivated me to look up the meaning of “sailing a reach before a following sea” which has had this land-lubber puzzled for decades.

  80. #80 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Aratina @70:
    “On what basis?”

    On the basis of the long history of gender inequality. I accept the current usage to be gender neutral, but that is a recent development. I said earlier that it referred to ‘something a man does _to_ a woman. Has all that misogyny not happened, or did the word evolve in isolation? Other people were demanding an awareness of historic context and I was trying to meet that demand consistently.

  81. #81 Miki Z
    January 28, 2010

    Jeeeezuss christ! Every time I think I have plumbed the depths of the cruelty inherent in mormondom, I find there is more. Sheesh. Seizures, and gay assumptions or assumptions of gaydom, and signs from god? God needs to take more care with his signs. If God does want you to be gay, he should manage without the seizures.

    They took this interpretation from scripture. Since I have complex partial seizures, and they weren’t diagnosed until well into adulthood, I lost a lot of time to amnesia and did not know why. The story of how to get prayers answered is that you ask and God will blank out your mind if the idea is wicked or wrong. So obviously I must have been having some seriously wicked thoughts.

    Oops. If my family had not insisted on this, maybe I could have gotten medical help a decade earlier.

    Chad Hardy was excommunicated and his diploma surgically removed for simply creating calendars of shirtless mormon hunks. And this was before he featured the Mormon Muffins in all their bosomy, yeasty glory. So, yes, I think Daniel is in danger of excommunication and diploma-deflowering.

    Yes, this is what I was thinking about. I’m glad my degrees are from public universities.

    Mormons do say some odd things if they mistake you for one of them. Casting folks into Outer Darkness is one I’ve heard. The Us v. Them language gets a lot stronger.

    Which is ironic, because when I was growing up, the only folks at risk of Outer Darkness were the apostate apostles. Non-Mormons simply didn’t have enough information to fulfill the requirements to get there.

  82. #82 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Walton (@78):

    But calling a Frenchman a “Frog” is certainly not a seriously offensive epithet.

    I wonder? Is it more like calling an American (by which I mean someone from the U.S., as opposed to all the other occupants of the Americas) a Yank (i.e., breezily casual, but not particularly offensive), or is it more like calling an Italian (or Italian-American) a wop or a dago (which will put you at risk for physical conflict if you do it in meatspace)? And I couldn’t even begin to guess whether (or to what degree) a Canadian would find Canuck offensive.

    But the larger point, made at the Shakesville post linked in the previous subThread, is that if you have to ask yourself the question, you should presume that it’s offensive and behave accordingly. That doesn’t necessarily mean hyperintense self-censorship; it only means be prepared to own the consequences of what you say.

    And if somebody tells you they’re offended by something (eddie), don’t argue with them. None of us gets to choose what somebody else is offended by.

  83. #83 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    It might have been so in the eighteenth century, but today it would never be used as more than a joke insult.

    Actually, the context in which I’ve heard it is in hockey, referring to French-Canadian players. Whether there is active discrimation against F-Cs in the sport now I have no idea, but being called that by other players can’t be fun and people have responded angrily.

  84. #84 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    And I couldn’t even begin to guess whether (or to what degree) a Canadian would find Canuck offensive.

    Might depend on which Canadian.

  85. #85 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    That was a weird coincidence. The hockey thing, I mean.

  86. #86 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Arrgh! This clue…

    Hearing it now finally motivated me to look up the meaning of “sailing a reach before a following sea”

    …invalidates my previous guess (@64), but I don’t recognize the line. I guess I’ll just have to wait ’til this evening, when I can check the link for myself.

  87. #87 SteveM
    January 28, 2010

    Ah, I was afraid it was the remoteness thing. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of recruiting your cardiologist to crew for you? Or perhaps finding a boat full of cardiologists to skipper? Or is it more a matter of facilities/equipment than access to a doctor?

    My guess would be the facilities/equipment thing. Even if you took along a portable defribrillator, I’d think you’d still want an ICU to follow it up. (I would, anyway). Not to mention clot buster drugs and the skill to administer it.

    But, still, Tis’, he’s not saying you can’t sail, just not this race.

  88. #88 Miki Z
    January 28, 2010

    And I couldn’t even begin to guess whether (or to what degree) a Canadian would find Canuck offensive.

    I was quite surprised the first time I encountered a Canadian offended by this. The Vancouver Canucks is a major league hockey team, even. Still, I just apologized and we moved on with no harm. I guess I could have explained to them how wrong they were to try and censor me, but why? “Canadian” gets the job done too.

  89. #89 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    #32 Lynna OM said:

    I will not be prevented from dying with a rock hammer in my hand.

    Sounds like an excellent idea. Means I’d have a way to get attention if they put me in the coffin too early – not enough room to get a good swing on a sledge unfortunately …

  90. #90 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Bill, I’ll tell you if you’d like…

  91. #91 Walton
    January 28, 2010

    Bill,

    I wonder? Is it more like calling an American (by which I mean someone from the U.S., as opposed to all the other occupants of the Americas) a Yank (i.e., breezily casual, but not particularly offensive), or is it more like calling an Italian (or Italian-American) a wop or a dago (which will put you at risk for physical conflict if you do it in meatspace)?

    In my experience, much closer to the former than the latter. The epithet “Frog” is very rarely even used at all any more, and I’ve never known any French person to be offended by it.

    I hasten to add that there are plenty of other pejorative terms for European nationalities which I would never use. For example, I, as a Briton, would consider it offensive to call a German a “Kraut” – if nothing else, because the term is associated with two brutal wars we fought with them. It’s all about historical context.

    And if somebody tells you they’re offended by something (eddie), don’t argue with them. None of us gets to choose what somebody else is offended by.

    I agree with that. If a French person turns up here and expresses their deep offence at the word “frog”, then I will gladly apologise and retract my comments. But to my knowledge, no one here has actually expressed personal offence at the term; it was simply being used as a rhetorical example.

    SC,

    Actually, the context in which I’ve heard it is in hockey, referring to French-Canadian players. Whether there is active discrimation against F-Cs in the sport now I have no idea, but being called that by other players can’t be fun and people have responded angrily.

    Fair enough. The word might be considered more offensive by French-Canadians than by the European French; as we’ve established, the offensiveness of a given epithet depends very much on cultural context and local history. If this proves to be the case, then, again, I apologise to anyone who is offended by it.

  92. #92 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    The story of how to get prayers answered is that you ask and God will blank out your mind if the idea is wicked or wrong.

    And where does that idea come from???

    (Also, it’s blockquteo day. Best typo so far.)

  93. #93 boygenius
    January 28, 2010

    Janine @801 in the previous thread:

    Howard Zinn died today.

    :( :( :(

    I can directly point to Peoples History as the foundation of my current socio/political worldview. Oh, well. At least he had a good long innings.

    To add insult to injury, J.D. Salinger died today as well.

  94. #94 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Sven (@84):

    Yah, I thought about the hockey team just after I hit Submit… but then again, a word’s use as a sports team nickname doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not offensive. After all, the… umm, gridiron team in my nation’s capital is called the Redskins.

  95. #95 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    eddie@80:

    I said earlier that [fuck] referred to ‘something a man does _to_ a woman.

    Even if you had historical evidence for that, it would not matter today. The sexual definition does not describe some act that only people with penises can do. It takes two to tango (gender is irrelevant).

  96. #96 Walton
    January 28, 2010

    Looking at my post at #91, I posted it too soon without hitting “Preview”, and have realised that some of it is not very well-phrased. Given the sensitivity of the subject matter, I’d like to reiterate that I mean no offence – to the French, Germans or anyone else – and my discussion of these epithets is intended to be, so far as possible, purely academic.

    And I would also like to clarify that I totally disagree with Eddie; I’ve said on many occasions that I don’t support the use of the word “c**t”. We’ve established that a lot of people find it deeply offensive; that offensiveness may depend to some extent on cultural context and the speaker’s variant of English, but that doesn’t excuse people from the duty to consider the impact of their words. And considering that “c**t” is rarely used as anything other than a gratuitous insult, I don’t see why anyone would “need” to use it. It’s not helpful to go out of one’s way to abuse and insult others for no reason, just to proclaim “look how un-PC and controversial I can be!”

  97. #97 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Salamanders and newts take great offense at being called “frogs,” whereas toads are used to it and don’t really care that much. Oh, one might pee on you if you’re holding it at the time, but that’s about it, and they usually do that anyway.

    While on the subject, ,i>never refer to a caecilian as a “worm.” I did that once.

    Once.

  98. #98 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 28, 2010

    What’s everyone’s take on the word “loaf”

  99. #99 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    Hi ‘Tis

    Sorry to hear you are having to drop out of yachting. There is always “the ship of the desert” …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dceQWR_HMOg

  100. #100 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    Sorry about that MrFire, I meant that to be funny with a serious edge.

    *wipes brow*

    I was kinda thinking you did, but since eddie turned the thread into a tinderbox, I just wanted to wave my white flag high and clear :)

  101. #101 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    a word’s use as a sports team nickname doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not offensive

    That’s for sure.

    *almost resists temptation to make up a team like the Queensland Quims or something like that only funnier and more ofensive*

  102. #102 --PatF
    January 28, 2010

    Slightly different….

    The UK doctor who was one of the chief critics of MMR vaccines has been disciplined by the UK General Medical Council.

    They said that Dr. Andrew Wakefield “showed a ‘callous disregard’ for children’s suffering and abused his position of trust.

    They also said he acted dishonestly and was misleading and irresponsible.

    I guess that sometimes the woo-meisters do get their comeuppance.

    MMR Debate

  103. #103 eddie
    January 28, 2010

    Aratina:
    “And how would you feel if we were to think nothing of using a word that deliberately insults your politics, ethnicity, or disability?”

    I had already answered that when I said I don’t believe banning words helps I remember being bullied at primary school for not having 20-20 vision and I have never demanded the word ‘speccy’ be removed from the dictionary. No. The resolution was to address the behaviour and attitudes of the bullies (who didn’t really care what issue they used).

    More trivially, I have on this site, if not pharyngula, reacted to the use of the word ‘sinister’, by pointing out that it basically means left-handed. ( The historic context to that includes accusations of witchcraft, even murders of children, as well as my personal experience of being made to act normal.)
    I even think I asked the person not to use that word, but never went ape-shit or wanted it removed from the dictionary or asked for it’s use to be a cause for banning.

  104. #104 boygenius
    January 28, 2010

    Rev. BDC #98;

    I enjoy pinching them off regularly.

  105. #105 SteveV
    January 28, 2010

    On a whole new level of offensiveness, I have just watched a Channel 4 (UK) report from Afghanistan.
    It included footage of women who have set themselves on fire to escape abusive husbands. The burns unit doctor interviewed said the cases were reaching his hospital at a rate of 5 a week. They are often prevented from seeking early medical care by the families ‘as punishment’.
    Sometimes I’m ashamed of my sex.

  106. #106 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    I even think I asked the person not to use that word, but never went ape-shit or wanted it removed from the dictionary or asked for it’s use to be a cause for banning.

    Keep digging, dude. I’ve stayed out of the wordwars but please do note that, of the four alternative reactions listed, the last 3 are strawmen. Strawfigures.

    You were asked not to use the word in question (you are not a dictionary, right? it can stay in there) in the way you used it, and any calls for your banning resulted from your stupid and interminable reaction to that request.

  107. #107 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    I even think I asked the person not to use that word,

    OK, that was funny.

  108. #108 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    #53 Jadehawk OM

    Origin of “fuck”?

    Oxford English Dictionary (Concise): 16th century, unknown origin.

    Collins: 16th century, Germanic. Classified by Collins to be Taboo.

    IANAE (I Am Not An Etymologist) but it sounds more likely to be Germanic (but who knows what its ultimate origin was).

  109. #109 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    First 100 comments in this subThread were in just under 3 hours. This is madness.

    20534 or something like that

  110. #110 Paul
    January 28, 2010

    Difference is: I don’t pretend that banning words does anything to help.

    Nor does anyone else. This is why I keep calling you on conflating criticism with censorship. You’re either accusing people here of censorship when they tell you you’re a lout for using certain terms, or you’re attacking a strawman. You can pick which, I suppose, but neither is flattering. People judge you by your word choice. Film at 11.

    Walton, you know that even if you asterisk out letters in a word we still know what you’re saying, right? What’s the point? You’re obviously using the term “cunt” for illustrative purposes, as opposed to using it to denigrate someone. There’s no need for the AIM style self-censorship.

  111. #111 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Alan B,

    Sorry to hear you are having to drop out of yachting.

    Please see my comment #74.

  112. #112 Celtic_Evolution
    January 28, 2010

    While on the subject, ,i>never refer to a caecilian as a “worm.” I did that once.

    Once.

    My mother hung me on a hook once…

    Once.

  113. #113 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    eddie @103:

    I remember being bullied at primary school for not having 20-20 vision and I have never demanded the word ‘speccy’ be removed from the dictionary.

    Hrm. I didn’t know that one but there is also “four-eyes”.

    So let’s swap it up with what you wrote:

    with speccy:
    Codes in the context of football refers to the distinction between rugby football and association football (that some utter speccy decided to abbreviate as ‘soccer’).

    with sinister

    Codes in the context of football refers to the distinction between rugby football and association football (that some utterly sinister person decided to abbreviate as ‘soccer’).

    Your reaction?

  114. #114 Celtic_Evolution
    January 28, 2010

    If this proves to be the case, then, again, I apologise to anyone who is offended by it.

    And so let the “thread of apologies” thus re-commence…

  115. #115 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 28, 2010

    I’m sorry

  116. #116 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    I so much want to sockpuppet eddie right now. For fun. It would be fun.

    but wrong

  117. #117 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    First 100 comments in this subThread were in just under 3 hours. This is madness.

    Did anyone ever calculate, or at least estimate, how much PZ earns from us per comment?

    I want to see how many reward points I need to get into atheist heaven.

  118. #118 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    boygenius,

    Hearing it now finally motivated me to look up the meaning of “sailing a reach before a following sea”

    I was in the middle of writing a description of the points of sail, complete with diagram when I realized that if people want to know then they can look it up themselves.

  119. #119 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Rev. BigDumbChimp #115

    I’m sorry

    Okay, you’re forgiven. Just don’t do it any more.

  120. #120 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Great diagram; thanks, ‘Tis. I instantly know 200% more about sailing than I did before.

  121. #121 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    “Frogs”

    Used by British soldiers to describe all Frenchmen in Napoleonic times. The French called us, “Rossbeefs”.

    Both sides used others terms, of course …

    Another term for French light infantry skirmishers was voltigeurs or (literally) “vaulters”. Possibly super-frogs??

  122. #122 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    And now for something completely different:

    Well, duh! Like we didn’t all know that?

  123. #123 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Did anyone ever calculate, or at least estimate, how much PZ earns from us per comment?

    Whatever it is, I’d like to request that the portion from mine on The Thread be donated to the Lynna Diagnostic Fund.

  124. #124 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    me too

  125. #125 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    #111 & 74

    Yes – I saw that after I had posted my comment. Sorry.

    Glad you can do short-distance sailing. I’m sure we can find a garden pond close by for you to practice on.

    I know only too well how these heart things can slow one down and stop things you’ve always seemed able to do.

    All the best!! Be safe.

    Alan

  126. #126 boygenius
    January 28, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM #94:

    a word’s use as a sports team nickname doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not offensive. After all, the… umm, gridiron team in my nation’s capital is called the Redskins.

    I’m reminded of the controversy over the University of North Dakota’s mascot “The Fighting Sioux”. (“Sioux” being a name given to the Lakota/Dakota tribe by their enemies, meaning “snake”.) Ralph Englestad (known Nazi sympathizer) donated $100 million to build a new hockey arena. By the time the project was halfway completed, Native American groups on campus were gaining ground in their fight to have the mascot changed. Good old Ralph (who is from my hometown, unfortunately) put his foot down and proclaimed that if the mascot was changed, he would let the half completed project rot where it stood.

    Needless to say, they are still the UND Fighting Sioux. But, they do have a beautiful hockey arena.

  127. #127 Kel, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Lynna Diagnostic Fund

    Wait, what’s happened to Lynna?

  128. #128 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    And so let the “thread of apologies” thus re-commence…

    I’m sorry; so sorry!1,2

    1 I’m taking a risk on the clip, as I’m unable to preview it at work. In Google terms, “I feel lucky.”

    2 The Brenda Lee song was the one I was looking for, but in the process of searching for it, I was flummoxed by the number of songs containing the phrase “I’m sorry” in their title or most familiar line. John Denver apologizing for “the way thing are in China,” anyone? ;^)

  129. #130 cicely
    January 28, 2010

    (*sigh*)
    I coulda sworn my brain was up and running, but I guess maybe I need to up my coffee dosage. The best I can make out is that eddie is making some variant of the “You don’t have the right not to be offended” argument.

    Elsewhere:
    Chmee, I’d like to tell you who my husband is, but I understand it’s all Real Names over there, and I’m not sure he’d appreciate being caught blinking into the headlights.

    ‘Tis, maybe somewhere there’s an MD interested in sailing this race? (She asked, secure in her ignorance of what crewing in such an even entails.)

    “Loaf” applies to bread, or in earlier times, sugar. It may also be preceded by “meat”. Post-processed bread, sugar, meat, etc., are not “loaves”. They’re turds. There’s a difference.

  130. #131 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Kel:

    Wait, what’s happened to Lynna?

    AFAIK, she still doesn’t quite know, hence the need for a diagnostic fund. She told us about what seems like it might have been a transient ischemic event (TIE), but she needs scans (CT? MRI? I forget) to confirm, and was wondering how to make same happen w/o health insurance.

    Lynna, quite seriously, would donations be useful? My checkbook (well, Quicken, actually) stands ready….

  131. #132 cicely
    January 28, 2010

    Oh, and me three.

  132. #133 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    me too

    Me three.

  133. #134 Alan B
    January 28, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself

    Maybe you could get onto the staff in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, where they have mock battles in big model boats (20 feet long). Many of these are now remote controlled but you may be able to get on board a dreadnought or a giant liner and sail out into battle armed only with fireworks and the cheers of the patriotic crowd!

    http://www.peasholmpark.com/content/view/9/9/

    http://www.anglolang.co.uk/info_peasholm.html

    … the smallest manned navy in the world!

  134. #135 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Post-processed bread, sugar, meat, etc., are not “loaves”. They’re turds. There’s a difference.

    Thanks, that clears up some long-standing confusion about one of Jesus’s alleged miracles.

  135. #136 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    boygenius:

    Yes, I knew about the UND controversy; I’m actually a UND graduate (MS, Space Studies, 2003)… though I only spent a week on campus (I was a distance-learning student) and didn’t know all the details.

    I was actually under the impression that the local “Sioux” tribes didn’t object to the nickname, and the impetus for change was all down to a top-down directive from the NCAA… but perhaps I was a victim of spin on that score?

  136. #137 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    The logical result of the recent SCOTUS decision re corporations.

    BS

  137. #138 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    It feels good to be generous with someone else’s money. :)

    Seriously, though, I can’t donate anything myself till my next paycheck, and that has to go to PIH. But it would be nice if we had some sort of commenter emergency fund or something. (Big donors could get a t-shirt or book or whatever…)

  138. #139 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    Whatever it is, I’d like to request that the portion from mine on The Thread be donated to the Lynna Diagnostic Fund.

    hell yeah

    Lynna, quite seriously, would donations be useful? My checkbook (well, Quicken, actually) stands ready….

    Same here.

    By the way, Bill Dauphin…you seem to be quite clued in to the details of the healthcare debate. Can you recommend any particular sources to go learn about it? Or has your knowledge accrued over years of tiresome and dedicated research?

    *crosses fingers and hopes for cheat sheet option*

  139. #140 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Space Studies

    There’s a link for that! :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQmIdIAqyu0

  140. #141 Paul W.
    January 28, 2010

    Sven DiMilo @

    [re "fuck" ]
    I have not looked into any etymology theories, but it’s always been pretty obvious to me that it’s semi-onomatopoetic

    You’re doing it wrong.

  141. #142 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Ha!
    Mickey on The Beam.
    Takes one back…

  142. #143 Celtic_Evolution
    January 28, 2010

    The best I can make out is that eddie is making some variant of the “You don’t have the right not to be offended” argument.

    Also, the “it doesn’t offend me, therefor it’s not offensive” argument… followed by the “here are some other curse words that are equally offensive, in my opinion, if you trace back the U.L.E. (Urban Legend Etymolgy).. therefor you can’t call me a misogynist asshole for calling someone a “cunt”, cause saying “fuck” is, like, the same thing” defense.

    Oh… and also “stop oppressing me and censoring me by telling me to fuck off and go away!”.

    I will give him credit for originality, anyhow…

  143. #144 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    You’re doing it wrong.

    O RLY?

  144. #145 Kausik Datta
    January 28, 2010

    Yes, I knew about the UND controversy

    Am I the only one who read this as the ‘Undie’ controversy, and immediately thought about the would-be “undiebomber”?

    *facepalm* followed by a *headdesk* – there, I am okay now. Hoo-boy.

  145. #146 Kausik Datta
    January 28, 2010

    Sven:

    O RLY?

    T AITZ?
    Psst… Need a lawyer?

    P.S. Is there a way to beat the ‘You have commented too often/ too recently’ error message thingy?

  146. #147 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Is there a way to beat the ‘You have commented too often/ too recently’ error message thingy?

    *shrug*
    wait.

    Spam title of the day:

    Virilying Your Bulge

  147. #148 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    In response to Bill Dauphin’s link in #128:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXiJYcK4-GU

  148. #149 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    aratina cage of the OM | January 28, 2010 3:15 PM:

    So let’s swap it up with what you wrote:

    with speccy:

    Codes in the context of football refers to the distinction between rugby football and association football (that some utter speccy decided to abbreviate as ‘soccer’).

    with sinister

    Codes in the context of football refers to the distinction between rugby football and association football (that some utterly sinister person decided to abbreviate as ‘soccer’).

    Your reaction?

    What’s the big deal? It just means left-handed.

  149. #150 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010
    [re "fuck" ] I have not looked into any etymology theories, but it’s always been pretty obvious to me that it’s semi-onomatopoetic

    You’re doing it wrong.

    I thought about making a similar joke… then thought a bit more, trying to remember what porn sounds like (other than the cheesy music, I mean), and decided Sven was right!

    BTW, WRT the LDF: I should clarify that I’m not in a position to offer Large Sums of Money©, but I would happily make a modest donation to the cause… or to the proposed Commenter Emergency Fund for future needs.

  150. #151 blf
    January 28, 2010

    Is there a way to beat the ‘You have commented too often/ too recently’ error message thingy?

    Take a hand grenade, pull the pin out, let the fuse ignite, and sit on it. It’ll take a few seconds, but then you’ll never have to worry about commenting too often again.

    </snark !-- or go have a cup of coffee -->
  151. #152 windy
    January 28, 2010

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/science_channel_refuses_to_dumb/

    Until about halfway through, I didn’t realize that the shows they’re mocking actually exist!

  152. #153 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    That was a weird coincidence. The hockey thing, I mean.

    The past few months have been a coincidental phase for me. Recently, it occurred to me, for no apparent reason, to check to see if Sade was coming out with anything new. So I googled it, and her new album

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKM3ibAmFOo

    had been announced two hours earlier. Spooky.

    BTW, has anyone else read this?:

    http://www.angelynngrant.com/nabokov.html

    Read it a long time ago, but it’s always stuck with me.

  153. #154 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Until about halfway through, I didn’t realize that the shows they’re mocking actually exist!

    I know. I had to google “Chunkin Punkin.”

  154. #155 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Now that I’m home and can do the YouTube thing:

    @40: “Southern Cross”… of course!

    me@128: I swear I thought that was going to be Brenda Lee! But my humiliating error is worth to have gotten the Samurai Pizza Cats (@148)

    SC@140: Cool. And I was so sure that was going to turn out to be Bowie; forgive me for imagining you’d be that predictable?

  155. #156 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    More trivially, I have on this site, if not pharyngula, reacted to the use of the word ‘sinister’, by pointing out that it basically means left-handed. ( The historic context to that includes accusations of witchcraft, even murders of children, as well as my personal experience of being made to act normal.)

    The enormous difference being that left-handed people are not oppressed for being left-handed any more. Women are still discriminated against in hundreds of ways for being women. If you try to throw any “post-sexist society” shit out there, you will be laughed out of the thread.

  156. #157 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    What’s the big deal? It just means left-handed. -llewelly

    eddie said he points this out to people who use “sinister” to mean “bad” presumably because he is left-handed. So, recognizing that some people are old enough to have been abused, mocked, and punished for naturally using their left-hand while growing up, I wondered how eddie would react to someone using the word “sinister” instead of “cunt” as a casual slur. eddie previously said:

    I have on this site, if not pharyngula, reacted to the use of the word ‘sinister’, by pointing out that it basically means left-handed. ( The historic context to that includes accusations of witchcraft, even murders of children, as well as my personal experience of being made to act normal.)

    Treating left-handedness as an evil obviously disturbs eddie enough that he will call others out on it. I hope the replacement of “cunt” with “sinister” in eddie’s own statement awakens something in him so that he sees the wisdom in choosing to forgo needlessly misogynistic language in the future.

  157. #158 blf
    January 28, 2010

    The past few months have been a coincidental phase for me.

    I hesitate to ask what you’ve been coincident with. The universe is still wobbling from side-to-side from the last time, and the neighbouring ones are starting to complain.

  158. #159 SC OM
    January 28, 2010

    Speaking of the “wild wild west” (as my link does):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uCAWUXYKUM
    :)

  159. #160 Kausik Datta
    January 28, 2010

    I just now read a sad story in the NY Times Magazine preview, about how a young boy from Alabama, raised in a mixed Muslim-Christian household, charismatic and intelligent even at a young age, gradually become entrenched in fundamentalist Islam and eventually ended up as a jihadist leader in Somalia with close ties to Al Qaeda. The shocked and grief-stricken parents and a sister now await the news of his death, amidst regular federal enquiries and (the state being Alabama) regular calls for the father to be waterboarded.

    I was immediately reminded of the John Lennon song, “Imagine”: those fucking idiots around us – who continue to believe that religion is for the good, that there is a merciful god and that god has a purpose – are delusional morons with eyes and ears tightly shut.

  160. #161 blf
    January 28, 2010

    The word left is from Old English lyft meaning “weak, foolish” and may predate sinister.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=sinister&searchmode=none

  161. #162 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    Watch your mouth, part 2: reappropriation and cooption.

    Let’s say a person of privilege uses a term or idiom (perhaps with no intent to offend at all) and a member of the non-privileged class says that it is offensive to them, and the privileged speaker responds with something like: “That term has come into common use and isn’t offensive anymore”.
    I believe that they are enforcing their privilege.
    I believe that they are reiterating the following message (usually, completely unconsciously):
    “I have the power. I own the language. Your experience does not count, and the fact that you are offended is of no consequence, because you have no power.”

  162. #163 Kausik Datta
    January 28, 2010

    *gradually become became entrenched…
    I really need to use the Preview button.

  163. #164 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    MrFire (@139):

    Re healthcare reform, I hope I haven’t overstated my qualifications: I’m far more of an advocate than an expert. That said, here is my congressman’s informational page, “created a resource for you to gain more information about this bill, the changes it makes, and what it means to you and your family.” Of course, this info relates specifically to the House bill (HR 3962; you can download a PDF summary here); here is an informational page about the Senate bill as passed, with links to the text, a summary, section-by-section analysis, and other explainers.

    Enjoy!

  164. #165 David Marjanovi?
    January 28, 2010

    Looking at my post at #91, I posted it too soon without hitting “Preview”, and have realised that some of it is not very well-phrased.

    It was all obvious. Stop apologising. :-)

    Well, duh! Like we didn’t all know that?

    Having numbers, plus a link to push in the faces of Internet Tough Homophobes, is always a good thing.

    Rush Limbaugh writes an opinion piece for The Onion.

    That’s how to do it.

    Until about halfway through, I didn’t realize that the shows they’re mocking actually exist!


    :-o

    What the fuck.

  165. #166 negentropyeater
    January 28, 2010

    Walton,

    I agree with that. If a French person turns up here and expresses their deep offence at the word “frog”, then I will gladly apologise and retract my comments.

    I’m deeply offended.

    Just kiddin’.

    I just love frog legs. Just simply sauteed with a bit of garlic and parsley and a small dash of lemon juice. The best place I’ve eaten them was a restaurant in Pont de Vaux, Le Raisin, in the departement de l’ain (100km north of Lyon).

    Les Grenouilles Fraîches Sautées Comme en Dombes, Beurre de Bresse Persilladé

    disclaimer : I have no commercial interests in that restaurant.

  166. #167 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    I just said this to Newfie in the other thread; I’ll repeat it here on behalf of Eddie:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I am amazed at the amount of energy and devotion some people will put into trying to prove that it’s ok for them to use their favorite slur and that no one should ever mind that they use it or ask that they use a different word or look at them funny when they do. Why so attached to a word? After all, you’re arguing that words have no inherent power, right? Then what’s the big deal about not using a particular one? Why are you so deeply invested in that one particular word? Why does that word mean so much to you?

  167. #168 SC OM
    January 28, 2010
    Rush Limbaugh writes an opinion piece for The Onion.

    That’s how to do it.

    Reminds me a little too much of The Fisher King.

  168. #169 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    PZ, will you please ban hery?

  169. #170 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Teh CO doesn’t read this shit.

  170. #171 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    The universe is still wobbling from side-to-side from the last time, and the neighbouring ones are starting to complain.

    I thought that was because of these guys

  171. #172 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    I know. I had to google “Chunkin Punkin.”

    Don’t hold this against me folks, but I do chuck pumpkins with a giant trebuchet.

    But I only do it once a year.

    BS

  172. #173 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Miki Z (#855)

    I generally stick with boku for casual conversation and watashi for business situations. ore is beer drinking language.

    If you wanted to sound like a cartoon character, you could also use ?? (ore-sama), ??? (oira), or ?? (sessha). Amusingly, one of the characters I’ve come across that uses “oira” is also a cat.

    (#20)

    The written formalities are different from the spoken ones, so there’s only ambiguity here when reading aloud, not when reading for meaning. Reading aloud is hard.

    Strangely, I can read aloud at a higher level than I can understand. Which is, to my shame, is absurdly low given how many years I’ve been “studying” Japanese.

    By the way, I’m surprised you haven’t taken the opportunity to point out how certain archaic second person pronouns (temae, kisama) are used as insults in Japanese. And then there’s the third person pronoun “aitsu.” I have a bad habit of actually using that last one in conversations, which Japanese people tend to find a little shocking. Though, it’s not like I’d be less crude in English in the same situation.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Walton (#874)

    That said, there are some grammar rules which English-speakers simply ignore most of the time: for instance, the prohibition on placing a preposition at the end of a sentence.

    Well, if that rule along with the supposed crime of splitting an infinitive hadn’t been entirely made up by a Latin- and Greek-loving twit of a bishop in 1762, maybe it would be worth following.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    aratina cage (#950)

    WTF is a “consensual homosexual”?

    Needlessly redundant?

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    David Marjanovi? (#969)

    Both written with the same character??? That’s cruel.

    Haha, that’s pretty tame. The character for the number one has over ten different possible pronunciations, only some of which depend on what it’s paired with. Written Japanese makes English spelling seem reasonable.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Carlie (#156)

    If you try to throw any “post-sexist society” shit out there, you will be laughed out of the thread.

    No kidding.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    blf (#161)

    The word left is from Old English lyft meaning “weak, foolish” and may predate sinister.

    And in the mouths of Republicans, that’s what it’s come to mean all over again.

  173. #174 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    BS:

    Don’t hold this against me folks, but I do chuck pumpkins with a giant trebuchet.

    Hold it against you?? I think it’s effin’ cool!

    CAN HAZ PIKCHERS PLZ?

  174. #175 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Blind Squirrel, our Queen Of The Sluts also has a love of trebuchets.

  175. #176 Shadow
    January 28, 2010

    Welcome back my friends, to the show (thread) that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.

  176. #177 Feynmaniac
    January 28, 2010

    Don’t hold this against me folks, but I do chuck pumpkins with a giant trebuchet.

    But I only do it once a year.

    I don’t think the problem is the activity itself, but that they have a show about it on the “Science” Channel. I actually thought The Onion was just making that up. I’m also beginning to wonder whether Idiocracy was a documentary.

    The sad part is that real science is actually quite interesting.

  177. #178 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Blind Squirrel, our Queen Of The Sluts also has a love of trebuchets.

    [myth]The trebuchet out in back of the Pharyngula Saloon and Internet Cafe has two uses. 1) For Patricia to send hops to the Rev. BDC across the country. 2) To be load with the by-product of the Pullet Patrol? egg production, and sent to various trolls like Dandy.[/myth]

  178. #179 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Trebuchets? Did someone mention trebuchets?

  179. #180 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010

    I wish to apologize for saying “Poopy darn”. ®

  180. #181 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    The trebuchet out in back of the Pharyngula Saloon and Internet Cafe has two uses.

    Well, there’s another use, but I’ve been told we aren’t supposed to talk about the orgies.

  181. #182 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Anything for you folks.
    My project for this year is a kid powered traction treb. The big one is dangerous; it stores a lot of potential energy. At night we get wasted and throw chicken wire bags of burning charcoal. Oh, the trails.

    Btw, I am not pictured.

    BS

  182. #183 Miki Z
    January 28, 2010

    By the way, I’m surprised you haven’t taken the opportunity to point out how certain archaic second person pronouns (temae, kisama) are used as insults in Japanese. And then there’s the third person pronoun “aitsu.” I have a bad habit of actually using that last one in conversations, which Japanese people tend to find a little shocking. Though, it’s not like I’d be less crude in English in the same situation.

    I’m not actually all that familiar with insults in Japanese. I’m not sure that any of my day-to-day contacts are in the under-50 crowd, though their kids and grandkids are. I stick with ???? for second person unfamiliar (with either ??? or ??? for those I know), which probably gives you a pretty good idea of the company I keep and how little I go out socially.

  183. #184 airbowline
    January 28, 2010

    ‘”Precisely the same” said Mr Badger. The Professor made the same remark in his last illness when (his mind wandering) he insisted on keeping his little hammer under the pillow, and chipping at the countenances of the attendants.’

    Bleak House

    Charles Dickens

  184. #186 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    There is a poll what needs Pharyngulatin’ –

    Should CBS run the Trebow (Focus on the Family) ad during the Superbowl?

    http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_question/2010/01/26/3812847-should-cbs-air-the-focus-on-the-family-ad-featuring-tim-tebow-during-the-super-bowl

    It is associated with this article, which is fantastic.

  185. #187 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    I know that a trebuchet is not exactly the same as a catapult, but I know zero songs called “Trebuchet” and two called “Catapult”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83C9L2zxpe4

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9zpd7_counting-crows-catapult_music

  186. #188 SteveM
    January 28, 2010

    I don’t think the problem is the activity itself, but that they have a show about it on the “Science” Channel. I actually thought The Onion was just making that up. I’m also beginning to wonder whether Idiocracy was a documentary.

    The sad part is that real science is actually quite interesting.

    But it is pretty cool engineering, and a lot of the shows on the Science channel are really more engineering than science (“How it’s made” and its several variants come to mind) And the show about Punkin Chunkin did cover the engineering of these devices, it wasn’t just watching pumpkins get splattered out in a field.

  187. #189 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 28, 2010

    SC (@185):

    Thank you for that. I’d forgotten what a cool show that was! “It’s not the thing you fling; it’s the fling itself!”

  188. #190 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Alright, it is a catapult, not a trebuchet. But one of the best things ever on Mythbusters. I still miss Scotti.

  189. #191 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    In a similar vein to flinging random objects, hopefully everyone has experienced the fun of Will It Blend?

  190. #192 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 28, 2010

    I still miss Scotti.

    Definitely better than the loud young thing they got to replace Kari on her maternity leave…

  191. #193 SteveM
    January 28, 2010

    Blind Squirrel: You wouldn’t be part of Yankee Siege by any chance? (there aren’t that many giant trebuchet’s around). Visited the N.H. home of Yankee Siege back in fall of 2008 and watched a few throws. It is one thing to watch on TV but to stand next to one of those monsters is really impressive.

  192. #194 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    The interesting thing about catapults is: they don’t work! You don’t see any on utube or the History Channel do you? I know, I know, negative evidence but still, wouldn’t you suppose some one would have made one by now?
    I know someone who made one; it didn’t work.

    BS

  193. #195 Jadehawk, OM
    January 28, 2010

    since we’re still on the subject of insults that demean people, I’d like to throw the suggestion out there to stop using the term “mouth-breather” to signify extremely low intelligence. My shoddily constructed nose and I would be grateful.

  194. #196 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    SteveM: Nope, Just a freelance Buckskinner, Flint napper and primitive skills instructor.
    BTW the trebs on the YouTube video are inefficient because their counterweight doesn’t rotate.

    BS

  195. #197 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Don’t get me wrong
    He’s a nice guy
    I like him just fine
    But he’s a mouth breather

  196. #198 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Miki Z (#183)

    I’m not actually all that familiar with insults in Japanese. I’m not sure that any of my day-to-day contacts are in the under-50 crowd, though their kids and grandkids are.

    You don’t watch TV or read novels, comics, magazines, etc., either?! Crazy. If I lived there, I’d probably buy more books and comics than I could read in a lifetime even if I was 100% fluent. I’m sort of stupid that way.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Carlie (#186)

    It is associated with this article, which is fantastic.

    Reading the discussion thread to that article made me wonder something. Why the fuck do Christians say abortion is killing innocent babies? Isn’t the whole point of their retarded religion that babies aren’t born innocent? That they inherit sin they can only cleanse themselves of by growing up and accepting Jesus? If they would stick with protesting abortion because it’s killing a sinner before it can repent or whatever, at least that would be consistent.

  197. #199 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    Bill Dauphin OM: Awesome, thanks!

  198. #200 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    The interesting thing about catapults is: they don’t work! You don’t see any on utube or the History Channel do you? I know, I know, negative evidence but still, wouldn’t you suppose some one would have made one by now?
    I know someone who made one; it didn’t work.

    In Civ4, the trebuchet is more powerful than the catapult. It also reduces the city’s defenses more quickly.

  199. #201 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Oops! Sorry Blind Squirrel. A brainfart turned into a ministarfart. I mentally replaced catapult with trebuchet. Maybe it is time for me to go to bed.

  200. #202 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    In Civ4, the trebuchet is more powerful than the catapult. It also reduces the city’s defenses more quickly.

    Is that a video game? I am uninformed about such things.
    Oh, and for maximum efficiency, the treb must be mounted on wheels and free to roll.

    BS

  201. #203 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    eading the discussion thread to that article made me wonder something. Why the fuck do Christians say abortion is killing innocent babies? Isn’t the whole point of their retarded religion that babies aren’t born innocent? That they inherit sin they can only cleanse themselves of by growing up and accepting Jesus?

    Ah, I think I can clear this one up. You see, fetuses are innocent. It isn’t until they pass through the dirty nasty cunt during childbirth that they become sullied with the evil of original sin.

    Or something like that.

  202. #204 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m not apologising if Starfart finds me using startfart insulting. He bloody ASKED for it. Idiot.

    I find the general rule is that if I’m to use a profanity (what ME-never!) that has some form of sexual or body part connotation it better be either gender neutral or applicable to both genders. My warped little protocol world of swearing is thus exampled such:

    cunt- bad
    prick- bad
    douche/bag/nozzle/whatever- bad
    fuck- good
    aresehole/wipe/whatever- excellent
    assclam- the kickarse of all swear words and I eternally thank SC OM for enlightening me to it’s existence.

  203. #205 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 28, 2010

    Assclam, I agree. I love it. I been dropping that one since SC whipped it out.

  204. #206 OurDeadSelves
    January 28, 2010

    douche/bag/nozzle/whatever- bad

    A couple of months ago, I was reading a feminist blog (I don’t remember which one, sadly) that argued that “douche” &/or “douche bag” are perfect insults because they are so (physically) harmful to women. Therefore, you’d be comparing one bad thing to another bad thing. Or something like that.

    I like this justification, but mainly ‘cos I like to use “douche bag” (and occasionally “-nozzle”) in everyday conversation.

  205. #207 WowbaggerOM
    January 28, 2010

    One of the things I can thank Pharyngula for is an expanded vocabulary of non-gendered insults – including (but not limited to) asshat, assclown, pissant, cumstain and – my personal favourite – fucking clown shoe.

  206. #208 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    Our thread’s resilience reminds me of this scene from The Thing.

    Hey, it’s an awesome scene, I had to find some lame excuse to insert it.

  207. #209 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    “pissant”: gendered. Ants are haplodiploid and all the ones you ever see are females.

  208. #210 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    aratina cage of the OM | January 28, 2010 5:01 PM:

    eddie said he points this out to people who use “sinister” to mean “bad” presumably because he is left-handed …

    Thank you, aratina. I was trying to be funny. Since nobody laughed, I apologize. After reading about 10 or 12 of eddie’s comments, I concluded he was an ignoramus, an idiot, prone to making sexist remarks, and eager to look stupid defending his sexist remarks. At that point I stopped reading his comments. I see from your comment there is no reason to stop ignoring eddie.

  209. #211 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    MrFire: Also a bit of a guy movie. No females at all, only a female voice for the computer. (Adrienne Barbeau)

    BS

  210. #212 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Carlie (#203)

    You see, fetuses are innocent. It isn’t until they pass through the dirty nasty cunt during childbirth that they become sullied with the evil of original sin.

    Really, or are you just making up a retarded-fundie-logic type excuse as a riff on their misogyny?

    And what about a test tube baby implanted via some other opening than the vagina and delivered via c-section? Would it be free of sin? Mwahaha.

  211. #213 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 28, 2010
  212. #214 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    A. Noyd – more like an educated guess based on my upbringing as a fundie and my tangential knowledge from Catholic friends. Sin is placed squarely on the shoulders of Eve, and I’ve heard many a platitude about how being “born of a woman” is what makes humanity sinful. It’s also pointed out a lot how special it was that Jesus had no sin even though he was also born of a woman – the emphasis is always on birth as some kind of defining moment. (all together now: Birth as a demarcation in identifying what a human is, where have we heard that before? HMMMMMMMM…)

  213. #215 aratina cage of the OM
    January 28, 2010

    Thank you, aratina. I was trying to be funny. Since nobody laughed, I apologize.

    Oh goody! I get to apologize too that means. I’m sorry for being too serious and missing the humor, llewelly.

  214. #216 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    Carlie | January 28, 2010 9:37 PM:

    Sin is placed squarely on the shoulders of Eve, and I’ve heard many a platitude about how being “born of a woman” is what makes humanity sinful.

    Yet another problem science will solve, as PZ has explained.

  215. #217 llewelly
    January 28, 2010

    No problem, Aratina (January 28, 2010 9:43 PM).

  216. #218 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Carlie (#214)

    It’s also pointed out a lot how special it was that Jesus had no sin even though he was also born of a woman – the emphasis is always on birth as some kind of defining moment.

    Well, I dunno how Protestants get around it, but Catholics have the whole Immaculate Conception deal these days, right? Mary, including her vajayjay, was somehow original-sin-free from gamete-meets-gamete. And remained that way while being born. In fact, that she had to be conceived without sin would indicate that, for Catholics at least, sin starts no later than conception.

    Oh, and according to Wikipedia, Mormons don’t have the same naughty fetus issues because they make original sin as confusing as they make everything else. Kids are born with an eight year get-out-of-sin-free card.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    llewelly (#216)

    Yet another problem science will solve, as PZ has explained.

    Awesome. Thanks for linking that.

  217. #219 MrFire
    January 28, 2010

    MrFire: Also a bit of a guy movie. No females at all, only a female voice for the computer. (Adrienne Barbeau)

    Yes, very true. And I believe the only line of dialogue directed at her is “you cheatin’ bitch”, by Kurt Russell’s character (after she beats him at chess, and he responds by pouring his whiskey into her grill. Lovely metaphor, huh?).

    After far as other Carpenter movies are concerned, I think Adrienne Barbeau had a better role in The Fog, but I haven’t seen it in ages.

  218. #220 Miki Z
    January 28, 2010

    Oh, and according to Wikipedia, Mormons don’t have the same naughty fetus issues because they make original sin as confusing as they make everything else. Kids are born with an eight year get-out-of-sin-free card.

    Yep, this is absolutely what they believe. It’s not 8 years specifically, it’s the “age of accountability”, when children can tell good and bad apart. They believe (or, at least, it used to be taught) that even Jesus did things which may have been considered “wrong” when he was a baby. There’s a line about “grace to grace” in the Bible they cite.

    They also believe that ensuring that one soul gets to heaven will get you to heaven yourself. This led me to conclude that either my parents didn’t love me or they didn’t have much faith. As 8 approached I went to bed every night hoping to be murdered so I could go straight to heaven. For a faithful Mormon parent, the logical thing to do is murder your children before they are accountable. You ensure their heaven and yours.

    This led me very quickly to atheism.

    And since you asked earlier, no, I don’t really read in Japanese or watch much television in any language. I sometimes watch an hour or two of television, but not often.

  219. #221 Katrina
    January 28, 2010

    Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s birth, not Jesus’.

  220. #222 Sven DiMilo
    January 28, 2010

    Katrina: he knows. Read more carefully.

  221. #223 Katrina
    January 28, 2010

    Sorry, Sven. I blame the limoncello.

  222. #224 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Katrina: Now I get it. The Danny DeVito connection, right?

    BS

  223. #225 Katrina
    January 28, 2010

    Blind Squirrel:

    No. Four years of living in Naples. Just finished making a batch yesterday. Product testing, you know?

  224. #226 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 28, 2010

    Katrina: That will teach me to go with the most parsimonious explanation.
    From Wiki: Limoncello gained a measure of notoriety in America on 29 November, 2006, when actor Danny DeVito appeared on the television show The View apparently still drunk from consuming limoncello the night before with his friend George Clooney. Said DeVito, “I knew it was the last seven limoncellos that was going to get me.”

    BS

  225. #227 Katrina
    January 28, 2010

    BS:

    I remember seeing that episode. We were actually in Italy at the time. We thought it was hysterical. Why? Limoncello is made from the purest grain alcohol you can get. The higher the proof, the better it turns out. Drinking seven (the LAST seven!!) shots of limoncello is like drinking 4 or 5 shots of Everclear.

    That was the most parsimonious explanation, though, and a good guess. My fault for not posting here very often. I’ll try to do better in future. B-)

  226. #228 Dust
    January 28, 2010

    About the Rush Limbaugh Onion piece….Unfortunately, I have recently learned just how painfull it is when a family member completes a suicide. (well, devistating, really) I would like Rush to shut up too….but not by suicide. It’s not funny anymore.

    Sorry for the downer. :(

  227. #229 Katrina
    January 28, 2010

    Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of The View. I was working out at the gym, and it was on the television there. I was a captive audience.

  228. #230 A. Noyd
    January 28, 2010

    Miki Z (#220)

    For a faithful Mormon parent, the logical thing to do is murder your children before they are accountable. You ensure their heaven and yours.

    Sorry if that caused you real anguish to think about as a kid. But, man, I love these horrible but logical consequences of their dogmas that religious people overlook or try to avoid.

    And since you asked earlier, no, I don’t really read in Japanese or watch much television in any language. I sometimes watch an hour or two of television, but not often.

    The only reason I’m any sort of fluent in Japanese is because I love reading and love comics. Reading comics in Japanese is sort of the ultimate fulfillment of that. My love of Japan itself started as the typical nerdish “OMG, manga is awesome, so Japan must be awesome!!!!” thing (I cringe to recall it) but I’ve been there several times now and like it for what it is. Too bad I have neither a four year degree nor the inclination to teach English or I might be living there myself. Luckily, Seattle has a Kinokuniya. Mmm, books.

    ~*~*~*~*~

    Sven DiMilo (#222)

    Katrina: he knows. Read more carefully.

    Thanks. And I’m a she. Not that it especially matters, but it could lead to confusion if I don’t point that out. Stupid English and its stupid gender-specific third person pronouns.

  229. #232 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 29, 2010

    Sin is placed squarely on the shoulders of Eve, and I’ve heard many a platitude about how being “born of a woman” is what makes humanity sinful.

    Well, then I suppose I can safely tell Catholics to go fuck themselves, can’t I?*

    I’ve been there several times now and like it for what it is.

    How’d you get past what appears to me to be raging misogyny? I mean, I like their media, but I can’t imagine actually walking there.

    Apropos to The Onion piece earlier… I poked it at a friend. My friend informed me that The Science Channel is real, and that every show on that piece is as well. I curled up with a stuffed animal and wept.

    *Really? I’m the first person to catch that pun? Really?

  230. #233 Deiloh
    January 29, 2010

    Sorry to interrupt the flow of the thread but I’m not sure where to post this or if it has been seen yet.

    SQUID article:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127223616.htm

  231. #234 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    *Really? I’m the first person to catch that pun? Really?

    *awkward silence continues*

    BS

  232. #235 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom (#232)

    How’d you get past what appears to me to be raging misogyny? I mean, I like their media, but I can’t imagine actually walking there.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like all parts of Japan. The misogyny is terrible. That people can and do smoke almost anywhere sucks, too. But I’m not in love with some image I got out of comic books. I certainly appreciate the way religion in Japan is pervasive but non-intrusive. It’s laid out like a buffet. Sample the various dishes. Take as much or little as you want. Mix and match. Participate for the cultural significance while declining belief, if you like. Distort it, sex it up, or mock it in fiction. Just don’t bother your neighbors with it.

  233. #236 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    Deiloh: That was impressive. They got funding to mess around in Hawaii for 20 years! I was in the wrong business.
    The part about the squid was cool too.

    BS

  234. #237 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    And I’m a she.

    my bad. apologies.

    windy: that Jumalhämärä shit was muy bueno. “Almost like some blackened Finnish Grateful Dead” nails it.

    You like that? Try this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSE6dSz3uLI

  235. #238 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010
  236. #239 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    re #233: May I Kw*k?
    I knew Maggie Ngai (briefly) in grad school.

  237. #240 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 29, 2010

    May I just tell you all that I’ve decided to pay for all Pharyngulites to attend a week long party in Paris.

    I’ve just checked my email and apparently I have won the British lottery for the third time this week and the Swedish lottery once. As soon as I provide an extensive list of personal details to the “lottery board” I’ll have my money and we’ll party like thieves!

    I’m a rich bastard now.

  238. #241 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Bride of Shrek,

    Should we send you our details so you can book accommodations? Not everyone wants to deal with accomodationists.

    Watch out, though — I’ve heard that some of these lottery emails are scams. Be sure to reply to all of them so that you don’t miss the real ones.

  239. #242 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    BoS, this is most welcome news.
    May I suggest…mmm…Cancun?

  240. #243 WowbaggerOM
    January 29, 2010

    I saw TRHPC at the moonlight cinema (outdoors, at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens) on Monday night – hilarious fun. Next time I have to get hold of the full audience script so I can participate more in the yelling stuff out and throwing shit in the air bits.

  241. #244 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    Are the children asleep? Good.

    The proposed Australian Government clampdown on smut just got a whole lot broader, as news emerged of a ban on small breasts

    Senator Joyce claimed that publications featuring small-breasted women were encouraging paedophilia.

    The result of this campaign is now visible in the decisions being made by the Australian Classification Board, which is beginning to apply RC (refused classification) categories to such material, as opposed to the previous X-rating. According to Fiona Patten, Convenor of the Australian Sex Party: “We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size.

    NOT THE ONION!!!

    BS

  242. #245 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 29, 2010

    I grew up north of Cairns so when I was a early 20 something we used to go to TRHPC at the old Capri theatre ( which no doubt doesn’t exist anymore), EVERY goddamn Friday night. Looking back I wonder we never used to bore of it but we didn’t. Hilarity ensued every time and we had a ball. My personal “dress-up” was a pre-Franked Janet ( ie pencil skirt, jacket and hair parted in the middle pulled back with clips). I used to chuck off the jacket to display a 50′s pointy bra which I would then sit in for the rest of the night). My girlfriend at the time made an awesome Magenta and by husband at the time used to go as Rocky ( which quite frankly wasn’t exactly a stretch) Of course you had to attend with all required props ( popcorn, torches, newspapaers, toast etc).

    I still know every bloody word to the script.

  243. #246 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 29, 2010

    Blind Squirrel

    Senator Joyce is a weirdo nutbag who comes up with this sort of shit on a regular basis.

    He can bite my gorgeous (apparently acceptable) D cups.

  244. #247 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    Bride of Shrek: It’s just that he’s going after my own personal fetish! One of many, anyway. (disclaimer: small breasts, not paedophilia.)

    BS

  245. #248 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Senator Joyce claimed that publications featuring small-breasted women were encouraging paedophilia.

    Thanks, Australian Senator Jackass. It’s good to know that I’m only sexually appealing to pedophiles. /sarcasm

    Just ’cause you only like big breasts doesn’t make men who like the smaller variety sexual deviants. Where do these people come up with this shit?

  246. #249 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    I’m rethinking the use of “sexual deviants” in my post a #248. That phrase has been used too much against people who participate in legal, consensual sex acts to be appropriate here. I’m trying to think of a better turn of phrase, but one’s not coming to me right now.

  247. #250 llewelly
    January 29, 2010

    the article Blind Squirrel FCD linked:

    “We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size.”

    That’s horrible. Lots of healthy adult women have an A cup size. It’s disgusting to imply that they can only be attractive to pedophiles. It’s also dishonest; there are so many of these women you can’t walk down a city street without seeing them.

  248. #251 llewelly
    January 29, 2010

    Pygmy Loris | January 29, 2010 2:54 AM:

    Where do these people come up with this shit?:

    From the article:

    “It may be an unintended consequence of the Senator?s actions but they are largely responsible for the sharp increase in breast size in Australian adult magazines of late.”

    Ok, that made me laugh, but seriously, I think it’s just a dishonest attempt to leverage the outrage of the more irrational members of the “protect the children” crowd.

  249. #252 Sanction
    January 29, 2010

    Blind Squirrel via llewelly:

    “We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size.”

    What the fuck? My wife has an A cup size and two years ago was carded by an administrator at a high school for being in the halls without a pass.

    My wife was 32 then. She’s a school social worker.

    Senator Jackass would have an epic fit over the nude photos of my wife in the dresser.

  250. #253 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Help Wanted
    —–

    Officer – Breast Size Enforcement Division

    Patrol all areas of the internet. Monitor Closed Circuit Televisions, perimeter alarm system, duress alarms, and firewall safety system. Lock websites when required. Conduct daily physical nipple inspections. Respond to accidents, contact EMS or administer first aid/CPR as required. Assist perverts/employees during emergency situations. Notify appropriate individuals in the event of accidents, attacks, small breasts, or other incidents. Call for outside assistance if necessary. Complete incident reports to document all small breast related incidents. Handle all interruptions and complaints. Escort any unwelcome persons from Australia without interrupting the orderly flow of big breasted pornography operation. Report to scenes of trouser accidents/thefts. Call for assistance using proper code responses. Complete an Erection Loss Prevention shift summary/daily activity report. Maintain confidentiality of all reports/documents; release emissions only to authorized individuals. Conduct investigations and gather evidence. Conduct interviews at relevant parties. Protect company asses. Welcome and acknowledge all site guests according to company standards; anticipate and address guests’ service needs; thank guests with genuine appreciation. Develop and maintain positive working relationships with others; support team to reach common goals. Perform other reasonable job duties as requested by Supervisors.

  251. #254 Walton
    January 29, 2010

    While I don’t doubt that paedophilia and child porn are real problems, the hysteria about them is just ridiculous. Some of the media here in the UK (particularly the Daily Mail) seem to be intent on making everyone believe that all Britain’s children are under constant threat from a rising swarm of “sexual deviants”. And it’s working. Go on any British news site and read the comments from visitors, and you’ll see a long string of badly-spelled rants from readers arguing that “sex offenders” should be hanged/castrated/left to rot in dungeons. The fear, hostility and hate is just mind-boggling – just more evidence that people are stupid and easily manipulated.

    In reality, there are comparatively few people who abuse young children, and those who do so are mostly mentally ill and acting under an irresistible impulse. They need treatment, not “punishment”. But many other cases of so-called “sex offences” involve, say, a 17-year-old sleeping with a 15-year-old – which, while probably not a good idea, is not paedophilia or child abuse, or anything close to it. (Ed Brayton has documented several cases where teenage relationships have led to young men being placed on the sex offenders’ register for life, causing them lifelong social stigma and unemployment.) I’m not arguing that the age of consent should necessarily be lowered, but I think we need a more reasonable, proportionate attitude to what constitutes a “sex offence”.

    So too with porn. I don’t condone the exploitative commercial porn industry, but I also believe in freedom of expression, and I strongly oppose the idea of any government censoring the internet (or any other expressive medium) in order to prevent people from watching porn. The Australian government’s plans are ludicrous authoritarian bullshit (which is something the ALP certainly has in common with many other “Labour” parties around the world). “Won’t somebody think of teh kiddies!!!1!!!” is not a valid pretext for depriving citizens of their essential liberties.

  252. #255 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Miki, this is Oz; “Awareness of Occupational Health Safety and Welfare and Equal Opportunity responsibilities and commitment to their implementation”¹ is a mandatory requirement for any Government work. Sheesh.

    ¹ Wording may vary, but never this requirement.

  253. #256 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Walton, it’s the Australian Labor Party, and if you think that they’re more authoritarian than the Opposition, you’re in la-la land.

  254. #257 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    “Awareness of Occupational Health Safety and Welfare and Equal Opportunity responsibilities and commitment to their implementation

    I’m still trying to figure out what this means. Is it something like “acknowledge the law against government discrimination”? I wasn’t sure ‘EMS’ would be recognized in Oz, either.

  255. #258 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Miki, no worries there; EMS is common enough.

    See The Australian Human Rights Commission and Safe Work Australia.

    Walton is probably appalled by such illiberality.

  256. #259 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Ah yes, the “age of accountability”. A lot of Protestants use this, too. They claim that a person has to knowingly accept God’s gift of eternal life in order to go to Heaven, and that it’s a conscious decision to do so. This is all well and good, except then anyone who is mentally incapable of doing so or is too young to do so would go straight to Hell, and that’s kind of icky to think of God sending all those babies and mentally challenged people to Hell. So to make God a nice guy again, they built in the accountability thing. I don’t think the age is set in any Protestant denomination, but it’s generally described as the time at which a person knows right from wrong enough to deliberately choose to do something wrong. Generally it’s thought of as around 3-4 when telling kids in Sunday School they’ll go to Hell if they don’t accept Jesus, but then magically if a child around 6-7 dies they claim the child wasn’t “there” yet and of course went to Heaven.

  257. #260 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    Yes, the mormons have an exception for the mentally handicapped as well, and for miscarriages. “Some souls were so valiant in the pre-existence that they aren’t required to suffer the pain of life.”

    It’s a perverse system: those who don’t know the Word of God are better off, so let’s make sure as many people as possible know! Spread the Good News!

    I used to have very detailed nightmares about this as a young child. I was gradually being turned into a suffering monster by giant bees who came and read magic spells that transformed the listener. When the transformation was complete, the new monsters became the masters. (The insight that this recurring nightmare, which I started having at around 4, so perfectly described religion did not come to me until later.)

  258. #261 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Carlie #209

    You see, fetuses are innocent. It isn’t until they pass through the dirty nasty cunt during childbirth that they become sullied with the evil of original sin.

    Then I’m safe, since I was, to slightly misquote Billy Shakespeare’s phrase, “from my mother’s womb untimely ripped.” Those of us born via Calpurnian* sections have an automatic get out of sin free card.

    *Nod to John Varley.

  259. #262 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Himself, honking shame it ain’t a Get Out Of Sin Entirely card.

  260. #263 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Sorry to tell you, ‘Tis – those born in that manner were deliberately circumventing the will of God for childbirth, so they get a double-dose of original sin off of the doctor’s evil white-gloved hands.

  261. #264 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    And if the doctor was a woman, it’s a quadruple dose – you get the original sin, doubled for having a fake easy childbirth, doubled again for the deliverer being a woman who should have been home taking care of her own family instead of having a job outside the house.

  262. #265 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Heretic, damned of Darwin, do you expect me to believe such mendacious lies? You said specifically that it was passage through the birth canal that transmitted original sin to the infant. Since I didn’t go out that way, I’m home free.

    You’re just jealous because your mother wasn’t farsighted enough to have you born the proper, artificial way.

  263. #266 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Joking aside, Leviticus 12:1-5 is revealing.

    1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

  264. #267 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Hey, it’s not me making the rules, it’s God. Don’t blame the messenger.

  265. #268 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 29, 2010

    You think they made a special “Congratulations! 33 days of Unclean” calendar…like as a gift for the new mother? See every day would be represented by a small chamber covered by a paper flap, and behind the flap you could put candy (or maybe raisins or dates or manna or whatever.

  266. #269 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    See every day would be represented by a small chamber covered by a paper flap, and behind the flap you could put candy (or maybe raisins or dates or manna or whatever.

    Or a small, bitter unripe olive, to remind the woman how much her life sucks.

  267. #270 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Worst boring movie: A.I. Artificial Intelligence

  268. #271 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    Incorrigible?

    The embedded gayness estimate is interestingly high.

  269. #272 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Hey, it’s not me making the rules, it’s God.

    Carlie, we’re discussing theology. It’s all pure opinion and sophistry. Plus if we can’t find a scriptural reference for our opinion, then we can fall back on the tried and true method theologians have used for centuries called “making shit up.”

    Haven’t you noticed that whenever some religious guy says “God talks to me and this is what he’s saying” that God’s prejudices exactly mirror the religious guy’s prejudices?

  270. #273 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Plus if we can’t find a scriptural reference for our opinion, then we can fall back on the tried and true method theologians have used for centuries called “making shit up.”

    Well, duh. Where do you think I got it from? Divine revelation straight to my ears from God’s mouth. ;)

    (But the first part about when you’re born being the moment sin enters really is something I was taught implicitly, if not in those outright words.)

  271. #274 neon-elf.myopenid.com
    January 29, 2010

    re: breast size/paedophila fear-mongering:
    The only good thing is that the next generation will not have to worry about their parents dragging out the ‘naked baby on the bearskin rug’ photo the first time they meet the new girl/boyfriend, because if you take nekkid photos of your offspring, these days, you are liable to get arrested as a pervert.

    Thanks to the online Oxford Dictionary, here is the definitive etymology of fuck (they only provide etymology for the verb, not noun). Sorry the formatting has been lost.

    [Probably cognate with Dutch fokken to mock (15th cent.), to strike (1591), to fool, gull (1623), to beget children (1637), to have sexual intercourse with (1657), to grow, cultivate (1772), Norwegian regional fukka to copulate, Swedish regional fokka to copulate (compare Swedish regional fock penis), further etymology uncertain: perhaps < an Indo-European root meaning ?to strike? also shown by classical Latin pugnus fist (see PUGNACIOUS adj.). Perhaps compare Old Icelandic fjúka to be driven on, tossed by the wind, feykja to blow, drive away, Middle High German fochen to hiss, to blow. Perhaps compare also Middle High German ficken to rub, early modern German ficken to rub, itch, scratch, German ficken to have sexual intercourse with (1558), German regional ficken to rub, to make short fast movements, to hit with rods, although the exact nature of any relationship is unclear.
    On the suggested Indo-European etymology (and for a suggestion that the word was probably a strong verb during its earlier history in English) see especially R. Lass ?Four letters in search of an etymology? in Diachronica 12 (1995) 99-111.
    It seems certain that the word was current (in transitive use) before the early 16th cent., although the only surviving attestation shows a Latin inflectional ending in a Latin-English macaronic text: see quot. a1500 and note at sense 1b. See discussion at FUCKER n. on various supposed (but very doubtful) earlier occurrences of the word in surnames. However, if the bird name WINDFUCKER n. (also FUCKWIND n.) is ultimately related, it is interesting to note an occurrence of the surname Ric' Wyndfuk', Ric' Wyndfuck' de Wodehous' (1287 in documents related to Sherwood Forest) which may show another form of the bird name. Use in a sense ?to strike? could perhaps also be reflected by the surname Fuckebegger' (1287); perhaps compare the Anglo-Norman surname Butevilein (literally ?strike the churl or wretch?), found in the 12th and 13th centuries. For discussion of a possible (although not certain) occurrence of FUCKING n. in a field name fockynggroue recorded in a Bristol charter of c1373 see R. Coates ?Fockynggroue in Bristol? in N. & Q. 252 (2007) 373-6.
    Many alternative theories have been suggested as to the origin of this word. Explanations as an acronym are often suggested, but are obviously much later rationalizations.
    Despite widespread use over a long period and in many sections of society, fuck remains (and has been for centuries) one of the English words most avoided as taboo. Until relatively recently it rarely appeared in print, and there are still a number of euphemistic ways of referring to it (compare e.g. EFF v., FECK v.2, F-WORD n., F-WORD v.); ferk in quot. 1680 at sense 1c probably likewise shows a deliberately altered spelling. It is also frequently written with asterisks, dashes, etc., to represent suppressed letters, so as to avoid the charge of obscenity. Modern quotations for the term before the 1960s typically come from private sources or from texts which were privately printed, especially on the mainland of Europe. Bailey (1721) included the word (defined ?Foeminam Subagitare?), but not Johnson (1755), Webster (1828), and later 19th- and early 20th-cent. dictionaries. Partridge (1937) included the word as ?f*ck?, noting that ?the efforts of James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence have not restored it to its orig. dignified status [in dictionaries]?. A gradual relaxation in the interpretation of obscenity laws in the U.K. followed the unsuccessful prosecution in 1960 of Penguin Books Ltd. (under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959) for the publication in the London edition of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (see, for example, quot. 1928 at sense 1b). The first modern dictionary of general English to include an entry for the verb fuck was G. N. Garmonsway’s Penguin English Dictionary of 1965.]

  272. #275 MrFire
    January 29, 2010

    Dust @228: My sincerest condolences.

  273. #276 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Hey, just found out that today is Thomas Paine/Freethinker’s Day. Everybody go be godless reactionaries!

  274. #277 Rorschach
    January 29, 2010

    Has anyone mentioned yet that JD Salinger has died ?

    And I notice that newfie got his in the “Stop sitting there” thread.
    I blame David Marjanovic.
    :D

  275. #278 Rorschach
    January 29, 2010

    Senator Joyce claimed that publications featuring small-breasted women were encouraging paedophilia.

    What’s next Barnaby ? Having sex with women under 50 kg just compensation for pedophile urges ? Going down on a shaved lady just replacement for wanting to suck that neighbor’s daughter clitty ?
    Give me a fucking break LOL.

    And to turn this around, according to that logic fucking the neighbor’s daughter is groovy as long as she’s got a D cup ?
    What a nutcase.

  276. #279 MrFire
    January 29, 2010

    Well, duh. Where do you think I got it from? Divine revelation straight to my ears from God’s mouth. ;)

    Aah but see we know you’re lying here. God would never lower himself by talking to a woman.

  277. #280 Paul W.
    January 29, 2010

    SEF @ 943 in the previous (cosmic) thread:

    CGEL is wrong in its examples.

    I’m not convinced. (Too bad I don’t have GCEL handy to see how they justify their claims—I admit you make a good argument, but I think there’s something else going on that matters.

    It is longer than a foot.

    … is clearly a reduced form of “It is longer than a foot is [long]“!

    That is not clear to me, because of the preposition-like nature of relational phrases.

    I suspect that “Is longer than a foot” is actually parsed according to a different transformation that respects the semantics of relations.

    Off the top of my head, I’d guess that “X is Aer than Y” phrases fairly immediately get transformed to something resembling “X exceeds Y (in A)”.

    So when somebody says “Jim is taller than me,” it’s typically heard like “Jim exceeds me (in height)”. You wouldn’t say “Jim exceeds I,” so you don’t say “Jim is taller than I,” either. It sounds wrong, unless you’ve had it drilled into you that it’s “correct,” and practiced hearing it the other way.

    Whenever you have a simple grammatical rule but almost every native speaker has a hard time with it, that suggests that the actual syntactic phenomenon just isn’t that simple.

    My particular story above may be entirely wrong, but I strongly suspect something special is going on in how we parse relational phrases, and the simple rule does not apply.

    It does seem that a lot of linguists think that “than” phrases are more like prepositions than not. The general idea is that you wouldn’t say “on I” or “at I”, so you don’t say “than I” either. You say “on me,” “at me” or “than me.”

    Either way, it’s pretty clear that “than me” is just ineradicable. It’s universal in informal speech, and very common even in formal speech; it’s Standard English, and has been for a long time. I doubt any amount of prescriptive grammarizing can make a serious dent in it. Trying to say that “than I” is more correct is tilting at linguistic windmills.

    (BTW, I agree with your argument that it would be nice if we could keep things simple and regular—it would avoid certain occasional ambiguous cases. I just think it’s going against the grain of the natural syntax of English, and we have to live with it. Native English speakers can’t all (or almost all) be wrong.)

  278. #281 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Aah but see we know you’re lying here. God would never lower himself by talking to a woman.

    Damn. I was hoping no one would think of that.

  279. #282 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 29, 2010

    Worst movie in history: The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938

  280. #283 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Whatever it is, I’d like to request that the portion from mine on The Thread be donated to the Lynna Diagnostic Fund.
    hell yeah
    Lynna, quite seriously, would donations be useful? My checkbook (well, Quicken, actually) stands ready….
    Holy Crap … in a good way! I see that while I was out trying to make some money, all sorts of good-hearted folks were planning to help. I should be too proud to refuse help, that being what my taciturn father taught, but I do need help. And pride can take a back seat for awhile.

    I’ll look into this some more. For one thing, we need more facts. I’ll have to pick up the actual diagnostic orders from my doctor. The phone calls I’ve made to providers of the diagnostic tests have been frustrating, with costs ranging all over the place depending on “if this, then that” situations. I have to narrow the parameters.

  281. #284 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    @59

    OMs continue to attack me…

    Just wanted to repeat that for fun. Attack of the OMs!

  282. #285 Rorschach
    January 29, 2010

    And Lynna, feel free to post your symptoms in more detail, might give me a better idea of what went on and what costly tests are really necessary…
    I’m off to bed , but will check in the morning.

    OMs continue to attack me…

    The interesting factoid here being that killfiling seems to only apply to one particular thread at a time.

  283. #286 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    ‘Tis @74

    can still sail. I just won’t be doing any more long distance racing.
    My father taught me how to sail when I was 8. The day I stop sailing is the day I start to die.

    I was glad to see this ‘Tis. Lots ‘o shorter trips then. So be it.

  284. #287 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Sven @77

    New, bold predictions from the International Journal of Thread Studies just released.

    I don’t know why I love those graphs so much, Sven, but I do. They tickle me. BTW, I too would love to be able to bandy “hockey stick” around in reference to Endless Thread growth.

  285. #288 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    Why the fuck do Christians say abortion is killing innocent babies?

    Because they’ve got a better-developed sense of morals than their own god, especially if they’re Catholic (see comment 218).

    Either that, or comment 203, but the latter would mean that comment 212 describes a way to Heaven (and we can’t have that, can we), and it also wouldn’t square with the concept (sorry for the pun) of immaculate conception.

    and – my personal favourite – fucking clown shoe.

    Ridiculously porphyritic granitoid!

    SQUID article:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127223616.htm

    Cool, cool.

    And to think that we have a Vibrio species of our own? Vibrio cholerae? I think this counts as further evidence for Giant Squid Theory. Praise be unto the FSM, for we are not the ones made in His image.

    I’ve just checked my email and apparently I have won the British lottery for the third time this week and the Swedish lottery once.

    Sounds like half of my daily lottery winnings. I’m on a mailing list that has been advertizing my address daily, unconcealed, for the last almost 10 years (and the listowners can’t do anything about that because they don’t own the software or the archives).

    Where do these people come up with this shit?

    From not knowing that not everyone has their exact preferences? they want to think they’re normal? no, it’s from not knowing anything and not thinking the rest through.

    Conduct daily physical nipple inspections.

    Heh. Reminds me of the “security checks” in brothels that the (up to then) chief of the Viennese branch of the xenophobe party conducted a few years ago (before that party split in two)? using a credit card linked to the party’s account. He said what he did were “security checks”.

    which is something the ALP certainly has in common with many other “Labour” parties around the world

    Austria’s Social Democratic Party is for allowing adoption by gay couples*, drawing outrage from the conservatives.

    Of course, it doesn’t call itself “Labo(u)r”. :^)

    * ?for which the word “marriage” must not be used, but a large part of the rest of the differences is going to disappear soon.

    “Awareness of Occupational Health Safety and Welfare and Equal Opportunity responsibilities and commitment to their implementation”

    Wow. That sounds like Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

    this recurring nightmare, which I started having at around 4

    Am I feeling sick?

    I think I am.

    or maybe raisins or dates or manna or whatever

    Or raisin dates even!

    Incorrigible?

    It mentions bacon. :-)

    But it also mentions?

    neuro-linguistic programming expert

    <yawn> Professional pseudoscientist. As it says in the comments?

    I was interested until you cited an ‘NLP expert’, who reads Allan and Barbara Pease’s science-free drivel on men and women, as some kind of authority.

    I’ve flushed better experts down the toilet.

    Steve Wichett knows about all the naughty things husbands get up to. He also knows the fundamental reason why men lie to their wives: ?It?s a strategy to avoid pain and punishment.?

    Duuuuuuuuuh!!!

    Makes me even angrier than Walton apologising. :^)

    ?Men need it because it gives them a partner with the emotional intelligence they know they lack,?

    B-)

    ?Shopping?s another good one. I always use Waitrose because my wife gets cross that it?s so expensive. And although it isn?t true to say I buy things deliberately to annoy her, it?s definitely a good incentive. The other day I found this statuette on eBay, commissioned for a competition in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, of a female athlete raising her arm in an Olympic salute, which also looks quite Nazi. There?s a swastika stamped on the bottom. It was only £200, and it?s now in our sitting room, but my wife hates it. She says it?s a total waste of money and that everyone will think we?re Nazis.?

    It’s not emotional intelligence this guy lacks.

    Journalist and author Rod Liddle, himself a reformed roué, says: ?I reckon 90 per cent of married men ? if they could be guaranteed to get away with it ? would have affairs.? And as far as desire is concerned, he is probably right. ?God, I?d just love to have some completely meaningless sex with some gorgeous girl I?d met on a business trip,? admits Simon.

    <scratching head>

    ?I didn?t have sex with a man until I was 34. At the time, my wife was pregnant with our first child. Before that I?d had girlfriends, and enjoyed the sex, though not as much as I did with men.?

    The surprising bit ? and Barry should know ? was just how many married men out there are secretly gay. ?And I don?t mean bisexual. Hardly any men are. They?re just gay men in denial or living a lie,? he says.

    If by “bisexual” he means “3, not 4, on the Kinsey scale”? :-| I mean, he’s not 6 on it.

  286. #289 MrFire
    January 29, 2010

    Everybody go be godless reactrevolutionaries!

    …right? ;)

  287. #290 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Rorschach @285, Thanks. Here’s what I gave to my doctor in the way of summary:

    I had what I am tentatively calling a transient ischemic attack on Friday, January 15th, between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
         When I finally got my brain back online enough to figure out that something wasn’t quite right, I conducted some odd tests, including checking my browsing history and the emails I sent earlier in the day in order to pinpoint my last coherent moment, and to guess how long I was … confused. Best guess: I was confused for about three-four hours.
         At some point, I realized that trying to determine the coherency of my brain, using my possibly incoherent brain to do so, did not make sense. I don’t know how long it took me realize this, but I’m guessing 1/2 to 1 hour.
         I made sure I could smile, had equal strength in both hands, etc. I remembered to take an aspirin, though the thought to take the aspirin had to occur about three times (guessing here) before I took it. [Later, I found out that a single full-dose aspirin may not have been a good idea if I was bleeding in my brain, as opposed to having a clot in my brain.]
         I also, illogically, called my daughter, who is in Manhattan and nowhere near close enough to help me. She told me to call my brother Steve, who does live nearby. “Oh, yeah,” I thought, “that makes more sense.” Steve called your office, and answered the questions of the doctor on call (Dr. Stoddard, I think) over the phone. I was almost back to normal by then so luckily I didn’t have to go to the emergency room and spend thousands of dollars I don’t have.
         Apart from the mail on my kitchen table, my mind seems to have filled in about three hours of lost time. I now remember getting the mail, but the actual items still look “foreign” to me. This cuts down the lost time to about only one hour.
         I experienced a tendency to cry at the slightest provocation, had a headache (though not a debilitatingly bad headache, just steady), was sweating more than usual, and thought that I smelled different. I experienced fatigue for several days, plus a craving for oranges. I drove my truck successfully threee days after the Lynna-is-offline event.
         The only medications I’m taking are 10 mg/day of Zetia; a generic substitute for Estratest called Esterf (1.25/2.5 mg/day); and Osteo Bi-Flex joint shield. I have resumed taking a single, low-dose, 81 mg buffered aspirin per day, per Doctor Stoddard’s suggestion.

    Rorschach, one of the “if this, then that” scenarios for imaging is “contrast or no contrast” — one of the questions I need to answer.

  288. #291 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    Reminds me of the “security checks” in brothels

    Or of the even more extreme claim made on a recent QI programme – that some country’s driving test included a gynaecological exam for women!

    Duuuuuuuuuh!!!

    Yes, it’s just so incredibly insightful.

  289. #292 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Miki Z @81:

    They took this interpretation from scripture. Since I have complex partial seizures, and they weren’t diagnosed until well into adulthood, I lost a lot of time to amnesia and did not know why. The story of how to get prayers answered is that you ask and God will blank out your mind if the idea is wicked or wrong. So obviously I must have been having some seriously wicked thoughts. Oops. If my family had not insisted on this, maybe I could have gotten medical help a decade earlier.

    Man! The details I’ve forgotten from my admittedly spotty study of the scriptures… I’ll bet Patricia would have gotten that reference. It’s just one more way to be wrong.

    I’ve always been appalled by how much time people waste studying scriptures to determine both the “truth” and a path for their lives (not for history or literature or human psychology purposes). They could have spent all that time learning something useful.

    As for my overhearing the “Cast into Outer Darkness” conversation (whispered, but still with the initial caps :-)) — that was mormons talking about apostate mormons. I was in my Sister Lynna outfit for ease of access to Temple Square, where I was going to take photos, but ended up not doing so thanks to FBI-like security guards. I took a break in a local restaurant and was waiting with others to be seated by the hostess. Some young boys (about 15 years old, I’d guess) were talking about how nice it would be to get married in the spring when the flowers around the temple were at their best. Fucking weird.

  290. #293 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    And not a single blockqutoe [heh] failure in it! Hahaaa! <mad cackling> It’s almost as if I weren’t tired at all!

    and for a suggestion that the word was probably a strong verb during its earlier history in English

    Fick, fack, fuck?

    Well! This would solve the mystery I mentioned yesterday! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    I should mention, however, that the German one is a weak verb, completely regular.

    ?Four letters in search of an etymology?

    :-D

    Diachronica is one of the top journals of phylogenetics in linguistics historical linguistics. And I hate paywalls, even though the online archive doesn’t go back to 1995.

    And I notice that newfie got his in the “Stop sitting there” thread.

    I blame David Marjanovic.

    I’ll visit that thread again to find out what you mean?

  291. #294 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Alan B @89, I hadn’t thought about having a sledge inside a coffin. Your mind takes some interesting turns, doesn’t it? You’re right though, there’s not enough room to swing a sledge inside a coffin, so one had better stick with the rock hammer. Maybe put a chisel in your pocket for good measure. Small crowbar?

    You and I are going to need some beefed-up coffin bearers.

  292. #295 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    (It’s always risky to reply to the first post you see in the morning without first reading the 30+ others that have also accumulated in the thread, but I feel compelled to take the chance.)

    Pygmy Loris (@249):

    I’m rethinking the use of “sexual deviants” in my post a #248. That phrase has been used too much against people who participate in legal, consensual sex acts to be appropriate here.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Deviant is probably an accurate term for men (like me, I might add) who prefer A-cup breasts over C-cups, in the sense that we probably do deviate from some statistical norm of men’s preferences (however, by the same logic, guys who like stripper-huge enhanced DDs or bigger are also “deviants”… but I digress). Similarly, gay and kinky people are “deviants” if we assume (as I suspect is true) that the statistical norm is straight, vanilla sex.

    The problem is that people don’t use the word to indicate divergence from a statistical measure; instead, they use it to mark divergence from an arbitrary moral standard. The word is ambiguous: It’s not understood to mean what it does mean, and it’s used to mean something it doesn’t mean. Hence, I agree we shouldn’t continue to use it… at all.

    I’m trying to think of a better turn of phrase, but one’s not coming to me right now.

    I suggest that we say, instead, that people are sexually diverse. Diversity has a positive rather than negative connotation (for most people, that is, and the RWAs who sneer at the word are beyond hope anyway), and it refers to relative differences, rather than divergence from some fixed norm (whether statistical, moral, or otherwise), making it less presumptuous regarding what sort of sex is good.

    Now on to the underlying issue of the specious suggestion that a preference for small breasts (or shaven genitals, or petite bodies, which are often included in this line of argument) somehow suggests that a man is an incipient pedophile, which is one of my huge pet peeves.

    The whole question of preference for physical attributes or types is fraught with social peril, because even discussing it leaves one open to claims of objectification. Can we begin by agreeing that all of us make aesthetic1 judgments about the people who occupy our sexual focus, and for those of us who are straight, that means we makes aesthetic judgments about members of the opposite sex? That may inherently involve some degree of objectification, but it’s just a fact of life for self-aware, sexually dimorphous animals. S’alright?

    OK, with that out of the way, here’s the deal: I don’t like small breasts and petite, shaven bodies because I secretly sexualize children (as this Australian AssclamSenator seems to think is universally the case); I like those things because I generally like curves better than angles; smooth, gentle curves better that sharp curves; clean, unadorned surfaces better than busy, highly decorated surfaces; and subtle, delicate shapes better than bold, aggressive shapes. This a consistent aesthetic that I apply to all the things I make aesthetic judgments about: fashion, jewelry, art, architecture, even what cars and airplanes I consider beautiful (alright, alright… don’t judge me for thinking cars and airplanes are beautiful). In the final analysis, it’s not about what I want to have sex with; it’s about what I like to look at. That overlaps with my sexuality; it does not define it2.

    I guess this all might get filed under TMI; sorry about that. It’s just that I’ve been hearing this “Guys who like [small breasts/shaven genitals/small women] are latent child molesters” meme for far too long, and it cheeses me off more than a little bit!

    1 Please don’t ask me why I spell this word aesthetic but don’t spell pedophile as paedophile. I’m inconsistent; deal with it! ;^)

    2 In fact, not one of my actual sexual partners has closely conformed to my theoretical aesthetic ideal. It seems that what I like to look at has very little to do with the people I have chosen to involve myself with.

  293. #296 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010
    threee

    Self-referential spelling :-)

  294. #297 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Everybody go be godless reactrevolutionaries!

    …right? ;)

    (grumpy) Yes. I don’t even have the excuse of it being a first-of-the-morning post to explain the error.

  295. #298 cicely
    January 29, 2010

    A.Noyd:

    But, man, I love these horrible but logical consequences of their dogmas that religious people overlook or try to avoid.

    Yep. And when the kid asks one of these questions, they say, “When you’re older, you’ll understand”, which is short for, “When you’re older, you’ll understand that you shouldn’t ask these questions”.

    Lynna:
    Let us know when you can get a cost estimate. I ain’t got much spare cash, but I’m sure I could kick a bit into the hat.

  296. #299 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    John Morales (@256):

    Walton, it’s the Australian Labor Party, and if you think that they’re more authoritarian than the Opposition, you’re in la-la land.

    I defer to you WRT Australian politics, about which I know nothing (except that there is an actual Australian Sex Party), but I don’t find much else to disagree with in Walton’s comments @254: Like him, I’m concerned that pedophilia and child pornography, though real problems, have been opportunistically overhyped by those whose real agenda is to demonize a much wider range of (perfectly acceptable) sexual behavior; like him, I despise the criminalization of normal teenage sexuality; and like him, I oppose most, if not all, attempts to censor adult content on teh intertoooobz.

    Is it just me, or is there not frequently a disconnect between the ideas Walton espouses and the political parties and institutions he identifies with? Walton, kiddo, I think there might be a tiny bit of denial going on. ;^)

  297. #300 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    SC,OM @153: Nabokov is one of my all-time favorites, all-time because I first read his prose in high school and he’s one of the few authors I return to for a jolt of literary delight. You can’t beat him for economical, but telling details. From your link:

    …it gave her a kind of soft shock, a mixture of compassion and wonder, to notice that one of the passengers,
    a girl with dark hair and grubby red toenails…

    It’s the “grubby red toenails” that draw you in.

  298. #301 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010
    OMs continue to attack me…

    Just wanted to repeat that for fun. Attack of the OMs!

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies chanting furiously and angrily:

    OMmmmmmmm!! 7:^/

  299. #302 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    MikiZ, have you ever read the book Running From the Devil by Steve Kissing? I think you might like it.

    So might everyone else – it’s a memoir about how he grew up having seizures but thought they were caused by Satan, and his attempts to be good with God to make them go away. And somehow with such a downer topic, the book itself is hilarious.

  300. #303 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Bill Dauphin,

    I guess this all might get filed under TMI; sorry about that. It’s just that I’ve been hearing this “Guys who like [small breasts/shaven genitals/small women] are latent child molesters” meme for far too long, and it cheeses me off more than a little bit!

    Isn’t the internet designed for TMI ;) Anyway, I think you have some good points. One more thing I would say is that small breasts are still breasts.

    The thing that pissed me off the most about this is the implication that women with small breasts aren’t really adults, and the only reason an adult would be interested in them is because the woman resembles a child. Being a small woman with a youthful face already means that I have to deal with people treating me like a child*. I really don’t need people trying to codify my body as too child-like to be sexually appealing.

    *One of the things I love about the internet is that people can’t see me, so I don’t have to deal with the often subconscious urge to treat me like a precocious child rather than an adult.

  301. #304 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010
    threee

    Self-referential spelling :-)

    Or perhaps just Pythonesque Inquisitional spelling?

    Our threee chief weapons….

  302. #305 MrFire
    January 29, 2010

    (grumpy) Yes. I don’t even have the excuse of it being a first-of-the-morning post to explain the error.

    I have the advantage of being a Morning PersonTM. However, unlike, for example, David Machineovi?, I have no stamina. So watch for my typefarts later in the day and rub my face in it!

    In the meantime, this being the Pharyngula backroom bar, how about I get you the beverage of your choice, in a swimming pool-sized glass?

  303. #306 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    the implication that women with small breasts aren’t really adults, and the only reason an adult would be interested in them is because the woman resembles a child.

    It also carries the implication that large-breasted (or whatever passes for normal) women are only interesting for their breasts. The whole notion intrinsically objectifies women (down to specific parts) instead of regarding them as individuals in their own rights.

  304. #307 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Pygmy Loris (@303):

    Is it totally horrible that the more you say about yourself, the more I’d like to see a picture of you?

  305. #308 negentropyeater
    January 29, 2010

    Bill,

    Can we begin by agreeing that all of us make aesthetic judgments about the people who occupy our sexual focus, and for those of us who are straight, that means we makes aesthetic judgments about members of the opposite sex?

    I tend to make aesthetic judgements about most things, men, women, dogs, teapots, carrots… They don’t all occupy my sexual focus though.
    Joke appart, as a straight man, don’t you make aesthetic judgments about other men ?

  306. #309 Paul
    January 29, 2010

    , guys who like stripper-huge enhanced DDs

    Ouch. There are people defending the natural-ness of A cups in this thread, but the natural DDs get accused of being “stripper-huge”? Seems a little harsh.

  307. #310 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    We all know that women are just immature versions of the true adult human. The only way we can know that a woman is not an adolescent male is the size of her breasts. Is she has merely an A cup, how can one tell if she is an adult at all.

    Blah, this is the same type of insane troll logic that claims that watching any type of porn make you gay.

  308. #311 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2010

    Frankly, my personal attraction is to smaller breasted women.

    I guess need help now.

    And so does my wife.

    It never ceases to amaze me to what lengths people will go to over react and display their stupidity.

  309. #312 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    He can bite my gorgeous (apparently acceptable) D cups.

    No FAIR! (size irrelevant)

    the bird name WINDFUCKER n. (also FUCKWIND n.)

    wtf? I must know what kind of bird earned such an excellent monicker.

    I was in my Sister Lynna outfit

    *imagination shifts gears*

    the specious suggestion that a preference for small breasts (or shaven genitals, or petite bodies, which are often included in this line of argument) somehow suggests that a man is an incipient pedophile

    I’m with you here, Bill, in more ways than one, but I have to admit thaqt the whole vulva-shaving phenomenon gives me pause. Apart (partly) from the fact that it’s not my preference for lookng at, playing with, or snuffling around in, I can’t help being a bit squicked about the implied denial of physiological maturity involved. *shrug* My issue?

    Self-referential spelling

    that was a win

    Or perhaps just Pythonesque Inquisitional spelling?

    also pretty good

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies

    surely not all OMs resemble me so closely…?

    watching any type of porn make you gay.

    lol wut?

  310. #313 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    Ouch. There are people defending the natural-ness of A cups in this thread, but the natural DDs get accused of being “stripper-huge”? Seems a little harsh.

    No, he said “stripper-huge enhanced DD”, [emphasis mine] which to me makes a huge (so to speak) difference. There is a significant difference between a natural DD and an “enhanced” DD. The latter usually looking like exactly what they are: large bags of saline under over-stretched skin that look hard as bowling balls. Really rather horrifying actually.

    (I am not saying all enhancements are obvious and/or horrifying, it is just the outrageously extreme ones which I think was meant by the phrase “stripper-huge enhanced DD”)

  311. #314 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Neg (@308):

    I didn’t mean to suggest that people who occupy our sexual focus are the only thing we make aesthetic judgments about. I was just trying to innoculate the sexual aesthetic judgments I was about to talk about against charges of objectification.

    …as a straight man, don’t you make aesthetic judgments about other men ?

    Sure, but the judgement I make is almost never “wow, that’s beautiful” and really most sincerely never “wow, that’s hot.” And no, that’s not some methinks-he-doth-protest-too-much attempt to deny my own latent homosexuality: I’m philosophically as gay-friendly a straight man as you could hope to meet, and I’d be happy to report myself as super-zero on the Kinsey scale if it were so… but the plain fact is that I’ve never felt the slightest sexual attraction to another male.

    As I said in my first post on this, I have a consistent aesthetic that generally prefers shapes most people would characterize as a feminine rather than masculine. In fact, I sometimes wonder about the relationship between my aesthetics and my sexuality: Do I prefer “feminine” shapes because I’m straight, or is it my preference for feminine shapes that makes me straight? More likely, there’s no direct causal relationship, of course, but the question has caused more than one chin-stroke on my part.

    Of course, I can look at male bodies critically, admiring their physical developement and athleticism (aside: I’m not saying athletic bodies are better than others; I’m just a sports fan) or trying to imagine whether straight women or gay men would find them attractive… but the personal aesthetic judgment I make is virtually always “does nothing for me; sorry.”

    guys who like stripper-huge enhanced DDs

    Ouch. There are people defending the natural-ness of A cups in this thread, but the natural DDs get accused of being “stripper-huge”?

    First, I wasn’t talking about natural DDs (hence the word enhanced). But more to the point, I wasn’t characterizing the breasts themselves. Instead, I was characterizing a certain species of male preference (hence, “guys who like…”) for exaggerated breasts. No denigration of large breasts was intended: My whole point was that the universe of diverse sexual/aesthetic preferences is “all good.”

  312. #315 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    I must know what kind of bird earned such an excellent monicker.

    Teh Google knows all; tells all.

    It’s the kestrel.
    Perfect!

    However, catch the utter stupidity of the last sentence in the following ‘kipedia paragraph:

    Up until the end of the 19th century, one of the currently archaic names for the kestrel was the “windfucker”, at the time still considered common. When the term “fuck” became profane, this name has been removed from the dictionaries (including Oxford and Weber). Today, no such word exists in the English language.

  313. #316 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    January 29, 2010

    Steve #312 – It’s a Kestrel, a wind-beater, a wind-fucker, a wind-hover.
    “Fuck” is just a C16/17th euphemism (meaning beat/strike). I wonderm what was the really naughty word they couldn’t say, and need to soften it up by saying “fuck” instead?

  314. #317 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    windfucker

    word o’ the week!

  315. #318 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    @184

    “Precisely the same” said Mr Badger. “The Professor made the same remark in his last illness when (his mind wandering) he insisted on keeping his little hammer under the pillow, and chipping at the countenances of the attendants.”
    Bleak House, Charles Dickens

    lol. excellent. From this description, I deduce that I should keep my rock hammer under my pillow, at the ready, so to speak.

  316. #319 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    In fact, I sometimes wonder about the relationship between my aesthetics and my sexuality: Do I prefer “feminine” shapes because I’m straight, or is it my preference for feminine shapes that makes me straight?

    Correlation is not causation…

    More likely, there’s no direct causal relationship, of course

    …but you already know that.

  317. #320 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    thanks, RTL, on behalf of “Steve” [insert smiley-thing]

  318. #321 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Regarding the poll that Carlie linked to @186: This is another Jesus Fucking Christ moment. The poll, currently running above 60% “yes”, asks if NBC should air an anti-abortion ad from a homophobic organization during the Super Bowl — but they don’t word it that way. The poll question does make the connection to Focus on the Family. Ugh. Should be running 80% “no” by now. Beer, yes, cars and computers, yes … but fundie death cult lies, no.

  319. #322 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    unless we’re still on the week of “starfart”, in which case “windfucker” can be the word o’ next week.

    Or, better, we can start the word-week on Friday.

    problem solved

  320. #323 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Is it just me, or is there not frequently a disconnect between the ideas Walton espouses and the political parties and institutions he identifies with? Walton, kiddo, I think there might be a tiny bit of denial going on. ;^)

    I’ve noticed this as well. Many of Walton’s socio-political preferences would make his an ordinary, common or garden liburl here in the US. He’s still a free market capitalist (although not a laissez faire marketeer) but his other expressed views make him seem like a wild-eyed moderate.

  321. #324 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    January 29, 2010

    Steve re Kestrels

    The reason I knew is that this discussion has been had, recently, on BAUT :)
    When I saw the first mentions of “fuck” early in the thread I nearly answered, but thought, nah, someone else will have posted it before I can, why bother? Heh.

    http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/99564-word-usage-rant-6.html

    see post # 179

  322. #325 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Sven (@312):

    I have to admit that the whole vulva-shaving phenomenon gives me pause. Apart (partly) from the fact that it’s not my preference for lookng at, playing with, or snuffling around in, I can’t help being a bit squicked about the implied denial of physiological maturity involved. *shrug* My issue?

    I dunno. Aside from diapering my infant daughter, I’ve never actually seen a prepubescent vulva (I guess I wasn’t very adventurous when I was prepubescent myself), and that association never even occured to me before I heard someone make the accusation (in a discussion about porn, IIRC). To me, shaven genitals don’t look immature; they just look smooth.

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies

    surely not all OMs resemble me so closely…?

    I was actually riffing on the idea of pronouncing OM as a word. I had in mind an episode in one of Spider Robinson’s novels in which some hippies living in a backwoods Canadian commune come into conflict because some of them treat their communal ommmm as music, and start improvising, while others think there’s, like, too much ego in doing that, man. ;^)

  323. #326 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Since we’re playing sexual attraction TMI, before I met my wife I was attracted to well rounded, full breasted women (similar to what I suppose the Australian senator’s ideal is). My wife is a petite, slim woman who before she was pregnant was so small breasted that she rarely wore a bra.

    It took a while before I felt physically attracted to her but I was intellectually and emotionally attracted right from the first meeting.

  324. #327 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Paul W. #280 (referring to #943 and #925 in the previous thread):

    I’m not convinced.

    But, tellingly, you’ve failed to come up with any valid reason why you’re not convinced. Merely being made uncomfortable by something just puts you in the same position as creationists who don’t like where the evidence leads and suspect there must be a trick somewhere because they’re unwilling to give up their preciously held misconceptions.

    So when somebody says “Jim is taller than me,” it’s typically heard like “Jim exceeds me (in height)”. You wouldn’t say “Jim exceeds I,” so you don’t say “Jim is taller than I,” either.

    That’s specious. There are plenty of constructions in English where the same general meaning can be conveyed by completely different words using different standard formats. It is wrong to say that because construction A takes a particular form that construction B should too. It’s usually the opposite which is the truth when not dealing with simple synonyms.

    And, yes, one would say “Jim is taller than I [am]” (for certain values of Jim and I!).

    You didn’t address the other example I refuted at all.

    Incidentally, the next two CGEL examples you gave were no better. Barring faulty reporting on your part, I have to conclude that the CGEL experts/”authorities” are idiots – as is anyone foolish enough to believe them without noticing for themselves that they were talking rubbish.

    “He’s poorer than poor.” would be short for “He’s poorer than poor is.” – referring to some nominally agreed definition of “poor” (there’s more than one in use in the UK). However, it’s mostly just a bit of pretentious poetic exaggeration anyway rather than something sensible.

    “I saw no one other than Bob.” – doesn’t even qualify for consideration because it uses a name rather than a pronoun (hence no information of subject vs object is available).

  325. #328 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    Bill, apparently there is more to this “immature vulva” look than just shaving. BBC reported on a growing phenomenon of surgical procedures to make a woman look more “youthful” there. Usually by reducing the size of the labia so that everything stays nicely “tucked in”. I’m sure the incidence of this is probably exagerrated but still, the fact it exists at all is a little disturbing.

  326. #329 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Well, obvious blockquote fail, courtesy of me, in comment 283. I trust everyone figured it out. Nevertheless, I apologize. [Goes in search of biggest coffee cup in the house.]

  327. #330 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Is ‘Tis Himself’s sailboat a windfucker?

  328. #331 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    SteveM (@328):

    Bill, apparently there is more to this “immature vulva” look than just shaving. BBC reported on a growing phenomenon of surgical procedures to make a woman look more “youthful” there.

    youthful childlike

    Lots of women (and men) have cosmetic surgery of all kinds to look more “youthful”; it doesn’t follow that they’re trying to look like children or appeal to pedophiles. I’m not a big fan of cosmetic surgery myself (even when the look it’s trying to create is one I find aesthetically pleasing), but I recognize all people’s authority over their own bodies; if somebody wants to look younger badly enough to accept the risk and pain of surgery, who am I to say them nay?

    On the other hand… if this surgery really is intended to make grown women resemble children sexually, I agree it’s pretty disturbing.

    On the gripping hand… the thing that’s bad about pedophilia is that it victimizes actual children. Fetishizing adults who look like children is disconcertingly reminiscent of pedophilia, but is it logically any more objectionable than any other fetish? If we accept (as I do) that consensual adult pain play is distinct from actual violence, why would we not accept that consensual adult age play is distinct from actual pedophilia?

    The whole issue is nettlesome, I admit… but still, I insist that my preference for smooth, soft skin over coarse hair has nothing to do with perceptions of age or maturity.

  329. #332 Walton
    January 29, 2010

    I’ve noticed this as well. Many of Walton’s socio-political preferences would make his an ordinary, common or garden liburl here in the US. He’s still a free market capitalist (although not a laissez faire marketeer) but his other expressed views make him seem like a wild-eyed moderate.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, since the similar discussion on the Joe Basel thread. I’m a socio-cultural liberal, in that I support gay marriage and gay adoption, gender equality, secularism, and other “liberal” stances on socio-cultural issues. I take a broadly free-market libertarian outlook on economic issues, but I’m not a radical libertarian, and I recognise the need for areas of regulation (for instance, to protect the environment and natural resources) and for a welfare safety-net. I also strongly support freedom of speech and other civil liberties, as well as the legalisation of recreational drugs, and I oppose authoritarian penal policies and the over-use of imprisonment.

    Basically, I think I’m in a fairly similar position to Andrew Sullivan – who self-identifies as a conservative, but has repudiated much of the modern American right. Apart from his continuing attachment to Roman Catholicism (even though he disagrees with the Vatican’s teaching on most issues), I agree with Sullivan on the majority of issues. So that certainly makes me a “liberal” compared to the mainstream of the Republican Party today, but I can probably still identify as a British Tory without too much ideological dissonance.

    Fundamentally, my ideas about politics have become more and more complex and nuanced over time; and I’ve gradually realised that, since reality is complex and doesn’t always make perfect sense, trying to fit it into a perfectly coherent ideological prism doesn’t really work. So I don’t think there’s a magic ideological descriptor which perfectly fits all the ideas I currently hold.

  330. #333 Sili
    January 29, 2010
  331. #334 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    It’s the “grubby red toenails” that draw you in.

    Or repulse you with the fury of a thousand demons. What is this, Squirrel fetish day?

    Is it totally horrible that the more you say about yourself, the more I’d like to see a picture of you?

    Get in line, Bill

    Frankly, my personal attraction is to smaller breasted women.

    Damn, but we are coming out of the woodwork today. Should we start a club?

    I’m with you here, Bill, in more ways than one, but I have to admit thaqt the whole vulva-shaving phenomenon gives me pause.

    Two words: razor stubble.

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies

    Started another batch of sprouts yesterday.

    The latter usually looking like exactly what they are: large bags of saline under over-stretched skin that look hard as bowling balls.

    A friend of mine said you can hear them slosh.

    BS

  332. #335 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    ok, once more on the grammar issue. I think it would do the English-speaking world a lot of good if the form “than I” was universally accepted as the correct one, because it is far more precise*. However, since English speakers seem to have some sort of prejudice against language precision, it will most likely not happen that way.

    ——

    *as I explained to my boyfriend, there’s a world of difference between the phrase “you like your plants more than I” and the phrase “you like your plants more than me”: agreeing with one of them is ok, agreeing with the other will get him strangled and the plants fed to the chickens :-p

  333. #336 Sanction
    January 29, 2010

    Since we’re playing sexual attraction TMI

    I realized some time ago that my preference for breast size adapts to the breast size of my current partner. (Adapted, rather, as I have no plans to swap out my wife.)

    When I was with a woman with DD-sized breasts, I was all hot for large breasts, and so on correspondingly down through the sizes.

    There was some adaptation lag, but not much.

    I also realized that I never initially became attracted to a woman based on her breast size. My teenage self would never have believed it.

  334. #337 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #335:

    As per my explanation of the example at the end of post #943 in the previous thread, it matters a lot whether one is contrasting the subject or the object when reducing several statements down to just one!

    (a) You like your plants. I like your plants. You like your plants more than I [do].

    (b) You like your plants. You like me. You like your plants more than [you do] me.

    Both involve the loss of words which would otherwise make the distinction even clearer. You can’t do without those words if you aren’t using pronouns but a name.

    (c) You like your plants. You like Bob. You like your plants more than Bob.

    … doesn’t tell you (or even hint at) whether it was intended to be “more than Bob does” or “more than you do Bob”.

  335. #338 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    Another example – but one which shows how the other type of contrast works in one of the previously disputed example:

    (a) You are more tall than I [am].

    (b) You are more tall than [you are] wide.

    The first version is contrasting you and I as subjects, not “tall” with “me” as descriptions (where “me” ought to be obviously ridiculous but for some reason isn’t for many of you). The second version is contrasting two attributes – not subjects having different values of the same attribute.

  336. #339 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    This is a story that could be spun several ways: good news for 141 orphans from Haiti, or bad news for 141 orphans kidnapped by mormons, or good news for some of them and bad for others.

    Stephen Studdert, mormon Head Cheese (Stake President, LDS Mission Presidents, etc.) and former member of Ronald Reagan’s White House staff, chartered a jet in Utah and flew to Haiti to rescue some orphans.

    ABC 4 News has learned Stephen Studdert, the task force leader, went immediately into negotiations with both U.S. and Haitian officials on the fate of orphans from the Foyer de Sion Orphanage — 70 of whom already have adoptive parents waiting for them in the United States.
         These negotiations continued through the early morning hours of Friday while the task force’s charter jet remained on the runway at the Port au Prince airport in violation of rules requiring relief aircraft to depart within 90 minutes of arrival.
         Studdert …has extensive experience with the United Nations and serves as an advisor to the Under Secretary of the United Nations….
         Studdert started the task force with a call to all former L.D.S. missionaries who served in Haiti to return in the aftermath of the earthquake to serve again, this time as volunteer interpreters.

    Stephen Studdert is the guy who wrote a recent article in which he conflated mormon dogma with libertarianism, restoring the USA to its rightful Christian Nation status, etc. All familiar, right? Reminds me of gubernatorial candidate Rammell:

    Our Imperiled National Promise: [excerpts follow]…
    more deeply concerning to me, and should be to you, is the accelerating global abandonment of Jesus Christ by the President of the United States. President Obama has said to foreign nations: ?We’re no longer a Christian nation” and we are ?a secular nation.?
         Such an historic presidential departure should be beyond comprehension. Since our national beginning, America ‘s leaders have boldly declared our dependence on our Lord.
         The Mayflower Compact , authored by Governor William Bradford in 1620, declares ?Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith,…”
         Patrick Henry, known by his contemporaries as the Orator of the Revolution , said : ?It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.?
         Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams…
         They’re not alone; every American president throughout our national history has thus proclaimed. Until now.
         From the very advent of this dispensation, Prophets too have unequivocally declared America to be a nation of Christ….
    President Gordon B. Hinckley said, ?God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him . He has declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord “.
         Elder L. Tom Perry gave counsel during our American Bicentennial in 1976 which is prophetically applicable to the circumstances of today: ?… The adversary knows all too well that a weak America will literally stop this building process and thwart the work of God.?
         It is time you and I ? as Americans and especially as Latter-day Saints ?awake from our silent slumber and require our national leaders to return from crooked paths. Our personal, family, religious, and national promise depends on it.

    I don’t trust a guy that thinks like that to rescue anyone. And what is he doing serving as an advisor in the U.N.? It’s all a little odd, and a little arrogant — arrogant while claiming to be humble.

    I loved what Steve Studdert said last night to the group, ?If there is anyone here with an ego?Go home now. If you are a complainer?go home now.? The overall feeling here on this plane is humility.

  337. #341 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    as I explained to my boyfriend, there’s a world of difference between the phrase “you like your plants more than I” and the phrase “you like your plants more than me”: agreeing with one of them is ok, agreeing with the other will get him strangled and the plants fed to the chickens :-p

    Great example, Jadehawk! That clears it up for me.

  338. #342 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna, the Haiti story definitely goes into the “mormons are monsters” file. Note that their airplane was blocking the airport, thus preventing plains with real help to get to Haiti.

    I also don’t like the concept of “emergency adoptions”, but that’s a complex and long-winded topic in and of itself. in this particular instance it’s extra vile because it’s proselytizing via adoption.

  339. #343 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies

    I find it hilarious that I read this while contemplating whether or not to have the lentil soup I have in the freezer here at work for lunch.

  340. #344 Fred The Hun
    January 29, 2010

    Justb tought I throw this little tidbit out for someone to chew on…

    Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank’s diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, after a parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes.

    Got it. Nazi Atrocities are OK for the kids to hear about but not the emerging sexual desires of a pubescent 13 year old. Oh, not to mention teh evil gays, much worse than genocide I imagine…

  341. #345 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    planes, not plains

  342. #346 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    Enough Moments of Mormon Madness, let’s have some Scientology madness. John Morales brought this up on the “tell it to someone in power”/cunt thread; if the part about clams is too tedious, skip over it and get yourself the part on Piltdown Man. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh?

    as a straight man, don’t you make aesthetic judgments about other men ?

    Well? only when they’re drastically ugly (and very few are).

    Thanks to the mass media, I have some idea of which kinds of male face are considered handsome in the published opinion, but those tend to be the very ones that make my sister puke, so? no, I can’t even pretend to be able to tell when a man is handsome. On the other hand, my sister melts over Viggo-Mortensen-as-Aragorn, and I just sit there and scratch my head because I can’t figure out what’s remarkable about him?

    However, there seems to be a cultural expectation on women to be able to tell when a woman is pretty. Has been weirding me out since forever.

    surely not all OMs resemble me so closely…?

    I do of course wear sandals when the weather permits it (I think there’s photographic evidence out there, Jadehawk can tell you more), but I don’t like lentils at all. And I don’t look like a hippie? OK, I don’t have a hairstyle, but I still have a hair length. :-)

    Do I prefer “feminine” shapes because I’m straight, or is it my preference for feminine shapes that makes me straight?

    I think the metaphor about “feminine shapes” you make is a coincidence (?though more research is needed? who volunteers for a statistically significant sample?).

    Given the evidence for partial heritability of sexual orientation and for other prenatal influences on it, I bet on the former when it’s about feminine shapes of people. (If, indeed, there is a difference between the two options.)

    ?That makes it all the more confusing that other people’s beauty, as a property of the face, can be noticed long before one’s own puberty, while sexiness, a property of part of the rest of the body, cannot, yet the two tend to coincide gender-wise nonetheless.

    “Fuck” is just a C16/17th euphemism (meaning beat/strike).

    I don’t think it’s that late, but it’s very common worldwide for such words to be derived from a metaphor about repeated back-and-forth movement.

    It took a while before I felt physically attracted to her but I was intellectually and emotionally attracted right from the first meeting.

    So that worked even before the Internet. :-) Good to know.

    Or repulse you with the fury of a thousand demons. What is this, Squirrel fetish day?

    Foot fetish day in the first place?

    Two words: razor stubble.

    Now that sounds uncomfortable.

  343. #347 Fred The Hun
    January 29, 2010

    Justb tought I throw

    Huh?! I meant “just thought I’d”

  344. #348 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    mormons are monsters

    Yes: evil, predatory religious nutters.

  345. #349 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Sanction (@336):

    I realized some time ago that my preference for breast size adapts to the breast size of my current partner.

    I’ve noticed a similar sort of adaptability in my appreciation of whoever my current partner happened to be (and it’s not limited to breast size)… but I haven’t noticed that extending to my abstract appreciation of third parties. Whatever my current partner is is perfect (aside to my wife, if she’s reading: esp. now, honey!), but which pictures I linger over, which passersby inspire a (hopefully discreet) doubletake, and what appeals to me in erotica seems to remain more or less unchanged.

    It occurs to me that this whole conversation must have made me sound very dogmatic and narrow in my appreciation of feminine beauty, but nothing could be further from the truth: My “ideal” might be very particular, but my tastes are actually very (you should pardon the word) catholic in scope.

    BS (@334):

    Get in line, Bill

    Relieved as I am not to be the only cyberflirt here, I note with some concern that Pygmy Loris has not posted in this thread since I made the comment you’re responding to. PL, I didn’t mean to creep you out; I promise I’m harmless!

  346. #350 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    also, “preventing to get” is not English.

    my only excuse is that the boyfriend had an early morning shift, and therefore I remain uncaffeinated.

  347. #351 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    Oh boy – on emergency adoptions of Haitian children, see HERE.

    From the post:
    Let me try another analogy. Let?s say you live with your child in a house that burns down. You?re dazed, confused, and burned. Your neighbor says, ?I think I should take care of your child?. You say, ?Thanks for your offer. But my child really needs me now, and I think they wouldn?t sleep well in a strange house. If you could just give us a tent and some food and some bandages so we can camp out while I get better and look into rebuilding, we?ll be OK.? Your neighbor says, ?that?s too logistically complicated and I?m concerned about the security situation. I just want your child.? You say, ?Thanks again for your concern and I?m grateful for any help you can give me. If you?re so worried about my child, maybe you could let both of us stay in your guestroom for a while? That way my child could be safe and would sleep well too.? Your neighbor says, ?No, we have an interdiction-at-sea policy and visa restrictions will not be relaxed. Just give me your child. Actually, nevermind. I don?t even need your permission anymore. I?ll just take them.?

  348. #352 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    because it is far more precise

    Well, as I said: “me” is used for emphasis instead of “I” ? same for “him”, “her”, “them”, and historically “you” which has lost its nominative counterpart ye ?, and this is very common and overrides all other considerations except the rope. (Or were you going to use your bare hands??)

    Unfortunately I don’t know how they solve that problem in Chinese, where this difference doesn’t exist ? there’s no declension at all, just word order. Probably they keep the verb in there.

    it matters a lot whether one is contrasting the subject or the object when reducing several statements down to just one!

    In (a) and (b), “you” and “I” are both subjects, and “your plants” and “me” are objects. In (c), “you” is a subject, and “your plants” is an object; “Bob” is an object in the second sentence, but ambiguous in the third, unless we’re allowed to take the second as context.

    You are more tall than

    Do you really say “more tall”? Not “taller”? ~:-|

    where “me” ought to be obviously ridiculous but for some reason isn’t for many of you

    It would be in German or Polish or Latin. It’s not in ? most kinds of? ? English.

    Got it. Nazi Atrocities are OK for the kids to hear about but not the emerging sexual desires of a pubescent 13 year old.

    Are there actually any desires in there? I haven’t read that version, but someone in school had it and proceeded to read from an exceedingly detailed, rather anatomical description of the (more or less) external genitalia.

  349. #353 vanitas
    January 29, 2010

    apropos of nothing…but I live in Paris and I´m sitting in my cosy flat while the wind howls and the rain plummets with a bottle of wine and some good jazz on a Friday night perusing the “THREAD” (still catching up with the “bull session”)! WTF! Can I be cured of this addiction?

  350. #354 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    conflated mormon dogma with libertarianism, restoring the USA to its rightful Christian Nation status, etc.

    Wow. So many mutually contradicting positions at once!

    Your neighbor says, ?No, we have an interdiction-at-sea policy and visa restrictions will not be relaxed. Just give me your child. Actually, nevermind. I don?t even need your permission anymore. I?ll just take them.?

    <facepalm>

  351. #355 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    as a straight man

    I must admit that, although the word “gay” has lost its original meaning in my mind, the quoted phrase still makes me think of Bud Abbott.

  352. #356 MrFire
    January 29, 2010

    Blind Squirrel, commenting on various:

    I’m with you here, Bill, in more ways than one, but I have to admit thaqt the whole vulva-shaving phenomenon gives me pause.

    Two words: razor stubble.

    I’m enjoying the image of a bunch of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing hippies

    Started another batch of sprouts yesterday.

    Your second comment would have generated a totally innocent image in my mind, if it hadn’t been preceded by the first.

    Ils sont fous, les italiens!

    Ma, sì. Però i Francesi sono più pazzi. O infatti, pazzissimi.

  353. #357 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    The rain??

    I, too, am sitting in Paris, and there’s no rain. In fact, the cloud cover is opening. Where in Paris are you?

    I’ll go home before the next rain comes :-)

    Can I be cured of this addiction?

    What for?

  354. #358 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    SPQR ? sono pazzi, questi Romani

    (SPQR is still written on Roman gully lids, park benches, and the like.)

  355. #359 vanitas
    January 29, 2010

    David @ 357
    I´m in Chatillon and it was pissing down a few minutes ago but seems to have cut off for the moment.

    You´re right, I don´t want to be cured. I like this particular addiction-I learn so much.

  356. #360 Walton
    January 29, 2010

    Thread derail coming up… (but it’s about food and drink, so I hope no one will mind)

    Can any doctors, biologists, etc., on the thread advise me as to whether excessive consumption of aspartame is unhealthy? I ask because I’m somewhat addicted to Diet Pepsi; considering that it contains less than one calorie per can (compared to around 130 for full-sugar Pepsi), I can drink lots of it while writing essays, without feeling too guilty.

    But I’ve heard a lot of people claiming that aspartame causes various health problems. Is there any medical basis to this belief, or is it just a pseudoscientific scare / old wives’ tale?

  357. #361 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 29, 2010

    The offending passage from the Diary:

    There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!

    BS

  358. #362 blf
    January 29, 2010

    In France, not Paris, within a short walk of The Mediterranean. No rain or wind here, albeit the mistral blew a bunch yesterday and last night (which is perhaps why I lost power this morning?—Its happened before). No jazz either, but did have a few brews earlier. And Teh THREAD… in honour of which, I’m finking about finding my copy of tRHPS and watching… its been quite a whiles since I’ve last watched it.

    Also wondering if pumpkins launched from trebuchets would be effective against Narwhals?

  359. #363 Kausik Datta
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna, OM at 339:

    good news for 141 orphans from Haiti, or bad news for 141 orphans kidnapped by mormons, or good news for some of them and bad for others.

    Thank you, thank you. I thought I was being petty and an arsehole when I was similarly torn about a piece of news that I read in the New York Times just the other day: A Nebraska family rescued two girls from Haiti. I was genuinely happy for those two little girls, aged 2 and 7, and glad that they could escape the devastation and ruin, and would get a fresh chance to lead a relatively normal life.

    Then my eyes fell on this:

    ?I knew God would find a way to bring them home, but who would have thought like this, through a catastrophic disaster?? said Kristin Heaton, their 49-year-old adoptive mother.

    Um… that would be the same heartless, vindictive and imaginary god that brought untold torment and misery to countless people – men, women and children – in the same country, right? And these girls, victims of a 2008 hurricane, were already in the adoption process. So,the god-dude isn’t bothered at all by the tens of thousands of children who are believed to have been orphaned in the current quake, and whose fate remains unclear, is he?

    I wondered what kind of life those two little kids got themselves into. I rationalized by thinking that at least they have a fresh new chance at life, and when they grow up, perhaps they would be able to wean themselves away from too-much god bothering. But somehow I doubt it; childhood indoctrination is a powerful factor.

  360. #364 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Walton, from the NutraSweet MSDS

    A vast database exists regarding the safety of aspartame in man. Oral doses of 75 mg/kg/day to human subjects for 6 months did not produce any clinical signs. The Acceptable Daily intake (ADI) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is 50 mg/kg/day. The oral LD50 in rats is >5000 mg/kg (practically nontoxic). Inhalation exposure of male and female rhesus monkeys to aspartame at concentrations up to 16 mg/m3, 6 hours per day for 14 consecutive days, did not produce any consistent treatment related effects.

    There are anti-artificial sweetener sites out there, and I wouldn’t believe much of what they say. Like the creobots, they get an idea in their head, and will twist facts to fit their ideas.

  361. #365 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    But I’ve heard a lot of people claiming that aspartame causes various health problems. Is there any medical basis to this belief, or is it just a pseudoscientific scare / old wives’ tale?

    IANAMD, but PubMed says it’s safe for human consumption.

    However, it’s Teh Gross. If i feel like having sugar-substitutes, I prefer sucralose. Some people can tell the difference, but to me it tastes like regular sugar. (and ironically, if I had to chose between splenda coke and HFCS coke, I’d take splenda coke just for the taste)

  362. #366 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Walton (@360):

    Thread derail coming up…

    Pray tell, how does one manage to derail an open thread? ;^)

    Can any doctors, biologists, etc.,…

    I am none of the above; however…

    …advise me as to whether excessive consumption of aspartame is unhealthy?

    …I have an interest in this question, and potentially some insight. Mindful of the fact that the plural of anecdote is not evidence (or the converse, which is perhaps more apt in this case), I will note that I have been drinking aspartame-sweetened soda exclusively, and in prodigious quantities, ever since they were first introduced (i.e., >25 years), and I am, despite being a somewhat portly fellow, in generally good health, and free of any health problems that might be attributed to aspartame. I’ll be curious to read whatever expert responses you get, but my sense is that the fearmongering around aspartame is just that.

    I have heard the claim that “diet soda makes you fat,” but I think that claim is more related to how “fake” sweetness affects behavior, rather than asserting any direct effect of aspartame. All I know is that, given the sheer volume of soda I consume, if it were traditional 90 cal/serving sugared soda, I would currently weigh enough to make the Earth wobble. YMMV.

  363. #367 Kausik Datta
    January 29, 2010

    One other particular thought also struck me while I was reading through this thread (had to catch up since last night): what is (or rather, was) up with this guy, Leviticus? Did he have a walking stick or a pineapple permanently stuck up his arse? I have caught quite a bit of his writings over time, and they were always dripping with misogyny, or more likely, an abject hatred for women. How can anyone follow that shit, that, too, blindly? How and why did his writings ever get included in teh babble? Or am I just kidding myself and his rabid idiocy is perfectly in line with the fundamentals of the Judeo-Christian religious ethos?

  364. #368 vanitas
    January 29, 2010

    blf @362
    Aaaahhh! the Mediterranean…used to live in Barcelona and am still trying to acclimatize to winter once again. Envy…

    Not up on anacronyms for films-what are you going to watch?

  365. #369 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    I’ve heard a lot of people claiming that aspartame causes various health problems

    There’s pretty good reason to suspect that large enough amounts of just about any organic chemical over long enough periods of time are doing your liver (and maybe kidneys) some disservice, but afaik there are no data indicating any health problems linked directly to aspartame (except for those with the genetic disporder PKU).
    ‘kipedia mentions that

    a metabolite of aspartame inhibits angiotensin converting enzyme

    (all else equal, this will keep your blood pressure down; make sure you eat some salt because you’re peeing it out)
    and

    leptin was “significantly reduced by 34%” after “chronic ingestion of aspartame”

    Leptin is an appetite-suppressing hormone, so there is a plausible mechanism there for overeating and consequent weight gain.

  366. #370 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Jadehawk (@365):

    However, [aspartame is] Teh Gross.

    See, I disagree: On the rare occasions when I can’t get diet soda and drink sugar-sweetened soda instead, I find it syrupy and cloying. I know aspartame is theoretically many times sweeter than regular sugar, but I find the aspartame-sweetened sodas less sweet… and that, by me, is A Feature, Not a Bug™.

    That said, diet soda is the only way I use artificial sweeteners at all. I mostly drink my coffee black, but when I do sweeten it, or when I drink tea, I use real sugar.

  367. #371 negentropyeater
    January 29, 2010

    Let’s consider the worldwide variety of legislations on the age of consent for sexual activity (for males, for females, for homosexuals, for a given age difference, with or without marriage, etc…), the variety is absolutely flabbergasting.

    One can only wonder at the amount of irrationality (religious and other supperstitious beliefs, political pressures, etc.) that has been involved in writing those laws. If they were all written exclusively by rational indivduals based on evidence why is there such variation amongst those laws?
    Just consider how the lives of two individuals involved in a common sexual activity, that may or may not be unlawful, are going to be impacted by legislations that are to varying degrees based on completely irrational thinking.

    How many thousands of such life wrecking cases happen every day on this earth?

  368. #372 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    aspartame has a really vile aftertaste. so does HFCS. I generally avoid both for that reason.

  369. #373 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I can’t get diet soda and drink sugar-sweetened soda instead, I find it syrupy and cloying.

    are you sure you’re talking about sugar-sweetened soda? because really, there’s only three types of sugar-sweetened soda in the U.S.: Mexican Coke, Pepsi Throwback, and Jones Soda. Everything else is HFCS, which is indeed sweet and cloying (and has that aftertaste I just mentioned)

  370. #374 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    syrupy and cloying, not sweet and cloying. dammit, I think I need to go and finally caffeinate myself.

  371. #375 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    Also wondering if pumpkins launched from trebuchets would be effective against Narwhals?

    visions of narwhals catching pumpkins on their tusk springs to mind

  372. #376 Dania
    January 29, 2010

    …perusing the “THREAD” (still catching up with the “bull session”)! WTF! Can I be cured of this addiction?

    Same “problem” here. I’ve just spent the whole afternoon catching up with the Hairy horde and the Bull session… and then with this subThread.

    I’m now checking Sven’s updates. 275 comments/day? Srsly? Don’t you people have a life? :P

    Anyway, here I am now, doing my part for the “hockey stick” cause. :)

  373. #377 Paul W.
    January 29, 2010

    But, tellingly, you’ve failed to come up with any valid reason why you’re not convinced.

    I guess we have different ideas about what counts as a valid reason not to be convinced by particulars of a grammar, or even a theory of syntax.

    Merely being made uncomfortable by something just puts you in the same position as creationists

    Spare me.

    who don’t like where the evidence leads and suspect there must be a trick somewhere because they’re unwilling to give up their preciously held misconceptions.

    I explained the basic reason. I said that if the overwhelming bulk of the native speakers of a language intuitively do it one way, when your alleged grammar of English says they should do it another way, there’s reason to think that your grammar is wrong—and maybe your entire theory of syntax.

    What is your theory of syntax? Head-driven phrase structure grammar? X-bar? Government and Binding? Case grammar?…

    Or maybe some type of “parserless” (but not really) cognitive grammar where there’s no strong autonomy of syntax, because syntactic and semantic processing are tightly coupled and incrementally interleaved, and syntactic processing depends on semantic context? (E.g., relational statement context.)

    (I’ve invented parsers like that, for artificial languages nowhere near as weird as English, only to find that linguists invented it before me—to handle weird stuff like we’re talking about, where at least the applicable grammar rules seem to depend on semantic categories.)

    I know just enough about natural-language linguistics not to be convinced by the kind of simple argument you’re giving, from an alleged “grammar of English.”

    Syntacticians—actual scientists of syntax, not grammarians—do not agree on the grammar of English. They don’t even agree on a syntactic framework within which to write a correct grammar of English, or, sometimes, on what would count as evidence in weird cases. They argue about that stuff for a living.

    The kind of thing we’re talking about—where a simple supposed “rule” of grammatical surface structure is almost universally broken, and is difficult for most people to learn to do “right”—is the kind of thing that leads syntacticians not just to change their best guess at the grammar of English, but sometimes to change the underlying syntactic framework within which to express that grammar.

    (Why do you think Chomsky has come up with a new theory of transformational grammar about every 10 years since the 60′s, and never even tries to write a complete, correct grammar of English?)

    Who am I to disagree, and find even seemingly good arguments based on a superficial, allegedly “correct” grammar of English convincing, when they don’t seem to fit the facts about how real people actually use language?

    So when somebody says “Jim is taller than me,” it’s typically heard like “Jim exceeds me (in height)”. You wouldn’t say “Jim exceeds I,” so you don’t say “Jim is taller than I,” either.

    Just a reminder… the text quoted above was an admitted just-so story, off the top of my head, about the kind of thing that could complicate the analysis, namely specialized grammar productions (and/or transformations) for relational phrases.

    That’s specious. There are plenty of constructions in English where the same general meaning can be conveyed by completely different words using different standard formats.

    Of course there are. That’s part of my point. It’s not clear to me that you have exhausted the relevant grammatical surface-structure rules and transformations that could come into play, such that your parse is necessarily the right one. There could be an alternative explanation that also explains why people evidently have trouble doing it your way in practice—because they could parse things your way, but they don’t, because some other rule comes into play for that particular kind of construction.

    It is wrong to say that because construction A takes a particular form that construction B should too.

    Of course. But that applies to what you’re saying too—just because we can parse “Jim is taller than I am” your way, and we can parse “Jim is taller than I” the same way, if we’re trained to (or maybe have been primed to), that doesn’t mean we usually do it that way. It could be parsed by an entirely different rule, as a preposition, with no reduced clause.

    That would explain why it sounds funny to most native speakers of English, and they interpret it as hifalutin’-sounding. (I suspect that if nobody ever said there was a rule making “than I” “technically correct,” native speakers would instinctively and almost universally judge it as simply ungrammatical in most contexts. And maybe they wouldn’t be exactly wrong.)

    To show that your parse is the right one, you have to do more than show that it can be parsed your way, by a plausible simple rule—I agreed all along that it can.

    You have to show that there isn’t another way to parse it that works as well, or if there is, yours is the one that is used in practice, by real people. That is why I’m not convinced, and no number of similar examples will convince me unless you show me not only that your way of doing it is good, but that my general way of doing it can’t cope, or is demonstrably unrealistic.

    And, yes, one would say “Jim is taller than I [am]” (for certain values of Jim and I!).

    Except that it sounds funny, to most people to say “Jim is taller than I,” without the am, in most contexts. It sounds like a high-class person on TV, or a low-class person straining to sound high-class. It doesn’t sound like the English most native speakers, even educated ones, actually speak. (To many people, it sounds exactly like an affectation, which is a bad sign.)

    To me, this all sounds like a typical case of prescriptivism being wrong, and “over-correcting” a real irregularity in the language—that “than I” is parsed differently than “than I am,” in more than the obvious way, of filling in a reduced clause—which is there for a fairly good reason that prescriptive grammarians don’t understand.

    IMO it’s likely there’s a good reason having to do with semantic categories, and how people understand what’s being said, which simple phrase-structure grammars can’t capture. (Sometimes those sorts of things aren’t actually irregular—they’re complicated surface manifestations of deeper regularities that are fairly simple. They only seem irregular if you assume a single-level phrase-structure parse.)

    Incidentally, the next two CGEL examples you gave were no better. Barring faulty reporting on your part, I have to conclude that the CGEL experts/”authorities” are idiots – as is anyone foolish enough to believe them without noticing for themselves that they were talking rubbish.

    Gee, thanks for calling me an idiot.

    I have to suspect that you’re suffering from a little Dunning-Kruger Syndrome with respect to professional syntacticians. I really doubt that they’re that stupid, so if they do something that surprising, I’d guess that there are refereed journal articles justifying that counterintuitive grammar. (It might still be controversial among the experts—any purported “grammar of English” will be—but if so, we should be slow to assume that their side is wrong, and very slow to guess it’s because they’re just stupid and can’t see obvious rubbish as rubbish.)

    I used to hang out with linguists, including syntacticians, and they’re generally not stupid about these things. Not even close.

    Here’s some example that may (or may not) shed light on what I’m talking about:

    He’s taller than I.

    He’s taller than the somewhat heavier I.

    He’s taller than the somewhat heavier me.

    To me, the first sounds stilted and awkward, but obviously parseable and sensible.

    The second one, not so much. It’s really, really weird; to me, it just sounds wrong to say “the somewhat heavier I.”

    The third one sounds a little cumbersome but okay; in particular, the “me” is fine.

    (These sentences sound less cumbersome if you precede them with other similar feature comparisions between other people, in some context where that makes sense, before comparing someone to yourself.)

    This suggests to me that the intuitively preferred parse of “He’s taller than…” is roughly my way, but your way is also possible. When you see He’s taller than I” it’s only clumsy, rather than obviously wrong, because the I comes right after “than,” and you can immediately quickly disambiguate the construction when you see “I”.

    For the longer sentence, you get a clearer garden path effect… by the time you’ve read “the much heavier”, you’ve gone far enough down the garden path you’ve forgotten the ambiguity and are committed to parsing it the more intuitive way.

    (It could be something else going on, though. Syntax can get really tricky.)

    By the way, I agree with your point that if everybody did it your way, we could easily make distinctions that are slightly harder to make given that we say “than me” and expect others to.

    I just don’t think that’s very relevant to how the language actually works.

    It’s like telling native speakers of a language in which doubled negatives are intepreted as intensified (rather than negated to yield a positive), that they’re doing it wrong and would be better off interpreting it our way, and using an explicit negating word like “not” to negate.

    That might indeed improve their language, making it more concisely semantically compositional, but it’s far too late. That’s not how their language works, and they’re not going to change it, not never, nohow.

    Similarly, English might a little be better if we all learned to say “than I” rather than “than me,” and could expect others to—it would allow us to leave out a few words here and there without introducing ambiguity, but it isn’t going to happen.

    For whatever deep good reason, or just because it’s an entrenched grotesque irregularity, “than me” is Standard English. A language where it’s not okay to say “than me” might be better, but it’s not the English language, and ain’t never gonna be.

  374. #378 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    You may be right about HFCS vs. sugar: On those occasions when I drink non-diet soda, I’m afraid I don’t study the labels closely. OTOH, I recall feeling the same way about non-diet drinks dating back to the very early days of my diet soda habit… and I don’t think HFCS was quite so ubiquitous 25 years ago, was it?

    I also hate sweet fruit juices unless the sweetness is offset by tartness (i.e., grapefruit juice and tart lemonade or limeade, but not orange juice, peach nectar, mango juice, etc.)… so I think it’s sweetness I’m reacting to.

    Probably I’ve just habituated to the taste/aftertaste of aspartame, but whatever: De gustibus non disputandum, eh?

  375. #379 Dania
    January 29, 2010

    BTW, I think I’m in love with word “spewcifically”.

  376. #380 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I explained the basic reason. I said that if the overwhelming bulk of the native speakers of a language intuitively do it one way, when your alleged grammar of English says they should do it another way, there’s reason to think that your grammar is wrong

    what a completely idiotic argument. it is actually possible for the vast majority of people to do something the wrong way, and therefore the correct way to sound wrong even if it isn’t.

  377. #381 Katrina
    January 29, 2010

    are you sure you’re talking about sugar-sweetened soda? because really, there’s only three types of sugar-sweetened soda in the U.S.: Mexican Coke, Pepsi Throwback, and Jones Soda. Everything else is HFCS, which is indeed sweet and cloying (and has that aftertaste I just mentioned)

    I had some sugar-sweetened Dr. Pepper the other day. Looks like more companies are starting to jump on the bandwagon. I think they called it “Retro Dr. Pepper.”

  378. #382 Paul W.
    January 29, 2010

    BTW, I think I’m in love with word “spewcifically”.

    Where’d that come from? (I searched the page and found no other occurrence.)

    I’m not sure I like it; it’s a little close to home. (I can be vewy vewy spewcific.)

  379. #383 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    Bill Dauphin:

    The whole issue is nettlesome, I admit… but still, I insist that my preference for smooth, soft skin over coarse hair has nothing to do with perceptions of age or maturity.

    Is this the apology thread? I apologize if I gave the impression of casting any aspersions on your preferences. It was a clumsy segue to the BBC story.

    Yes, I understand and agree that youthful .ne. childlike, but in this case I was indeed using “youthful” as a euphemism for childlike which was why I wrote it in “scare quotes”. That the look these women in the BBC story are trying for is not just young but pre-pubescent.

  380. #384 Dania
    January 29, 2010

    Where’d that come from? (I searched the page and found no other occurrence.)

    Search this page.

    It was mentioned in one of the previous incarnations of The Thread and I just discovered about it today.

  381. #385 SteveM
    January 29, 2010

    Re Paul W @377:

    I thought it had already been established earlier that there is no clear agreement on whether “He is taller than I” or “He is taller than me” is “officially” correct. That it comes down to the question of the role “than” is playing in the sentence. Whether it is a preposition or a conjuction. And that in some sentences “…than I” or “…than me” would have very different meanings. Such as “John loves his plants more than I”, vs. “John loves his plants more than me”. In sentences where the meaning would not be misunderstood, either “me” or “I” could be used, whichever feels more comfortable.

  382. #386 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead (#364)

    There are anti-artificial sweetener sites out there, and I wouldn’t believe much of what they say. Like the creobots, they get an idea in their head, and will twist facts to fit their ideas.

    I used to be one of ‘em. Never bothered to learn the facts, just assumed it was bad because I grew up learning “artificial things are bad and natural ones are good.” Later, such beliefs made a handy justification for how I am personally revolted by the taste of artificial sweetners. That they are disgusting is enough of a reason to avoid them. Same goes for second hand smoke–it doesn’t have to be “more dangerous than smoking itself” or any sort of danger to me to justifiably hate having to breathe someone’s nasty ciggy smoke.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Bill Dauphin (#370)

    On the rare occasions when I can’t get diet soda and drink sugar-sweetened soda instead, I find it syrupy and cloying. I know aspartame is theoretically many times sweeter than regular sugar, but I find the aspartame-sweetened sodas less sweet…

    It’s not about the sweetness factor for me. Artificial sweeteners taste like latex or burned tires and linger on the back of my tongue. I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t scream “not food!” to my senses. It’s not the fact that they’re artificial, either. According to my nervous system, cilantro is also “not food.” Conversely, some edibles are “more than food.” Like eggplant, maple sugar, and sesame.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Jadehawk (#380)

    what a completely idiotic argument. it is actually possible for the vast majority of people to do something the wrong way, and therefore the correct way to sound wrong even if it isn’t.

    Not so much in language where majority really does rule. Spoken language is messy, anyways. Written language, at least as we’ve known it in the last few centuries, is a formalized approximation of spoken language. That’s changing due to the internet where we communicate casually in writing and where written language can develop in ways that doesn’t depend on um… its “sayability.” Some pieces of language that were spawned on the internet end up in spoken languge in modified forms. I actually say “lawl” (derived from “LOL”) in meatspace to express mocking laughter. The real arbiter of “wrongness” in language is whether something reliably inhibits successful communication.

  383. #387 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    [Just back from going to the vending machines to buy a diet soda]

    Jadehawk:

    I’ve been staying mostly out of the grammar conversation, despite my “day job” as an editor, because there are clearly others with more passion and more technical training in syntax/linguistics than I. That said…

    it is actually possible for the vast majority of people to do something the wrong way, and therefore the correct way to sound wrong even if it isn’t.

    Mebbe so; mebbe not. It depends on what you think determines the value of wrong. Is it a matter of structural soundness, or is it operationally defined by what people actually do? In engineering or science, an objective error remains an error no matter how ubiquitous it becomes, but is the same really true of language, which is so commingled with both culture and and individual psychology? Or does it not eventually come down to a question of how many Frenchmen can’t be wrong?

    It’s certainly true that words and structures that were at one time unambiguously correct have fallen into disuse over time (e.g., almost nobody uses whom anymore), and other usages that are objectively errors have become accepted (e.g., the substitution of plural pronouns to avoid arbitrarily masculine singular ones is clearly a number-agreement error, but it is now almost universally accepted). The question is, do we call this degradation or evolution?

    I’ll leave it to others to fight that question out, but this much I know: As a purely practical matter, usages that are technically correct but seem wrong to most of the audience are definitely poor communication, whether they’re good grammar or not. Anything that makes readers stop and think about the language instead of the point is a distraction that degrades the effectiveness of the communication.

    All that said, something like “she is taller than I” doesn’t “seem wrong” to me… but then again, I’m one of them dadgum pointy-headed elitists, so what the hell do I know? ;^)

  384. #388 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Paul W. #377:

    I guess we have different ideas about what counts as a valid reason

    You had nothing! You merely wibbled – after quoting some people who were wrong in a book! Whereas, I not only gave cogent arguments and explanations for why you (and CGEL) were wrong but some examples which actually worked (unlike theirs). Examples which should have been simple enough for any worthwhile person to understand.

    Spare me.

    No. SIWOTI – namely you (and that was essentially the reason why you were both being wrong and wibbling).

    It doesn’t sound like the English most native speakers … actually speak.

    So now you want to argue that the majority is necessarily right*, despite the appalling state of education and a long history of them being wrong in pretty much every way possible.

    even educated ones

    False.

    You have to show that there isn’t another way to parse it

    I did give examples of the other way the condensed statement collection could have come about and why that made you (and others) wrong. I guess your reading comprehension is even worse than I might have hoped. But not everyone is you. Some (a vanishingly small minority?) will have managed to read and think.

    professional syntacticians

    You think that constitutes proof by authority* – despite their abject failure at their subject (as I demonstrated quite easily).

    He’s taller than the somewhat heavier I. … He’s taller than the somewhat heavier me.

    No, your last one is rubbish too, despite you liking it better.

    Long form would be: “He’s taller than I am, despite my greater weight.”

    Condensed form would be: “He’s taller but less heavy than I [am].”

    That’s not how their language works, and they’re not going to change it, not never, nohow.

    That’s just it – they (the ill-educated ones) did change it! They keep changing it. That still doesn’t magically make them right. It just makes them more numerous in their wrongness – and someone might eventually document it as being a language shift (eg after enough centuries and the death of all the people who were correct).

    An imperial fiat is the sort of thing required to make the wrong count as “right” straight away (as happened in China when an ill-educated emperor mis-simplified some of the characters in his great reform of the written language). The ignoramuses of the world are not the boss of me.

    * spot your logical fallacies – which ought to at least give you a bit of a hint that you’re still being SIWOTI.

  385. #389 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Hmmm…. when I wrote this…

    there are clearly others with more passion and more technical training in syntax/linguistics than I. [emphasis added]

    …I swear the than I (i.e., as opposed to than me) came out of my fingertips purely naturally, without premeditation or snarky intent.

    For whatever that’s worth…. ;^)

  386. #390 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ A. Noyd #386:

    The real arbiter of “wrongness” in language is whether something reliably inhibits successful communication.

    And both I and Jadehawk already demonstrated its wrongness by providing examples of how it does impede reliable communication.

    Most of the rest of you are just being creationist-like in your unwillingness to give up your wrongness in the face of the evidence that you are indeed wrong. You are in denial. You are not in possession of any valid refutations that you’ve been able to present – merely faulty attempts such as the CGEL examples which were refuted and some wibbling and whining.

    Y’all (ie not necessarily you as an individual whose post I merely happen to be addressing) should stop whining and flinging logical fallacies around and make a credible, evidence-based case instead.

    @ David Marjanovi? #352:

    Do you really say “more tall”? Not “taller”?

    Not usually. “More tall” is still a valid option though. It ought to be obvious that I carefully chose it in this case so that I could keep the original disputed example and still show very clearly what the alternative comparison construction would have to be.

  387. #391 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Bill Dauphin,

    Pygmy Loris (@303):

    Is it totally horrible that the more you say about yourself, the more I’d like to see a picture of you?

    I’ll take it as a compliment on the aesthetics of my body :) However, due to extremely personal life experiences I have revealed here, I’m unlikely to ever admit my RL identity which includes a no pictures policy.

  388. #392 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    A. Noyd (@386):

    Notwithstanding my earlier declaration that de gustibus non disputandum (which may be all wrong; I never studied Latin, and just picked that phrase up from the aether), this…

    According to my nervous system, cilantro is also “not food.”

    Is just objectively crazy! Cilantro is only just barely less emphatically food! than bacon!

    8^)

  389. #393 Dania
    January 29, 2010

    I grew up learning “artificial things are bad and natural ones are good.”

    Yes. And as everyone knows, all chemicals are bad. You can tell by their names. I mean, think of pentahydroxyhexanal. Doesn’t it sound like some nasty chemical your body would be better off without? And I bet it tastes awful too…

  390. #394 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    what a completely idiotic argument. it is actually possible for the vast majority of people to do something the wrong way, and therefore the correct way to sound wrong even if it isn’t.

    The real arbiter of “wrongness” in language is whether something reliably inhibits successful communication.

    Yeah, here we go! Prescriptive – descriptive FIGHT!!!!

    I love these…

  391. #395 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Walton,

    I think one of the problems we have here is that in the USA you’d be solidly in the center of the Democratic Party. That is, you’re clearly a Marxist, socialist, communist, fascist bent on creating a New World Order TM. Our “conservatives” are residents of Greater Wingnutistan. They’re also associated with various forms of bigotry that they defend through “conservative” “thought.”

  392. #396 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Fred the Hun @344,

    What, they can’t use the edited version that Otto Frank released? We read it during middle school, and I found that Anne’s story personalized the Holocaust in a way that made it “real” to me.

  393. #397 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Pygmy Loris (@391):

    I’ll take it as a compliment on the aesthetics of my body :)

    Definitely that, even sight-unseen, based on the accumulated fragments of self-description.

    However, due to extremely personal life experiences I have revealed here, I’m unlikely to ever admit my RL identity which includes a no pictures policy.

    Naturally. Even without your special circumstances, I would never ask anyone who posts under a pseudonym to reveal themselves. I had no expectation that you would do so, either; it was just a way of framing the aforementioned compliment.

  394. #398 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010
    He’s taller than the somewhat heavier I. … He’s taller than the somewhat heavier me.

    No, your last one is rubbish too, despite you liking it better.
    Long form would be: “He’s taller than I am, despite my greater weight.”
    Condensed form would be: “He’s taller but less heavy than I [am].”

    FFS. Editing / rewording the sentence is advisable, but does not help to address the issue at hand. That said, I haven’t read most of this argument. It’s a trivial issue compared to important things like the pluralness of “data”.

    Most of the rest of you are just being creationist-like in your unwillingness to give up your wrongness in the face of the evidence that you are indeed wrong. You are in denial.

    and you, right or wrong, are back in my killfile

  395. #399 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    Gah! Much ado about nothing.

    The way I see it, language came first, then writing, then (attempted) formalisation, then prescriptiveness.

    I’m with Bill on this one; natural language can be considered ‘correct’ primarily to the extent that it accurately communicates its intent to its intended audience (readership, in this case).

    ObRef: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_As_She_Is_Spoke.

    (I recommend anyone who likes language and wants a giggle to follow the links to it below the article.)

  396. #400 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    Regarding vampire teeth:

    I suspect that the move to depict human vampires with sharp canines rather than sharp incisors was part of an attempt to make vampires seem plausibly charismatic/seductive/sexy rather than creepy/freaky/weird.

    I infer this as being because long, sharp canines are instinctively associated with domination via aggression (and domination is seen by some as sexy) in primates (and indeed, most mammals), while long sharp incisors are not.

    The end result of that trend are the vampires from Twilight, which as far as I can tell do not have fangs (I have not read the books or seen the films, but some quick googles/wikip lookups show nothing).

    Why people want to depict bloodsuckers as being charismatic/seductive/sexy is a different question, though.

  397. #401 John Morales
    January 29, 2010
  398. #402 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Bill,

    I figured you were just being cute. Don’t worry about it.

    BTW I disappeared earlier because I was at the library working on a paper. I had to leave the internet disconnected or I wouldn’t get anything done.

  399. #403 Carlie
    January 29, 2010
  400. #404 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    All this grammar talk has me thinking.

    My exposure to linguistics is entirely in the realm of linguistic anthropology, so my ideas about prescriptive vs. descriptive grammar are largely influenced by that background.

    I think that prescriptive grammar is largely about reinforcing status distinctions based on dialect. It’s nearly always the higher status dialects that serve as a model for creating prescriptive grammar rules, and people with more extensive education are more likely to be aware of and apply prescriptive rules to their speech and writing.

    Take Standard American English, which is entirely influenced by prescriptive rules. Very few people naturally speak this dialect; they have to be trained through direct schooling how to speak it. African American Vernacular English has a few differences in grammatical construction and verb conjugation. Aside from class and status distinctions, there is nothing that makes Standard American English more “right.” Both dialects are intelligible to the vast majority of native English speakers. Both are equally capable of conveying concrete and abstract ideas, but one is privileged over the other.

    Anyhow, that’s my $.02. Your mileage may vary.

  401. #405 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    @ John and Carlie,

    Now everyone knows how adorable my family and I are.

    Here are some of my more distant kin.

  402. #406 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Gah! The sad-eyes!!! MAKE THEM STOP

  403. #407 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    That’s just it – they (the ill-educated ones) did change it! They keep changing it. That still doesn’t magically make them right. It just makes them more numerous in their wrongness – and someone might eventually document it as being a language shift (eg after enough centuries and the death of all the people who were correct).

    Then thou dost agree that by thine own definition, thou are most utterly wrong in that thine own usage is not that of thine most ancient forbears?

    The ignoramuses of the world are not the boss of me.

    An assertion most laughably ironic in that thy final clause was invented and propagated by those very ignoramuses thou dost pretend to decry.

    For shame, sirrah! For shame!

  404. #408 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    Another installment in the “toothy goodness for Jadehawk” series. It’s the skull of a less extreme relative of Tyrannosaurus (and, BTW, one of two new dinosaur species that were announced today). Click on the picture to see it a bit larger. Most of the teeth are actually missing, but it’s easy to imagine the rest, and… it’s a tyrannosauroid, so it has awesome teeth anyway! :-)

    Ils sont fous, les [I]taliens!

    Évidemment, quoi.

    Looks scary.

    Ma, sì. Però i Francesi sono più pazzi.

    <giggling in disbelief>

    O infatti, pazzissimi.

    <shaking head>

    Impressive!

    I´m in Chatillon and it was pissing down a few minutes ago but seems to have cut off for the moment.

    Hey! I’m in Montrouge now! :-) We should meet, I suppose.

    (Before, I was in the natural history museum, which is of course not very close. Here it does look like it rained not long ago.)

    I have heard the claim that “diet soda makes you fat,”

    Various artificial sweeteners are approved for pig fattening. That’s because vertebrates, upon tasting sweet, crank up the sugar metabolism, and when no calories come in, a hunger attack results.

    Bees aren’t fooled.

    I avoid artificial sweeteners whenever… ummmm… I don’t drink any of that soda stuff anyway, because I can’t stand the gas in the first place =8-)

    Aaaahhh! the Mediterranean…used to live in Barcelona and am still trying to acclimatize to winter once again.

    “Winter”???

    Jadehawk has winter! What we have here is a pathetic autumn! It’s not even frozen!

    dammit, I think I need to go and finally caffeinate myself.

    <facepalm>

    Maybe you don’t sleep well because of your “shoddily constructed nose”? That appears to be a common phenomenon.

    On those occasions when I drink non-diet soda, I’m afraid I don’t study the labels closely.

    Heh. I’m nerdier than thou! I always read all labels! Want to know the Lithuanian word for “peanuts”? (Looking it up in Wikipedia does not count.)

    what a completely idiotic argument. it is actually possible for the vast majority of people to do something the wrong way, and therefore the correct way to sound wrong even if it isn’t.

    Says who?

    Who is the authority that hands down, from on high, how a language is supposed to work…?

    almost nobody uses whom anymore

    And when they do, they use it almost at random! :o)

    the substitution of plural pronouns to avoid arbitrarily masculine singular ones is clearly a number-agreement error, but it is now almost universally accepted

    And it has been common for a long time. Lots of famous writers have been using it ever since the fourteenth century.

    (I wanted to provide a link, but Language Log isn’t accessible at the moment. Search the old posts for “singular they”. It’s even in the King James Bible… in fact, it’s even in the original Hebrew, but I digress…)

    That’s just it – they (the ill-educated ones) did change it! They keep changing it.

    They have been changing it ever since language developed umpteen thousand (or umpteen hundred thousand, who knows) years ago.

    The ignoramuses of the world are not the boss of me.

    Relax a little.

    These are just personal preferences we’re talking about. There is no “right” any more than my genome is more correct than yours.

  405. #409 SC OM
    January 29, 2010

    ?

    Senatus Populusque Romanus

    (I haven’t read this all, so I’m probably missing something important.)

  406. #410 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Owlmirror #407:

    Then thou dost agree that by thine own definition

    No. Read the rest of it (and think more carefully).

    An assertion most laughably ironic

    A deliberate in-context joke! Are you quite incapable of recognising those without large amounts of sign-posting (eg smileys, fake tags)?

    In particular, that joke was chosen because it also fulfilled the earlier condition of being a piece of modern language which did not inhibit reliable communication – in that its meaning is quite unambiguously comprehensible to most people. Though apparently it’s still possible for someone to cluelessly fail to understand just why it was present.

  407. #411 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    That’s because vertebrates, upon tasting sweet, crank up the sugar metabolism, and when no calories come in, a hunger attack results.

    As a propsed physiological mechanism that’s…lacking any physiology.

  408. #412 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    That’s just it – they (the ill-educated ones) did change it! They keep changing it. That still doesn’t magically make them right. It just makes them more numerous in their wrongness – and someone might eventually document it as being a language shift (eg after enough centuries and the death of all the people who were correct).

    It’s so wonderful that you condescend to speak English. Since older is always right, I assume you speak Indo-European; English merely being the result of centuries of language shifts as a result of ill-educated people speaking their native language incorrectly.

  409. #413 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    forsooth!

  410. #414 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    Since older is always right

    Someone else who hasn’t been paying enough attention to the whole thread context. Or who is dishonest enough to misrepresent it anyway (hardly an uncommon occurrance round here).

  411. #415 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    SEF,

    I admit I haven’t read the entire grammar debate. The comment of yours that I quoted though displays an appalling ignorance of language and language evolution. Languages change and diverge. Your views, as expressed in the above mentioned comment, are wrong. You’re privileging the high status dialect above others. It’s rather amusing. If the majority of native speakers view a particular construction as “right,” it means that that construction is “right.” Arguing that they are simply ignorant of the proper way to communicate in their native language is tremendously classist.

    I don’t need the context. I get that you’re of the prescriptive group from one comment. It’s still laughable. Where does prescriptive grammar come from? If there are alternative constructions, how do you determine which one is “right” and which one is “wrong?”

  412. #416 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    And both I and Jadehawk already demonstrated its wrongness by providing examples of how it does impede reliable communication.

    Dude, the lack of grammatical gender in English impedes reliable communication ? in English you can only keep track of a single “it”, while in German or Polish you can do that with up to three singular nouns when one is “he”, another “she”, and yet another “it”. And yet other languages allow even more.

    The lack of a distinction between dative and accusative in English impedes reliable communication ? can’t think of a convincing example right now, but I’ve come across several.

    And Chinese is even more extreme in all these respects, and the Chinese still understand each other.

    It’s Dunning-Kruger effect all over.

    Y’all (ie not necessarily you as an individual whose post I merely happen to be addressing)

    See how wrong it was to give up thou? ;-)

    It ought to be obvious that I carefully chose it in this case so that I could keep the original disputed example and still show very clearly what the alternative comparison construction would have to be.

    It wasn’t obvious, because “taller” would have worked just as well, and because I don’t think I’ve ever encountered “more” with monosyllabic adjectives before… indeed, I was taught that “more” isn’t used with them.

    But then, I was also taught that disyllabic adjectives the second syllable of which isn’t -ly always take “more” to form the comparative, yet commoner and narrower are pretty common in the real world (scientific journals included).

    Looks like I wasn’t taught the entire amount of variation that occurs within the Standard Englishes.

    pentahydroxyhexanal

    :-) :-) :-)

    I especially like the mix of the two isomers… Thickened bee vomit! Yum! :-)

    I think that prescriptive grammar is largely about reinforcing status distinctions based on dialect.

    Well, yeah.

    Then thou dost agree that by thine own definition, thou are most utterly wrong in that thine own usage is not that of thine most ancient forbears?

    Thou art, redeless bastard.

  413. #417 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Zounds!

    All I’m waiting for now is for Cuttlefish to show up with some bit of trenchant verse in perfect Chaucerian Middle English!

  414. #418 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    the two isomers

    <headdesk>

    I’ll retreat to my bed in shame. I got at least two forms of isomery confused.

    Senatus Populusque Romanus

    That’s what it’s intended to mean…

    As a propsed physiological mechanism that’s…lacking any physiology.

    Must be very complicated hormonally. After all, the brain is involved.

  415. #419 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Pygmy Loris 415:

    I haven’t read the entire grammar debate. … I get that you’re of the prescriptive group from one comment.

    Which just shows how wrong you were to have that policy of pretending to know what was going on without first reading things properly (ie posting from a position of ignorance) and hence to imagine that you understood matters from one comment. You’re wrong. WOTI even.

    I don’t need the context.

    Yes, you do. Otherwise you’ll carry on being wrong (and I and anyone else* who has been paying attention will carry on laughing at you and having a low opinion of you for it). But perhaps you prefer a life of wrongness.

    * I concede that this may again be a vanishingly small minority because of the way that the majority of people are so often wrong in the same manner.

  416. #420 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    All I’m waiting for now is for Cuttlefish to show up with some bit of trenchant verse in perfect Chaucerian Middle English!

    Unfortunately he’d get half of the rhymes wrong, because he doesn’t know how to pronounce it.

  417. #421 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ David Marjanovi? #416:

    It wasn’t obvious, because “taller” would have worked just as well

    Unfortunately, it wouldn’t. Look at the context again.

    The original sentence construction was “Jim is taller than I/me”. The correct form for the intended meaning was subject contrasted with other subject – hence “Jim is taller than I [am [tall]]”.

    However, in order to introduce the other theoretically possible intention when using “than”, viz a contrast of attributes, I couldn’t have “Jim is taller than wide” or “Jim is taller than wider”. Instead it would have to be “Jim is taller than he is wide” (repeated subject in pronoun form as well as the contrasting attribute) or “Jim is more tall than wide” – where the “more” could apply to both attributes and the “he is” could be omitted (and accurately assumed by a competent audience).

  418. #422 Rorschach
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna,

    thanks for the posting of what happened.
    If there were no one-sided symptoms of weakness in the face/arm/leg at all, a “classic” anterior circulation TIA seems unlikely.
    If there was no vertigo/nausea&vomiting/visual problems/gait difficulties as in leaning to one side or falling over, then a posterior circulation problem seems also unlikely.

    The things to rule out then would be complex migraine, malignancy, something weird that noone can explain, and what that clever man Knockgoats suggested back when we first heard about this, a transient global amnesia.

    So I would suggest a non-contrast CT of the brain, the practice here is to do that first, and if there is anything on the scan that doesn’t look right, to proceed with some iv contrast.
    Over here such a CT costs about 250 bucks when done during the day.

  419. #423 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    I just happened (via Brayton) across a motherlode of some of the most batshit crazy christian craziness I have ever seen.
    a tiny taste:

    You are frequently reading privileged information throughout this blog. It is the HIDDEN and censored kind of information that the news media is ordered to block out regularly, such as my reports on the GULAG SYSTEM being set up across this nation, the many prisoner boxcars with shackles being prepositioned nationwide, the modern guillotines the military are being trained to operate even as you read this, and much, MUCH more.

    there’s more; much, MUCH more, if you dare:
    http://americanholocaustcoming.blogspot.com/

  420. #424 SC OM
    January 29, 2010

    Speaking of Cuttlefish, I just checked my blog comments last night and was delighted and honored when I discovered that he had tagged me with a moving meme:

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-dinner-with-roger.html

    I’m thinking, soon to write. When I’ve finished, I will officially tag some others (though he has “officially” tagged anyone else interested).

  421. #425 Walton
    January 29, 2010

    Arghh… Sven, please don’t encourage me to warp my brain reading insane drivel, when it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying (and failing) to write a criminology essay. :-)

  422. #426 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Here’s more info on the Haitian orphans and orphanage, with additional links to suspect mormons — info is from ex-mormon, flattopSF:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/haiti-a-week-in-hell-1877147.html
    check out where this “Haitian” orphanage is funded and run from:
    Foyer de Sion
    P.O. Box 81
    Buhl, ID 83316

    Not to mention who one of their big-time donors is, and where they’re located:
    Morrell Foundation [one top executive is an Osmond]
    14901 S Heritagecrest Way, Suite B
    Bluffdale, UT 84065
    PHONE: 801.495.3111

    Also note that the website [http://foyerdesion.org/index.php] is in ENGLISH ONLY, not FRENCH. Why would that be? Très étrange, n’est-ce pas? Surtout pour un orphelinat dans un pays où tout le monde parle le CRÉOLE et le FRANÇAIS, ni ANGLAIS.

    The manager says a van arrived at the orphanage that morning, from a Mormon church in Salt Lake City, and whisked 10 of them away to new lives in the US. But something about the Foyer de Sion doesn’t smell quite right: there is no way, even before the quake, it was ever the comfortable place pictured on its website, which is perused by would-be adoptive parents.

    Adoption can be a lucrative business, and the Foyer de Sion requires would-be parents to pay fees of almost $20,000 to rescue a child. It isn’t entirely clear where this money goes. In the months and years to come, someone must take a long, hard look at Haiti’s orphanage industry.

    And there’s this tale:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/one-in-a-million-the-girl-who-symbolises-the-orphan-crisis-facing-haiti-1873147.html
    So when Pascale Mardy says she only had $100.00 in her pocket to buy food for the children, where was the rest of this “American largesse” to the tune of $20,000.00USD per child that this orphanage has been raking in?

    And why this:

    Newly orphaned children are being handed out for adoption from Pétionville’s nearby Mormon Church. Bishop Harry Mardy Mitchell has roughly 700 people in his churchyard, rising to 1,000 at night. Between 20 and 30 are orphaned. He introduced me to two-year-olds Wyclef and Evry, who are due to leave in the next week. “They have had no milk for days, and are living on cookies. They will go to America and become Americans.

    Note that Bishop Harry bears the same name (Mardy) as the orphanage manager.

    I smell an international baby factory. And Mor[m]ons are part and parcel of it

  423. #427 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    SEF,

    Otherwise you’ll carry on being wrong (and I and anyone else* who has been paying attention will carry on laughing at you and having a low opinion of you for it). But perhaps you prefer a life of wrongness.

    Condescending asshole. From my perspective, you’re completely wrong when you say this:

    hat’s just it – they (the ill-educated ones) did change it! They keep changing it. That still doesn’t magically make them right. It just makes them more numerous in their wrongness – and someone might eventually document it as being a language shift (eg after enough centuries and the death of all the people who were correct).

    The nature of language is to change through time. I’m an anthropologist, so my perspective is different than that of the prescriptive grammarians. If you wrote something like this on a linguistic anthropology exam, you’d fail. Linguistic anthropology 101: all dialects of a language are equally valid. Whether a particular grammatical construction used by a minority of speakers is “right” is a result of cultural ideas regarding the status of various dialects.

    Prescriptive grammar largely relies on the rules of grammar from the highest status dialect at the point in time when the rules were created. It doesn’t allow for the natural processes of language evolution. Continuing to adhere to the ridiculous idea that people who do not accept prescriptive grammar are “wrong” is much like being a creationist. The former expect language to remain as it was when the prescriptive rules were first formulated and applied. Anything else is a deviation from that original, perfect language. Creationists, OTOH, argue that the Bible says all animals were vegetarians in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, all meat eating is a deviance from the created condition as a result of the Fall.

  424. #428 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    PS to #421:

    If I hadn’t been trying to stick to the original formats (where the word “more” was being used and then the comparison of tallness) there might have been an example which felt less strange to people habituated to using only -er and -ier forms when those exist at all.

    Eg even though the word “saltier” does exist, you possibly wouldn’t have balked at “It is more salty than sweet”; and would probably have had no qualms at all about “It is more bitter than sour”.

  425. #429 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Owlmirror #400

    I suspect that the move to depict human vampires with sharp canines rather than sharp incisors was part of an attempt to make vampires seem plausibly charismatic/seductive/sexy rather than creepy/freaky/weird.
    I infer this as being because long, sharp canines are instinctively associated with domination via aggression (and domination is seen by some as sexy) in primates (and indeed, most mammals), while long sharp incisors are not.

    Another point to consider is that long incisors are commonly associated with rabbits and various rodents like squirrels and beavers. These are not generally considered sexy animals.

  426. #430 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Tell me, SEF, if the following sentence is correct, please.

    Susan gave Jeremy the book.

    Does it fit with prescriptive English grammar?

  427. #431 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Susan gave Jeremy the book.

    Incorrect. Should read: Susan gave Jeremy That Look.

    what?
    different Susan and Jeremy?

  428. #432 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Owlmirror #400

    The fangs of the vampires in True Blood are lateral incisors and the vampires are depicted as sexy, but their fangs are retractable. How do retractable fangs figure into the depiction?

  429. #433 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 29, 2010

    rabbits … are not generally considered sexy animals.

    ??

    As in “fuck like bunnies?”

    ;^)

  430. #435 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Pygmy Loris #427:

    The additional context you’re still stubbornly missing, in your current bid to be the wrongest on the internet, can be summarised with:

    “first do no harm”

    “an it harm none, do what thou wilt”

    ie, melodramatically, it’s the ongoing battle of good vs evil.

    Of course a language can be improved by change. The most indisputable example of this is probably the addition of new words for things which didn’t previously exist but are now very important. However, it can also be damaged by change – hindering communication and rendering meaning ambiguous or even misunderstood more often than it’s understood correctly. That’s when a change is for the worse and “wrong”.

    The change I’m arguing against is wrong in exactly that way; and I’ve repeatedly shown why this is. Tellingly, your side has come up with nothing valid or even much substantial at all on this one particular instance to support your case that it isn’t “wrong”. This isn’t about the principle you think it is (or would like to pretend it is). It’s about the specific instance being harmful or not.

    Aside: Similar miscomprehension situations arise all the time. Eg those recent arguments about slang words when used across the internet instead of within a community which has a consistent but different definition. Hence all the people pointing out that it’s a bad idea (“wrong”) to post such things (after being made aware of the issue).

    Also a problem on the internet is the use of sarcasm – because of the lack of clues from tone of voice, facial expression, habits known through long-standing relationship. Ditto in-jokes, where the in-group members are posting them on a wider forum (not one they own exclusively) and then unreasonably whinging at out-group members for effectively not being part of their in-group.

  431. #436 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2010

    “Jim is more tall than wide” – where the “more” could apply to both attributes

    Oh, he’s more {tall than wide} ? now I understand. That’s a case intonation would clear up in spoken language.

    How do retractable fangs figure into the depiction?

    As adding a bit of mystery ? making the vampires more… “interesting” than they seem most of the time.

  432. #437 SC OM
    January 29, 2010

    to write a criminology essay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLAJJerLImA

    Seriously – you’re taking crim? Who’s the professor?

  433. #438 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Posted by: Bill Dauphin, OM Author Profile Page | January 29, 2010 7:53 PM

    rabbits … are not generally considered sexy animals.

    ??

    As in “fuck like bunnies?”

    ;^)

    Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits

  434. #439 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 29, 2010

    rabbits … are not generally considered sexy animals

    ..tell that to Naked Bunny With a Whip.

  435. #440 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Of course a language can be improved by change. The most indisputable example of this is probably the addition of new words for things which didn’t previously exist but are now very important. However, it can also be damaged by change – hindering communication and rendering meaning ambiguous or even misunderstood more often than it’s understood correctly. That’s when a change is for the worse and “wrong”.

    Do you consider the lack of declension for most English nouns to be a change for the worse and “wrong?” There are many people who would argue this is true.

    Aside: Similar miscomprehension situations arise all the time. Eg those recent arguments about slang words when used across the internet instead of within a community which has a consistent but different definition. Hence all the people pointing out that it’s a bad idea (“wrong”) to post such things (after being made aware of the issue).

    So, some words have different connotations depending on the cultural milieu. That’s universally true, an artifact of language divergence, and indicative of the malleable nature of language as a communication system. Numerous slang words in English are dialect specific, with different meanings in various places e.g. fanny and fag. I get your analogy, but I fail to see how this supports your position. It merely supports the idea that one should be aware of the various meanings a word may have in the dialect of one’s interlocutors.

    Also a problem on the internet is the use of sarcasm – because of the lack of clues from tone of voice, facial expression, habits known through long-standing relationship. Ditto in-jokes, where the in-group members are posting them on a wider forum (not one they own exclusively) and then unreasonably whinging at out-group members for effectively not being part of their in-group.

    So perhaps there should be a standardized dialect with markers for sarcasm that could be used in written communication?

    In-group markers such as jokes are part of cultural identities. It is the nature of some in-groups to complain that people outside that group just doesn’t get them. Example 1: who hasn’t heard a teenager whine that adults “just don’t get it” when “it” is anything to do with current youth culture?

  436. #441 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    just doesn’t get them.

    just *don’t* get them.

  437. #442 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    And, rather than admit to being wrong (over imagining that it’s not necessary to know the context of the discussion and, consequently, in falsely reporting what my overall position is), Pygmy Loris dishonestly resorts (#440) to diversionary tactics (again). Actually bothering to do the reading part would almost certainly improve Pygmy Loris’s reading comprehension a great deal – and that of many other posters. (As, of course, would doing the thinking part of the process.)

  438. #443 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010
  439. #444 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Says who?

    says I. :-p

    It simply bugs me when language evolves away from clarity(I wholeheartedly embrace y’all as a plural to you, for the sake of improved clarity), which unfortunately seems to be the direction English prefers to evolve in. I could weep at how many conversations have been derailed by the prolific use of pronouns in ambiguous situations. Plus, I’m personally convinced that fuzzy language promotes fuzzy thinking.

    I feel exactly the same way about the loss of unique meanings to phrases and words, especially when they end up with meanings for which there already are other words.

    Maybe you don’t sleep well because of your “shoddily constructed nose”? That appears to be a common phenomenon.

    *shrug* probably, but there’s precisely nothing I can do about that.

  440. #445 Qwerty
    January 29, 2010

    This just in – Culpeper County forbids new version of Anne Frank’s diary. See lead paragraph from Washington Post article below:

    “Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank’s diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, after a parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes.”

    This came after a complaint. It didn’t say if the person complaining was a Christian, but anyone want to lay odds.

    Anyhow, homophobia is alive and well in Virginia.

    They need to amend their tourist slogan to:

    Virginia is for lovers as long as they are of the opposite sex.

  441. #446 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ #445:

    See #344.

  442. #447 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 29, 2010

    I could weep at how many conversations have been derailed by the prolific use of pronouns in ambiguous situations. Plus, I’m personally convinced that fuzzy language promotes fuzzy thinking.

    I feel exactly the same way about the loss of unique meanings to phrases and words, especially when they end up with meanings for which there already are other words.

    Hear, hear, sister. I realized no one can control language, but the descriptivists drive me up the wall when they pooh-pooh these concerns. Yes, yes, I know, language evolves. But we are allowed to lament the fact that that evolution often leads to less clarity. We are allowed to find that frustrating, and counter-productive. Because it is.

  443. #448 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    Thou art, redeless bastard.

    Redeless, mayhap… but mine parents were married to each other ere I was conceived, thou cultureless and mannerless lissamphibian.

  444. #449 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Am I the only one who finds this argument between Owlmirror and David M very sexy?

  445. #450 Brownian, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Wow. Prescriptive Sapir-Whorfians.

  446. #451 Miki Z
    January 29, 2010

    MikiZ, have you ever read the book Running From the Devil by Steve Kissing? I think you might like it.

    Thanks, Carlie, I’d never heard of this. I’ve put it on my list of things to read.

  447. #452 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Am I the only one who finds this argument between Owlmirror and David M very sexy?

    I, for one, cannot relate to that finding.

  448. #453 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    No. Read the rest of it (and think more carefully).

    I think, most carefully, that thou art a hypocrite.

    A deliberate in-context joke!

    Thine bad-tempered humourlessness makes this difficult to believe.

    BTW:

    (as happened in China when an ill-educated emperor mis-simplified some of the characters in his great reform of the written language)

    [citation needed]

  449. #454 bastion of sass
    January 29, 2010

    Twelve atheists walk into a bar and

    much happy drinking and affable socializing resulted. No grace was said, no ending prayer offered. Vast quantities of Resurrection Ale, and other beverages were consumed. We had such a good time, we plan to meet on a regular basis, only someplace where we can actually hear each other talk.

    When a woman walked in carrying a baby, I thought dinner had finally arrived, but alas, it was raw, and I don’t eat still-wiggling babies.

    As the earliest contingent of the Baltimore Blaspheming Bastards, AKA the Baltimore Pharyngula Fans group arrived at Brewer’s Art for its first gathering, the following dialogue ensued:

    Me to hostess #1: We’re expecting a group. Not sure how many. If anyone comes in looking for the squid group, we’ll be downstairs.

    Hostess #1: Squid?

    Several BBB’s simultaneiously: Yes, squid. S-q-u-i-d, squid.

    Hostess #1: Ok-a-a-a-ay.

    Later:

    Hostess #2, spying our squid sign: Are you some kind of squid fan club or something?

    Me: Yes.

    Hostess #2: What does your group do?

    Me: We just enjoy squid. Also octopuses and cuttlefish. We all read a blog that features squid.

    Hostess #2: I like to eat squid. Is that OK, or is that not allowed?

    Me: Oh, that’s OK. A lot of our members like to eat squid.

    Hostess #2, still not sure what to make of us: I’ll, er, tell the bartenders where you’re seated in case more of your members come in and are looking for you.

  450. #455 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    As in “fuck like bunnies?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_U2yG3uZp0

  451. #456 Dust
    January 29, 2010

    MrFire @ 275,
    Thanks, I apprceiate that.

  452. #457 Brownian, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Ha ha! Bastion of sass, that’s great!

  453. #458 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 29, 2010

    I think, most carefully, that thou art a hypocrite.

    Thine bad-tempered humourlessness makes this difficult to believe.

    OK, that’s it. I was holding it in, but if you’re going be all that way about it… Ahem -

    My loving Pharyngulites, I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst of heat and cephalopodic battle, to live and die amongst your tentacles.

    But not, mark me, to consort or provide succor to those who leave her Majesty’s English in dissipation. I think foul scorn upon any who too liberally – that is to say, at all – dare to invade the borders of our realm with the detestable and twee constructions “methinks” and “thou dost protest too much.” Attend carefully; they are hereby proclaimed invalid, insufferable and banned.

    /adjusts ruff, flounces out, and calls for lemon wedges and garlic butter

  454. #459 leepicton
    January 29, 2010

    Twelve atheists walked into a bar and had a grand time! There was Resurrection ale, garlic French fries, other tasties and good conversation. Only problem was that the place was so loud and so crowded (we didn’t know it was restaurant week), the conversations tended to be more intimate – nice, but didn’t allow for general conversations. We decided it was worth doing again. Identifying ourselves as “the squid people” struck me as a suitable in joke that should be perpetuated. So to Brian and Brian from Catonsville, and Kim and Stephen (the soon-to-be new father), and Kevin and Nancy and Dana and Barton and Ray and Friend, and oh dear, I forgot a couple, it was a hoot! For those of you who can remember, friend me on Facebook if you want to keep in touch.

  455. #460 Owlmirror
    January 29, 2010

    The fangs of the vampires in True Blood are lateral incisors and the vampires are depicted as sexy, but their fangs are retractable.

    Where do they retract to, anyway?

    How do retractable fangs figure into the depiction?

    Perhaps as a transitional form between creepy and seductive?

    (Whedon’s vampires probably fall into the same category.)

  456. #461 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Those who enjoy arguing and thinking about English usage owe it to yourselves to read David Foster Wallace’s hugely entertaining essay “Tense Present”. It’s as strong and funny a defense of prescriptivism as the world is ever likely to see.
    I found 2 versions on the internet, one a minimally formatted html version and the other an apparently ginormous pdf from Harper’s that never seems to finish downloading but would be much easier to read than the other if it did.

    And then, only after you’ve read the essay, move on to this remarkably humorless descriptivist starfart. Such fun.

  457. #462 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    SEF,

    I responded to your post because it reeked of classism, elitism, and ethnocentrism. You continue to exude class and educational privilege in your “replies.” I’m an anthropologist. The very idea that there are better and worse dialects is anathema in my discipline.

    Prescriptive grammar is, quite frankly, an aberration in the evolution of language. It applies to a tiny subset of languages, and largely serves to privilege one class or group over another.

    I’m not wrong; I have a different opinion. Get over yourself.

  458. #463 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Owlmirror #453:

    I think, most carefully, that thou art a hypocrite.

    From which I can deduce that you are. You quoted out of context and only pretended to have thought carefully about the bit you (accidentally/deliberately?) missed.

    Thine bad-tempered humourlessness makes this difficult to believe.

    Your personal incredulity doesn’t make it untrue. It just puts you in the same category as creationists who pretend the evidence is other than it is.

    On the contrary to your assertion, it is your own visible ongoing failure at honest reading comprehension which makes you miss my various jokes (or your active dishonesty which now makes you pretend to have missed that evidence and/or pretend to have observed well enough at all to have seen it were it there – which it is) and falsely claim my deliberately planted joke as your own found one.

    Moreover, had you been paying attention (as you feign to have done), that particular remark would have been extremely notable as not being anything like my normal posting/speech patterns. Which should have been a big clue, to anyone not clueless, that it was there for a specific reason.

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though; not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    citation needed

    It’s an oldish book (not a play nor a film nor an internet website):

    “Chinese Characters – Their origin, etymology, history, classification and signification” – Dr.L.Wieger, S.J. (p6)

    Towards the year B.C. 213, under the Emperor … Ch’in-shih-huang who destroyed classical books, … Li-ssu, his prime minister, … wrongly interpreted some characters, and fixed them for posterity under a wrong shape.

    It’s debatable whom one should blame more – the fool or the fool who hired him (who didn’t like the old ways and evidently either couldn’t or didn’t take the trouble to make sure the new stuff was consistent with the intended meanings of the original character components).

    (Though this process of making ignorant mistakes and covering up with incorrect inventions was something of an iterative one, already complained about by Confucius in approx. 500 BC.)

  459. #464 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Where do they retract to, anyway?

    Good question. I have no idea. The books feature the same retractable fangs, though.

    Perhaps as a transitional form between creepy and seductive?

    (Whedon’s vampires probably fall into the same category.)

    That’s an interesting hypothesis. In True Blood, it’s still portrayed as sexy in the context of a sexual encounter. For instance, when Sookie (the female, human lead) has sex with Bill (the male, vampire lead) Bill’s fangs will come out. The context makes it seem like an indication of intense arousal. In situations where the vampire is an aggressor against humans the extension of the fangs is portrayed as more menacing.

  460. #465 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though; not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    oops. That’s what I get for peeking. Back in the killfile.

  461. #466 Feynmaniac
    January 29, 2010

    Am I the only one who finds this argument between Owlmirror and David M very sexy?

    I say they settle this argument like academics…..fill a kiddy pool with jello and have them wrestle in it.

  462. #467 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though; not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    did you need to add another bedroom to your house to comfortably accommodate an ego that size?

  463. #468 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Pygmy Loris #462:

    is anathema in my discipline

    That doesn’t make you or your discipline correct in this. Playing the authority card in lieu of a decent argument on the specific issue under consideration just gets you one logical fallacy penalty.

    Prescriptive grammar [blah blah blah]

    Another dishonest diversion from you. I see what you’re doing and I’m not letting you get away with it unremarked (for the benefit of all those who might not have grasped it on their own but do have sufficient wit to see it once it has been pointed out).

    I’m not wrong

    Yes you are – on the two things I’ve already repeatedly highlighted (for the hard of thinking). Firstly, you are wrong in claiming you didn’t need to know the context (ie to read the thread!). Secondly, you are wrong in pretending to know and hence misrepresenting what my position is on a wider matter (and quite different area of principle) than the specific issue in question.

    Attempting to changing the subject of where your wrongness lies is just dishonest of you.

    Aside:

    You continue to exude class

    Oh good. Class – I has it! But not of course in the way you meant.

    Get over yourself.

    … says the “I’m an anthropologist” authority card player! :-D

  464. #469 Feynmaniac
    January 29, 2010

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though; not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    Were you masturbating to the mirror with your other hand when you were writing that?

  465. #470 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated unfunny, though; not of the “toilet humour” humorous or similarly low hilarous varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    Fixed it for you.

  466. #471 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Sven DiMilo #465 + Jadehawk #467:

    The usual snark and insult in lieu of a valid argument or substantive point to make. So very pharyngulite regular.

    It’s something of a standard offering (perhaps like espresso): don’t read, don’t think, just post abuse and (of course) expect to get the approval of the local gang of people with the same low standards as you.

    You’re wrong (on the internet) and too dishonest to admit it. You’re incapable of supporting your views properly (because they’re wrong!), so you resort to improper tactics instead.

    It’s rather sad that you don’t disgust each other more, given your oft claimed (but feigned) high regard for truth, rational argument, integrity etc etc. Hypocrites.

  467. #472 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    SEF,

    Aside:

    You continue to exude class

    Oh good. Class – I has it! But not of course in the way you meant.

    Way to quote me out of context. The complete sentence was:

    You continue to exude class and educational privilege in your “replies.”

    I didn’t quote you out of context; I quoted an entire fucking paragraph.

    I didn’t say I’m an anthropologist to play the authority card, but to demonstrate the different theoretical tradition I come from. You’re being deliberately obtuse. Like I said, my main complaint is the classism that drips from your posts. The context of one comment is all that I needed to critique that. I have subsequently read most of the grammar portion of this thread. None of it changed my initial opinion of you and your alleged point.

  468. #473 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    SEF, you moron, I don’t even disagree with you on the grammar question. That however doesn’t make you any less of a pompous ass whose main argument in everything seems to be that all people who disagree with you must be liars, dimwits and idiots by default.

    It’s not like this is the first time a mere disagreement devolved into this stubborn asshattery the moment you decided to join.

  469. #474 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    PS to #471:

    Better add in Feynmaniac #469 + ‘Tis Himself #470 to the current batch of the blog’s virtual gang-rapist, low-life contingent who are lacking any valid argument to make but who can’t resist showing their true nature in this way over and over again.

  470. #475 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    gang-rapist? really?

    this is precisely what I meant. you’re incapable of having a discussion without starfarting on all of us.

  471. #476 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Aw, is little SEF’s ego hurt? Is he feeling all whiny because people aren’t giving him all the respect to which he feels entitled? Poor fluffy bunny. Do your testicles hurt too? Or only when you rub liniment on them?

  472. #477 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #473:

    by default

    Not by default – for specific (and specified!) reasons. See above.

    Again with the habitual inaccurate insults and misrepresentations from one of the pharyngulite regulars. You are all so predictable that it probably should be considered a default state but, nonetheless, I (unlike you lot) continue to take the time and trouble to make proper, evidence-based arguments.

  473. #478 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 29, 2010

    to the current batch of the blog’s virtual gang-rapist

    Wait, what/what/what? (Scooby-Doo double take). Huh?

  474. #479 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Rorschach @422: Thanks so much. I appreciate you having taken the time to give me some advice. I did have a brief moment of vertigo, slight dizziness that did not result in a fall. It felt more like standing up too fast after sitting for a long period. But my memory of the slight vertigo is hazy, and IIRC corresponded with my first efforts to prove to myself that I was back online by checking my email history, etc.

    Quotes for CT scans, with no contrast, are about $400 so far. I will check some other imaging specialists.

  475. #480 John Morales
    January 29, 2010

    O joy. Internecine brawling in the echo chamber.

    I think I’ll go back to my perusal of Sven’s linked essay.

  476. #481 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Not by default – for specific (and specified!) reasons.

    hardly, considering for example this line:

    @ Sven DiMilo #465 + Jadehawk #467:
    You’re wrong (on the internet) and too dishonest to admit it.

    If I was wrong in this discussion, then so are you, since I agreed with you on the grammar question. you just got insulted and decided to assume a bunch of shit that wasn’t the case. And again, it’s not like this is the first time you’re having a tantrum like a spoiled brat over something that started out as a reasoned discussion.

  477. #482 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #475:

    really?

    Out of context quoting from you – carefully omitting the all-important preceding word. Hint the original was an example of something which you should have learned at school. It’s called a metaphor.

    this is precisely what I meant. you’re incapable of having a discussion without starfarting on all of us.

    Hypocrite. You’re projecting. You really should be more disgusted with yourself – enough perhaps to stop doing it. I’ve never seen much sign of this happening over the years, though.

    @ ‘Tis Himself #476:

    Devoid of worthwhile content once again.

  478. #483 Feynmaniac
    January 29, 2010

    Better add in Feynmaniac #469 + ‘Tis Himself #470 to the current batch of the blog’s virtual gang-rapist

    Wow, comparing people laughing at your pompous ass to gang rape?! Dude, seriously, STFU.

  479. #484 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna,

    I forgot to mention this earlier, but your mentioning the cost of the CT scan reminded me. If you need help paying for treatment, add me to the list of people willing to kick in. I don’t have much, but I’ll send a few dollars your way.

  480. #485 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna,

    I forgot to mention this earlier, but your mentioning the cost of the CT scan reminded me. If you need help paying for treatment, add me to the list of people willing to kick in. I don’t have much, but I’ll send a few dollars your way.

    Add me too. It’s a sin , in the truest sense of the word, that this is even an issue in the richest damned country in the world.

    I don’t know if Pharyngulites have found a way to get Lynna donations from us, but if they have, please let me know.

  481. #486 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    dude, calling something “virtual” doesn’t make it a vile and out-of-proportion comparison. stop digging, it’s fucking pathetic.

  482. #487 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    doesn’t make it any less of a vile and out-of-proportion comparison.

    bloody hell.

  483. #488 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Devoid of worthwhile content once again.

    I’m just following in your footsteps.

    After #435 you stopped making reasonable arguments and started playing asshole. Several of us noticed this and, as is usual for Pharyngula, called you on it. If you don’t like us pointing out your smug pomposity, that’s your problem, not ours.

  484. #489 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #481:

    hardly, considering for example this line:

    Dishonest out-of-context quoting from you again.*

    The bit you so carefully excised from there was the valid argument and substantive points that I made about your own lack of valid argument and substantive points and the wrongness of you being abusive instead (and indeed ganging up to do so as usual!) as evidenced by the carefully referenced posts of yours.

    If I was wrong in this discussion, then so are you, since I agreed with you on the grammar question.

    Do try to keep up. The context here is not the grammar issue but your poo-flinging and abject failure to make a decent argument (on the “issue” on which you then chose to post next).*

    it’s not like this is the first time you’re having a tantrum like a spoiled brat over something that started out as a reasoned discussion.

    Indeed but because this is not such an occasion and neither has there been a previous one! You are the people behaving like brats. I’m the one, in stark contrast, who is behaving well. Again, it is concerning that you are not more disgusted with yourselves and each other.

    * Hint: that counts as another piece of wrongness from you.

  485. #490 Carlie
    January 29, 2010

    So, getting tired of watching Newfie vomit all over everything, I wander back over to this thread to find SEF comparing criticism to gang rape and then claiming to be the only one behaving well. I think I’ll just go to bed.
    (Also in on the Lynna fund)

  486. #491 A. Noyd
    January 29, 2010

    SEF (#388)

    So now you want to argue that the majority is necessarily right, despite the appalling state of education and a long history of them being wrong in pretty much every way possible.

    Wrong according to what standard? And I don’t see how education has anything to do with anything. Is language somehow not language if it’s acquired rather than taught?

    (#390)

    And both I and Jadehawk already demonstrated its wrongness by providing examples of how it does impede reliable communication.

    Do you have studies to back that up for your example? Because otherwise you’re just expressing your personal preference. Me, I’ve never had occasion to even think about the “than I”/”than me” distinction before this. “Than me” is what’s natural 100% of the time. Ambiguity can be taken care of with inflection. The fact is, once you reach a maximum of people who don’t agree with your idea of propriety, insisting on your preferred rules does more to reliably impede communication.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Bill Dauphin (#392)

    Is just objectively crazy! Cilantro is only just barely less emphatically food! than bacon!

    Nope, it’s objectively somewhere between “soap” and what chewing tinfoil would taste like if pain came in flavors!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Pygmy Loris (#427)

    Linguistic anthropology 101: all dialects of a language are equally valid. Whether a particular grammatical construction used by a minority of speakers is “right” is a result of cultural ideas regarding the status of various dialects.

    I just want to point out that this is one of those instances where relativity is a fact. (Oh, and good explanations of the linguistics side, by the way.)

    (#462)

    Prescriptive grammar is, quite frankly, an aberration in the evolution of language.

    I think it’s useful to maintain at least one prescriptivist grammar for purposes of cross-dialect communication. Right now what we have is an artifact of classism and forces some people more than others to learn rules unfamiliar to them, but the same effect could be achieved minus the inequality and judgment if we really wanted to.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Jadehawk (#444)

    It simply bugs me when language evolves away from clarity…which unfortunately seems to be the direction English prefers to evolve in.

    But it generally evolves toward clarity at the same time depending on your position within the culture. English, like every language, has always been simultaneously evolving away from and into clarity.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Josh (#447)

    But we are allowed to lament the fact that that evolution often leads to less clarity. We are allowed to find that frustrating, and counter-productive. Because it is.

    Relative to you, sure. I don’t disagree that it’s frustrating. It sucks being left behind linguistically. It’s just stupid to argue that what one person finds clear is objectively correct and what others find clear that confuses the first person is objectively wrong. (Not saying you’re arguing that, but that’s what we descriptivists are arguing against.)

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    By the way, the best example anyone’s presented so far of a change in language that could cause confusion for the majority of speakers is Stephen Wells in #918 last thread: “[T]he news is always full of claims that some politician has “strongly refuted” the accusation…when in fact they’ve only denied it.”

  487. #492 leepicton
    January 29, 2010

    Lynna,
    While you are waiting to get up the scratch to get tested, you might be able to control the vertigo by taking Antivert. It is over the counter, which I did not know when I ended up in the ER a couple months ago with vertigo that lasted 12 hours until I was desperate for it to stop. The generic is meclizine which they gave me in the ER. Believe it or not, you may even have a form of vertigo that can be cured by someone who knows the technique of snapping your head the correct way. It seems that in some people a buildup of calcium crystals adhering to the delicate bits in the inner ear can be loosened and you may never have another attack. Believe me, I know how horrible such an attack can be and I keep my medicine around, just in case. In the ER, once they rule out stroke, brain bleed, and other neurological accidents, they give you this stuff and send you home, and sure enough, after an anti-nausea injection and this med, I felt quite able to walk out of the ER on my own power, and though I had a day where I felt like shit afterward, I have been OK since. So, try the Antivert, and good luck.

  488. #493 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #486:

    stop digging, it’s fucking pathetic.

    You’re still projecting.

    @ ‘Tis Himself #488:

    I’m just following in your footsteps.

    Liar. I note your lack of evidence for your claim and, in contrast, all the evidence against it and add in the improbability of you being totally unaware of these things.

    After #435 you stopped making reasonable arguments …

    All untrue and a complete misrepresentation of events. Instead, I’m the one who is calling the rest of you on your hypocrisy in these matters.

    However, I’m not part of any gang to be able to do this with any show of force (were you to be impressed by such things). I only have the truth on my side (and many lawyers regard that as poor currency at best).

    Meanwhile, a subset of the gang of pharyngulite regulars is flooding the thread with their attempts to intimidate me into shutting up – but are really just providing further examples which prove my point about your individual and collective bad behaviour.

  489. #494 Jadehawk, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Do try to keep up. The context here is not the grammar issue but your poo-flinging and abject failure to make a decent argument (on the “issue” on which you then chose to post next).*

    argument about what? that you have a ginormous ego? The quote I pulled, and that others have commented on, was sufficient evidence for that. And until you started getting indignant about that, your pompousness and grammar were the only things in relation to you I have even remarked on. I’ve no idea what else you imagine this conversation even is about.

  490. #495 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Aw shucks, and other indications of embarrassment and pleasure oddly mingling. Pygmy Loris, Josh (Official SpokesGay), Bill D., Mr. Fire, Dania, SC and all others who have offered to help, may the FSM be gentle with you always.

    AFAIK there’s no formality to this Diagnose Lynna movement. I think we’ll just stay in a holding pattern until I’ve figured out the costs. I still have the carotid artery High Mucky Mucks to talk to again on Monday, plus more negotiating to do with CT scanning emporiums.

    I wish my boyfriend were rich. I guess I don’t pick ‘em for their money. He did bring me more oranges today. Good thing too, since I was down to my last orange and getting anxious.

    I found the grammar war amusing. Jadehawk is my choice for Queen of the Battlefield. If I were taller than I am, I wouldn’t be me.

  491. #496 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Mythusmage, Newfie, and now SEF? What got in the water around here?

  492. #497 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Carlie #490:

    … comparing criticism to gang rape …

    Another blatant misrepresentation of events from another pharyngulite regular.

    There was no valid criticism coming from the gang. Just a mob descent into poo-flinging, bad language, sexual innuendo or abuse of an overtly sexual nature and the like. That’s more than enough to prompt the metaphor. Are you going to feign an inability to see the sexual content in the preceding posts (even given the reference numbers already provided)?! Or is expecting you to read what you pretend to be competent to comment on entirely too much to ask of a pharyngulite regular?

    I, on the other hand, am making the entirely valid criticism that (in this and other ways) your (plural) behaviour does not follow the model of evidence-based reasoning you claim to laud and espouse. You (plural) are hypocrites.

  493. #498 Lynna, OM
    January 29, 2010

    Joseph’s Smith’s TIA or Global Amnesia Event? Rorschach and Knockgoats would see some similarities with my recent brain-offline event. All I ended up with was an addiction to oranges, Joe got a whole religion.

    One of Steven C. Harper’s most vivid memories happened when he was about 14 years old. This is, coincidently, about the same age Joseph Smith was when he had his First Vision.
         Harper’s experience greatly changed his life. He was sitting at the breakfast table and talking with his dad about something he had just read in the LDS Church News. He remembers he was eating cold cereal, but he can’t tell you what cereal. He remembers sitting to the left of his dad, but he can’t remember the clothes he or his dad were wearing. Some details are fuzzy, yet he can remember exact words his father said. Word for word. The experience was significant — and, he says, he was sacred.
         Joseph Smith’s recollection of his First Vision experience in the Sacred Grove has many of the same features as Harper’s recollection. Some details Joseph remembered were vivid and concrete. Other details were uncertain.

  494. #499 Pygmy Loris
    January 29, 2010

    A. Noyd,

    I think it’s useful to maintain at least one prescriptivist grammar for purposes of cross-dialect communication. Right now what we have is an artifact of classism and forces some people more than others to learn rules unfamiliar to them, but the same effect could be achieved minus the inequality and judgment if we really wanted to.

    Now that would be a prescriptive grammar I could get behind!

  495. #500 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 29, 2010

    I note your lack of evidence for your claim and, in contrast, all the evidence against it and add in the improbability of you being totally unaware of these things.

    My evidence for the claim that you have a massive ego can be seen in each and every one of your posts after #435.

    I didn’t get involved in the prescriptive/descriptive language debate because, quite frankly, it’s not something that I’m particularly interested in. As long as you folks were having fun discussing language, then I read it much like I skim through the obituaries in the newspaper. But when you got all superior and threw around pomposities like:

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though; not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    I couldn’t let your overinflated ego go without a pinprick.

  496. #501 SEF
    January 29, 2010

    @ Jadehawk #494

    I’ve no idea …

    Despite having had it made quite explicit – repeatedly in some instances. Such terribly poor reading comprehension – almost certainly resulting in part from you not even bothering to give it an honest go. But that, sadly, is the norm here (as elsewhere).

    @ Nerd of Redhead #496:

    and now SEF?

    Another misrepresentation from another pharyngulite regular. The gang’s certainly starting to weigh in consistently on the wrong side (again).

    Note, once more (ie in the just referenced post), the complete lack of evidence and reasoned argument accompanying all the false assertions made by the gang members. They all support each other without caring to honestly evaluate the truth of the matter (a lie of omission) and/or perhaps do so with more overt dishonesty (a lie of commission) having already observed their fellows to be in the wrong but being unwilling to concede it, preferring instead to pile on the chosen victim-of-the-moment anyway.

    You are hypocrites. You don’t follow your own claimed standards. You should be finding yourselves to be disgusting. You should be calling each other out on it. Yet you don’t. It’s all very revealing.

  497. #502 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2010
  498. #503 cicely
    January 29, 2010

    I propose that prescriptive grammar exists not as a preventive, but as a brake to language change, and as a generator of copious documentation of the rate and directions of change, by way of lengthy disputations such as these, for the benefit of generations of language students yet unborn. :^

  499. #504 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    If the reaction to cilantro is genetic then it must be recessive. My wife and I both like the taste and our daughter loathes cilantro.

  500. #505 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ ‘Tis Himself #500:

    My evidence for the claim that you have a massive ego …

    That wasn’t the claim you were making though. (NB Should there be any honest readers here at all other than myself, the track-back to check is the posts #493, #488, #482 and #476. This is a challenge the dishonest and lazy will undoubtedly skip.)

    You’re shifting the goal-posts. Something which you should know by now to be dishonest and wrong (on the internet or anywhere else). I see what you’re doing even if you’re hoping that no-one else does. I note once again your failure to make an honest, evidence-based argument – despite you apparently wanting to be on the side which does. Hypocrite.

    See how I, unlike you, can and do provide the evidence to support my claim – because, unlike yours, it is a true claim and I genuinely do hold myself to high standards.

    This habitual low quality and abusive posting pattern of pharyngulite regulars is something which it is worthwhile to note, every so often. It remains to be seen whether any of you will ever become better people as a result of finally being disgusted with yourselves; or whether any lurkers start to recognise what you’re all really like. It does, unfortunately, require them to have reasonable reading comprehension and intellectual honesty themselves.

  501. #506 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    (Also in on the Lynna fund)

    Thank you, Carlie.

    The article to which Rorschach provided a link for more info on Transient global amnesia included this: “The most commonly cited precipitating events include vigorous exercise (including sexual intercourse), swimming in cold water or enduring other temperature changes, and emotionally traumatic or stressful events.” I read this after a visit from my hunky boyfriend, so I guess that was a narrow escape! I will make up for my risky behavior by going to sleep early (well, earlier) tonight.

    Regarding the calcium crystals in the inner ear and resulting vertigo, I’m pretty certain I don’t have that problem. My brother had that kind of vertigo several years ago, and from that very cause. He experienced several bouts of it before he got it diagnosed. His vertigo was really pronounced and he didn’t suffer loss of memory or confusion, just awful vertigo. Damned good thing we weren’t climbing up or down some cliff at the time.

  502. #507 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    I’m trying to think about what a “class-free” version of American Standard English (e.g.) would look like.

    Plurality rules on a case-by-case basis?
    Or what?

  503. #508 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    If the reaction to cilantro is genetic then it must be recessive.

    *tries so, so hard to resist inquiring about the mailman*

  504. #509 Miki Z
    January 30, 2010

    The experience was significant — and, he says, he was sacred.

    How do I get to be sacred?

    I hallucinate on a fairly regular and minor basis. This is completely different from delusions (of grandeur or otherwise), even though one often begets the other.

    There seems, from my limited research, to be some evidence that many delusions are also of neurobiological origin, the way that hallucinations are, but I think these delusions are in the minority.

    Seeing / hearing / smelling / testing / feeling (i.e. sensing) things that aren’t there is not neurotypical, but is devoid of any deeper meaning.

    Using hallucinations (real or fabricated) to score followers, lovers, fame, fortune, etc. should be limited to professed entertainers.

    If the leadership of the Mormon Church came out and said “We are doing this for the lulz, not from any higher authority” they’d still be bad people, but their position would be more defensible as freedom of speech.

  505. #510 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    *and, obviously, fails utterly*

  506. #511 cicely
    January 30, 2010

    I think the canines on vampires are also meant to emphasize their predatory nature, both for hunting and for sex. They sometimes retract, in these days, in tandem with the “softening” of the vampire’s character in modern fiction (and fang-porn); and to help the vampire “pass” in the society he is emo-ing his way through. After all, if he’s spotted in Chapter One as a vampire as he moodily stands on the side-lines of the party, brooding over how he doesn’t fit in, and is staked by the end of Chapter Two, he may never meet the heroine/love interest, we haven’t got much of a book, we haven’t got any paying customers, and we haven’t got any prospect of TV or movie rights.

    “Stealthed”, “safe but dangerous” vampires make good monetary sense.

  507. #512 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    Sven @ 502

    You’re killing me, I eat bunches of the stuff a week ( my diet is heavily based on south east asian cuisine ). Nonetheless I shall overlook this trangression of taste and you will remain gorgeous to me.

    Lynna

    Count me in for helping too when and if you need assiatnce. Don’t be shy in asking. I’m sure someone here can work out a way to make it logistically happen.

    Pygmy Loris, Tis, Nerd, Jadehawk, A.Noyd and whoever else has been called out by SEF

    I’ve always wanted to be in a gang so can I join? We could hang out at lunchtime and make fun of the pompous assclams ( nod to SC there).

  508. #513 cicely
    January 30, 2010

    I say they settle this argument like academics…..fill a kiddy pool with jello and have them wrestle in it.

    And be sure to video it for YouTube!

  509. #514 A. Noyd
    January 30, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself (#504)

    If the reaction to cilantro is genetic then it must be recessive. My wife and I both like the taste and our daughter loathes cilantro.

    Or polygenic? Maybe the “reaction” is a combination of traits, one or more of which is polygenic. For me, the taste of the cilantro is not exactly what’s unpleasant about it. Mushrooms are nasty but they smell and taste like food. Disgusting food, maybe, but food. Cilantro really does “taste” like pain made into a flavor on top of tasting like soap. Not only that, but it dominates whatever it’s mixed into, particularly the fresh stems. Most other things I don’t like the taste of don’t do that.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Sven DiMilo (#507)

    I’m trying to think about what a “class-free” version of American Standard English (e.g.) would look like.
    Plurality rules on a case-by-case basis?

    Hmm, I know, we could make Lolspeak the new Standard English!

  510. #515 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    Cicely

    Nothing to do with fangs per se but I just got back from grocery shopping and saw a woman with a cute t-shirt on. It said (in that gothic spidery writing):

    ” and then Buffy staked Edward. The End”

  511. #516 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    BoSOM, there’s a youtube clip that goes with the t-shirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZwM3GvaTRM

  512. #517 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    Bride of Shrek,

    I’ve always wanted to be in a gang so can I join? We could hang out at lunchtime and make fun of the pompous assclams ( nod to SC there).

    That sounds like a plan. I do so love making fun of pompous assclams over a tasty meal.

  513. #518 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    to help the vampire “pass” in the society he is emo-ing his way through

    Ha! Pretty funny verbing.

    I shall overlook this trangression of taste

    But ’twas a mere link, posted for Ms. A. Noyd. Personally, I love cilantro. I well remember my first taste, at 22 (my mom was not exactly the fresh-herbs sort of cook). “Yum,” I said, to the woman who would later become both my first wife and my first ex-wife, who had just made and served a Chinese chicken salad extravaganza as part of our pathetically awkward little courting thing, “what is this shit?”

  514. #519 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Miki Z @509

    “The experience was significant — and, he says, he was sacred.”
    How do I get to be sacred?

    lol. yeah, I noticed that too. Is it a typo? Should “sacred” have been “scared”? With mormons, there’s no way to tell, so I just posted the original, with the error (probable) intact. Mo’ better funny that way.

    If the leadership of the Mormon Church came out and said “We are doing this for the lulz, not from any higher authority” they’d still be bad people, but their position would be more defensible as freedom of speech.

    Good point. I agree. They are doing it for the power trip, and for the money — that’s certainly one flavor of lulz.

    They are stocking up on orphans from Haiti at the moment, which would also be funny, except that there are real children involved. There are morgasms over the Haiti rescue all over Mormon Times and lds.org. That’s lulz mormon style.

  515. #520 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Lynna, Count me in for helping too when and if you need assiatnce. Don’t be shy in asking. I’m sure someone here can work out a way to make it logistically happen.

    Thanks ever so much, BoS,OM.

    A club to discuss assclams sounds good to me. We need T-shirts too. The T-shirt could credit SC.

  516. #521 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Anything not related to elephants is

    irrelephant

  517. #522 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    Bride of Shrek and Jadehawk,

    I must have that T-shirt, and the remix was awesome!

    My bf rented Twilight because we both like vampire movies. After we watched the movie we looked at each other and said “Edward was the most boring vampire ever!” I read the book later just to see how bad it was, and, man, is that book awful!

  518. #523 windy
    January 30, 2010

    I don’t know if Pharyngulites have found a way to get Lynna donations from us, but if they have, please let me know.

    Paypal?

  519. #524 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    Paypal?

    I, for one, can’t use Paypal. Due to ongoing problems I have canceled all of my credit cards. Perhaps for those of us who would have to send a physical check, PZ could accept them and send them on to Lynna if she didn’t feel comfortable revealing her address to people she doesn’t know. I could send a check to PZ c/o UM-M even.

  520. #525 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    Did anyone else see xkcd today? I know it’s completely irrational to feel sorry for Spirit, an inanimate object, but this comic tugs my heartstrings.

  521. #526 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    That wasn’t the claim you were making though. (NB Should there be any honest readers here at all other than myself, the track-back to check is the posts #493, #488, #482 and #476. This is a challenge the dishonest and lazy will undoubtedly skip.)

    In your case being an asshole and having an overinflated ego are two separate things. Your ego is much too large for anything else to fit in and it’s certainly too large to fit even in your enormous asshole. How silly of me not to realize that. My apologies for conflating your massive ego and your massive asshole.

  522. #527 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    You quoted out of context and only pretended to have thought carefully about the bit you (accidentally/deliberately?) missed.

    The glaring incoherence must have blinded me.

    Many of my jokes are quite subtle and sophisticated, though;

    It is curious to see the heights to which ego can inflate the human mind.

    not of the “toilet humour” or similarly low varieties to which you may be accustomed in your own habits and circles.

    It is quite clear that you have not used a toilet in quite some time. This cannot be healthy.

    It’s an oldish book (not a play nor a film nor an internet website):

    “Chinese Characters – Their origin, etymology, history, classification and signification” – Dr.L.Wieger, S.J. (p6)

    Which is online, I note.

    Hm. I note that you left out some important context.

    Towards the year B.C. 213, under the Emperor … Ch’in-shih-huang who destroyed classical books, … Li-ssu, his prime minister, Deceived by the ?? ch’i-tz? [(pinyin qí-zì, qi2-zi4); translated as "odd characters"], then so numerous, Li-ss? wrongly interpreted some characters, and fixed them for posterity under a wrong shape.

    What were these alleged wrong interpretations and wrong shapes, I wonder? Is there anything to corroborate Wieger’s claims?

    Hm.

    Many instances of these mistakes of Li-ss? will be seen in the Etymylogical Lessons

    The book has 820 pages, and not all of them can be previewed.

    One “mistake” that I can find, ?, zhé, looks like a variant that was chosen over an alternative. I can’t find anything that gives more detail on these alleged mistakes, and how it can be certain that they are mistakes.

  523. #528 cicely
    January 30, 2010

    Did anyone else see xkcd today? I know it’s completely irrational to feel sorry for Spirit, an inanimate object, but this comic tugs my heartstrings.

    Me, too.

  524. #529 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I wish I were more of a low life scum so that I could wish that SEF get raped just so he would know how sick his comparison is. Instead, I want him to sit in the same room as newfie and get into a farting contest.

  525. #530 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Ah, the heartstrings
    aka chordae tendinae
    It’s the papillary muscles that tug ‘em.

  526. #531 WowbaggerOM
    January 30, 2010

    I read the book later just to see how bad it was, and, man, is that book awful!

    And how. Got to make Dan Brown happy that someone else has taken the crown for the least-capable writer to sell a ridiculous number of copies of an awful book.

  527. #532 blf
    January 30, 2010

    vanitas@368:

    Aaaahhh! the Mediterranean…used to live in Barcelona and am still trying to acclimatize to winter once again. Envy…

    I’ve never acclimatised to the summers here, and this is despite spending a few years in various similar places in California. On the other hand, I’ve got no problems with the cool winters and rain, albeit when the mistral really gets going it’s obnoxious—as is the locals tending to overheat the buildings in winter.

    In fact, my move here was the first time I’ve ever moved south in my (adult) life. I’ve a friend from Alaska, and she points out she’s always moved south, and finds my counter-directional history strange

    Not up on anacronyms for films-what are you going to watch?

    Nothing as it turned out. I started yawning and took the hint and went to bed. Don’t recall any dreams about sweet transvestites, science fiction double features, or what Pee Zed started this subthread with… tRHPS.

  528. #533 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek #512:

    I’ve always wanted to be in a gang so can I join?

    And another of the pharyngulite regulars returns and, unsurprisingly, chooses to side with the established in-group members who are already in the wrong, rather than caring about the truth of the matter. So very predictable. It would be far more unusual for one of you to suddenly behave decently instead.

  529. #534 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF

    And another of the pharyngulite regulars returns and, unsurprisingly, chooses to side with the established in-group members

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out I ever left in the first place.

    Actually SEF, I’ve been waiting for you to acknowledge me because until you did I wasn’t in “the gang”. Now I am. My intitiation ceremony is complete. (apart from the part where I have to snog Janine but, geographical distance aside, thats totally a given). I am now GANGED UP.

    Bwaaa haaa haa haaa

    PS Is there a point that you realise none of us are taking you seriously and you get all frustrated and leave?

  530. #535 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    Seriously – you’re taking crim? Who’s the professor?

    Lucia Zedner, Mary Bosworth and Professor Ian Loader.

    It’s only a short introductory course (officially titled Criminal Justice and Penology) that I chose for one of my third-year options. I’m finding it quite hard, though; I’ve never studied this kind of social-science course before, and the type of thinking required is quite different from the black-letter law subjects I’m used to.

    P.S. By way of background explanation (since you’ve asked about this in the past): In the UK, unlike the US, law is an undergraduate degree (usually called the LLB or Bachelor of Laws, though the Oxford course is described as a BA for traditional reasons). So I started my law degree at 18, immediately on leaving secondary school. I realise this differs significantly from the system in the US, where law degrees are graduate degrees and are only taken after first completing a bachelor’s degree.

  531. #536 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Owlmirror #527:

    I note that you left out some important context.

    No, I didn’t. Since I was having to type it out manually (from some rather small print at that!) I left out the chinese characters and other unimportant stuff. My evidence that it was unimportant for the context is in the fact that you had no trouble finding the passage! So where’s your evidence to support your claim that that part was important? Important for what? Anything more substantial than merely an excuse to quibble?

    What were these alleged wrong interpretations and wrong shapes, I wonder?

    Read the manual. You asked for a citation and I gave it (rather easily, because I take the trouble to know how I know what I know). Asking me to now do all your homework for you is just moving the goalposts.

    Is there anything to corroborate Wieger’s claims?

    The characters themselves!

    Note that I was already aware from my own observations of Chinese characters that there were errors in some groupings. So that much is self-evident (if you can be bothered to study, which I’m suspecting you can’t). The only bit which I’m temporarily granting to Wieger’s authority (since I don’t own any relevant ancient documents myself) is the date and names involved in particular errors arising.

  532. #537 llewelly
    January 30, 2010

    blf | January 30, 2010 4:06 AM:

    Don’t recall any dreams about sweet transvestites, science fiction double features, or what Pee Zed started this subthread with? tRHPS.

    You should be grateful the Alien Memory Erasing Machine works on you.

  533. #538 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, I don’t get why you’re getting so worked up about a trivial matter of English grammar. Is it really worth fighting tooth-and-nail for your position, and pissing off absolutely everyone (including those of us who aren’t involved in the argument at all), just for the sake of winning a distinctly unimportant argument?

  534. #539 Rorschach
    January 30, 2010

    Deep Rifts over English grammar ?

    Srsly ?

    I think I’ll pass.

  535. #540 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek #534:

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out I ever left in the first place.

    And yet there was a significant gap in your joining in on such things (see also another recent high gang activity thread) and you feigned non-membership in #512. I’m not like you lot, who are so casual in your dishonesty. I actually take the trouble to check things.

    Is there a point that you realise none of us are taking you seriously and you get all frustrated and leave?

    Is there a point where you realise that I’m unimpressed by your opinions, given how shoddy those opinions and your (collective) ongoing bad behaviours are? Why ever would you imagine that I take any of you seriously in that way? It must be your own massive ego(s) talking. You certainly don’t have the evidence to support such a view. :-D

    Whereas, I take care to make sure my opinions are well supported (as repeatedly demonstrated above). All I have to do is continue being in the right.

  536. #541 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    Walton @ #538

    Personally I have no background in linguistics and no knowledge whatsover of the debate that ensued.

    What I do have a problem with is someone who compares the trauma, grief, physical and emotional pain of a man or woman getting gang-raped to themselves getting disagreed with by a few people…and then tries to fucking JUSTIFY it.

    So your comment is pertinent. I am also wondering why SEF has such a hard-on for winding this topic up to the degree he/she would make such a completely arsehole statement, and then be such a coward as to not admit it afterwards.

  537. #542 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Walton #538:

    I don’t get why you’re getting so worked up about a trivial matter of English grammar.

    What a way to miss what the larger point is about – the outrageous dishonesty and blatant hypocrisy of the pharyngulite regulars. The grammar one is trivial in comparison (although again, I was the one making substantive arguments on the whole while most of the others whinged about how they merely didn’t like the sound of the correct versions, because they had become habituated to the wrong ones).

    And there I was, not that long ago, noting that you were an interesting exception to the pile-up (as an only recently and barely accepted in-group member). It would be a disappointment but, in reality, it’s hardly an unexpected move on your part, based on prevous form.

    Read the thread properly, Walton, and you might see what’s really going on – ie it’s not your superficial mischaracterisation of events. Of course, you’ll then have the tricky decision of whether to side with the gang you’ve seemingly been trying to join over past months or to be honest and speak out against them. Laziness is undoubtedly the easy option in avoiding that dilemma.

  538. #543 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF

    And yet there was a significant gap in your joining in on such things (see also another recent high gang activity thread) and you feigned non-membership in #512. I’m not like you lot, who are so casual in your dishonesty. I actually take the trouble to check things.

    ..you do realise, to make your point, you linked to a thread I not only didn’t have ANY comments on but it finished at comment #441, not the #512 you lie about me being commenting at.

    Assclam

  539. #544 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    What I do have a problem with is someone who compares the trauma, grief, physical and emotional pain of a man or woman getting gang-raped to themselves getting disagreed with by a few people…and then tries to fucking JUSTIFY it.

    Yes. I agree, that comment was completely out of line.

    I’m beginning to wonder if this is the official Week of Offensive Rhetorical Stupidity. On one recent thread, some thoughtless idiot called Ben Stein “a living argument for the Holocaust” (something a few of us called him out on, but most people seem not to have spotted). Of course, that thread was itself motivated by offensive rhetorical stupidity, when some creationist fool described Stein as the “Rosa Parks of Darwin skeptics”. Then, of course, we have the thousand or so posts about Newfie and the use of the “c” word.

  540. #545 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek #541:

    Personally I have no background in linguistics and no knowledge whatsover of the debate that ensued.

    … and even less regard for the truth, which would otherwise have prompted you to investigate what actually happened rather than simply lazily siding with your fellow gang members in misrepresenting events.

    and then be such a coward as to not admit it afterwards

    Is it cowardice which is leading you to be dishonest and stick with the gang who are in the wrong? Are you projecting there?

  541. #546 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek #543:

    Do you really have to be so unremittingly stupid?! Couldn’t you, just occasionally, manage to take the trouble to read for comprehension instead of merely pretending to do so?

    you linked to a thread I not only didn’t have ANY comments on

    That was my point – the evidence that you had been mysteriously absent from a gang bang of someone else (note that the wrongness of that person is irrelevant to the wrongness of the gang’s behaviour). That’s part of the evidence for the significant gap in you joining in. It supports my claim.

    but it finished at comment #441, not the #512 you lie about me being commenting at.

    I don’t lie. You’re being idiotic. Note where the brackets are in my post. The #512 is a reference to your post in this thread where you finally move to join in the gang’s bad behaviour on this matter. Whereas previously in this thread you had been posting on other matters (although one of those posts did obliquely reference another of the gang’s assaults). This is again evidence supporting my point.

  542. #547 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF

    Yes, I’m projecting here you fuckwad, and I’ve probably never been so angry in my adult internet life. I was gang raped when I was 16, a fact I have never let loose on the internet before. The 5 charmers involved served 6- 8 years imprisonment(variously) and were then let loose on other members of society. Dealing , on a personal level with this shitscum, has seen me become the best criminal lawyer I can.

    You wanna tell me that your comment on gang-rape was ok? You have no fucking idea on the pain you inflict dickshit. You toss that term around like it’s a fucking adjective and yet you have no idea what it means to some people. Grow a fucking pair and apologise for using a totally inappropriate phrase to describe the minimal fucking discomfort you felt.

  543. #548 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    Is anyone interested in my opinion on English grammar? Probably not, so I’ll give it anyway!

    “…than I”. Shortened version of “…than I am”. Hence “I” is the subject of the (implied) verb. It is not the object of a verb so the “me” form is incorrect.

    Similarly, “he” and “him”.

    The reality is that language is fluid (although possibly treacly) and modern (IMO clumsy/slovenly) usage is taking over. It will take over completely, I suspect, in a few years because there is far less concern about grammar and correct usage than in the previous generation.

    I suspect the cause is that Latin is no longer taught at [grade] school (with rare exceptions). Latin, being a dead language, has carefully preserved correct forms. When did you last hear “declension” for nouns or “conjugation” for verbs referred to in an English Language class? (In my school “English” was split into “English Language” and “English Literature”. English Language and English Literature were 2 separate subjects in national exams.)

    Personally, I regret the less formal (read, “careless”) approach to all use of language but it is inevitable. IMO a scientist needs to be able to express himself/herself with precision. However, they also need to be able to express themselves in the lingua franca.

  544. #549 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, I’m not part of a “gang”, nor am I seeking anyone’s particular approval. Nor did I care to become involved in this debate up until now. However, Bride of Shrek is right. Comparing a discussion on the internet to rape is not acceptable. To trivialise rape as you did, and to use it as a rhetorical device, is a serious insult to the suffering of rape victims. In terms of offensiveness and insensitivity, your behaviour is not far removed from going into a synagogue and making a joke about the Holocaust.

  545. #550 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    Tried twice now to post something but it has been held for approval – not sure what I am doing wrong.

    I’m not aware of any “naughty” words. And it was about pork/bacon. Read it for yourselves at:

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/008271.html

  546. #551 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    And the fuckward uses it again at #546

    That was my point – the evidence that you had been mysteriously absent from a gang bang of someone else

    it is obvious SEF thinks rape, particularly gang or multiple rape, as a funny analogy that he/she repeatedly uses to further his /her points.

    Fucking disgusting.

  547. #552 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, Likewise I am not part of any group so to speak, and a newcomer to this community so, I have no particular axe to grind.
    You started off amiably enough and then progressively shifted to your current offensive and ridiculous stance.
    Whatever trivial point you have been laboring to make has been well and truly overshadowed by your disgraceful invective and aggressive attitude.
    All that you have succeeded in doing is alienating yourself, maybe you should chill out and return when you are feeling more grown up and able to have a reasoned discussion with adults.

  548. #553 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #548

    Having read back through the thread, I wonder if I should have contributed anything …

  549. #554 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    No Alan @ #553

    You absolutely shouj have. The interesting points and topics on this thread should not be derailed by someone who has their own agenda to push.

    Personally, I know nothing about linguistics, but you know, I reading back throug this thread, and absorbing the info contained I’m kind of getting it. And that includes your post with it’s interesting comments on the fluidity of language.

    Thankyou for increasing my knowledge today, it’s a precious thing.

  550. #555 John Morales
    January 30, 2010

    BoS, I think you have every right to be angered.

    Chmee, thanks for speaking out. I know this place can be intimidating.

    SEF, you’ve burnt a few bridges today.

    You really think the bulk of regulars (including many OMs) are a gang exhibiting outrageous dishonesty and blatant hypocrisy, who don’t make substantive arguments and whinge?

    Does it faze you at all that you share this opinion with tone and concern trolls?

  551. #556 ianmhor
    January 30, 2010

    Alan: succinctly put. I for one like the fluidity of language it’s one of the other evolutionary processes I have used in the past to illustrate that evolution,as a generalized process, can cover much more than just life.

    As to SEF. Have to agree you have made some of the discussion less than useful to this lurker. Failed communication isn’t worth the effort. Surely, here of all places we are striving for successful use of language so we do communicate?

  552. #557 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, you really need to re-read this thread, because you’ve gone entirely off the rails. Here, I’ll recap.

    At 388, you yelled at Paul that he had ?nothing? to support him other than quoting a linguistic text written by professional synacticians, while you gave an ACTUAL EXAMPLE of how English can be unclear. You also dissed the descriptivist perspective, although not directly calling it that, and then accused Paul of having terrible reading comprehension. So at this point, you have both archly dismissed expert opinion, provided nothing to counter it but two examples pulled out of your ass, and called someone who disagrees with you stupid. Let’s see if you ever provide anything else in support of your argument.

    At 390, you continued by calling anyone who disagrees with you ?creationist-like? and claiming that you have refuted any measly counter-examples, again based on nothing but your own opinion.

    At 415, Pygmy Loris jumped in and gave a description of your viewpoint as prescriptivist, and countered with the descriptivist argument.

    At 419, you said PL was wrong and out of context. PL said that no, even after reading it all, the point still stood that you were being prescriptivist.

    At 442, you claimed that PL was ?dishonestly? using ?diversionary tactics? and hadn?t read anything you wrote. This is where you started to go off-kilter, because PL had very clearly encapsulated your overall framework and described exactly what was wrong with it from the POV of an anthropologist. I think right here was where it was clear that you either:
    a) have no idea what prescriptivist and descriptivist mean with regard to how you formulate your opinions on grammar (i.e. you don?t see the connection between the frameworks PL described and your position), or
    b) soundly reject the split between prescriptivist and descriptivist in the first place.
    I am tending towards A in this case, because you at no point ever addressed it. You have not ONCE addressed the rationales of either of the two positions in an attempt to defend your own, you just keep saying ?No, you?re wrong because I have this one great example of when it can be ambiguous.?

    PL then once again explained the difference between prescriptivist and descriptivist positions, and explained in detail why anthropologists do not agree with the prescriptivist viewpoint, being quite clear why PL holds this opinion that is different from yours and again stating that ?wrong? doesn?t have a meaning when making the point that one set of rules isn?t privileged over another.

    At 468, you claimed that the entire discipline of anthropology was wrong. However, you didn?t say what it was wrong about. PL is at this point speaking about prescriptivist/descriptivist, but it is unclear whether you?re claiming that anthropology as a whole is wrong about those frameworks or wrong simply about the grammatical issue you started off with. Once again, you provide no support for your position other than claiming that they?re wrong. You also once again claim that PL?s talk of prescriptive grammar is a ?dishonest diversion? and that you ?see what [PL] is doing and will not let {PL} get away with it?, with a side swipe at the intelligence of everyone else reading.

    471 is where the game is over, and you go off insulting everyone, then at 474 comparing the discussion to a gang rape.

    Between 442, where anyone else besides you and Pygmy Loris started commenting on it, and 471, where you went off, comments involving your discussion were as such:
    Jadehawk and Josh agreed with you, Brownian made a single comment referring to a theory on context and speech, Owlmirror said you were bad-tempered and humorless, Josh affected to be a high-class prat, and the most direct statement at you was PL reiterating having responded to your post because it ?reeked of classism, elitism, and ethnocentrism. You continue to exude class and educational privilege in your “replies.” I’m an anthropologist. The very idea that there are better and worse dialects is anathema in my discipline?.I’m not wrong; I have a different opinion. Get over yourself.? Then there were a couple of killfile/ego comments related to your description of your joking style. That?s it. Period. That?s what you claim is akin to gang rape.

    So, you made an argument on the basis of, at most, two sentences that could be ambiguous without the rule you want to defend.
    It was argued, without any reference to your intelligence, that your rule is a) not even agreed on by all synacticians and b) couched in a framework of grammar that is itself rejected by entire fields of study.
    Your only response to this was to repeat over and over that all others were wrong, doing so by insulting their intelligence and accusing them of not having any idea what you were talking about. You even ended up insulting the people who agreed with you. Never once did you provide any substantive support for your argument, and never once addressed the validity of the competing frameworks. Then you started throwing around charges of gang rape without anyone else having ever brought sexuality into it, although you disingenuously said that they had later when trying to justify yourself. And then did it again.

    You have provided no reason for anyone to agree with you, and indeed have provided no evidence that you even understand what anyone else is saying to you.So seriously, SHUT THE FUCK UP UNLESS YOU EITHER PROVIDE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CLAIM OR AT LEAST ADDRESS PRESCRIPTIVIST V. DESCRIPTIVIST FRAMEWORKS.

  553. #558 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Chmee #552:

    I am not part of any group so to speak, and a newcomer to this community so, I have no particular axe to grind.

    That does nothing to guarantee you’ll engage in honest reading comprehension though – as indeed you show that you don’t! So you’re really just another person disregarding the truth/evidence and choosing to side with the people who are in the wrong.

    However, as it happens, you’re only a relative newcomer – having already posted several times elsewhere on this blog over several days, where I observed you apparently ingratiating yourself with some pharyngulite regular gang members. Joining in with their dishonesty here is quite likely to further your ends in this regard.

  554. #559 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Yowza, sorry everyone about the tl;dr post. SIWOTI at 6am is a dangerous thing.

    And BoS, sorry for what happened, and that SEF brought it back to mind. As for language, that’s a horrific slide in American English- how every tiny slight gets compared to rape, because rape isn’t taken seriously at all in this country (or, really, any country). Given the known reported and estimated non-reported stats on rape, it’s almost certain that any random group of 10 people or more WILL include someone who has been raped, so making those kinds of comparisons with a group audience WILL be dismissing what happened to someone there personally as something as trivial as being criticized for your opinion on a fucking grammar question. Just a PSA to keep that in mind before you say shit like that: kids, don’t be an SEF!

  555. #560 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek #554:

    The interesting points and topics on this thread should not be derailed by …

    … the bad behaviour of pharyngulite regulars.

    @ John Morales #555:

    You really think the bulk of regulars (including many OMs) are a gang …

    Doesn’t the “OM” thing give you even the tiniest clue?

    … exhibiting outrageous dishonesty and blatant hypocrisy, who don’t make substantive arguments and whinge?

    I don’t just think it, I’ve demonstrated it with some of the copious evidence they’ve provided against themselves.

    Does it faze you at all that you share this opinion with tone and concern trolls?

    You display another excellent piece of pharyngulite regular hypocrisy. I’d been saving up pointing out how the gang members were whinging about my tone (in lieu of having any valid arguments to make). Go back and take an honest look, I dare you.

    Ditto on their sudden concern over thread derailment while themselves piling in to derail it with their abusive posts, devoid of substantive points (because they are unable to refute the evidence against them and still don’t have a valid argument to make).

    It would merely be funny if it wasn’t also so sad how very bad you all are.

  556. #561 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    Oh seriously SEF

    Fuck off, you’ve startfarted and really need to go home and have asleep.

    Chmee

    Screw SEF ( the current idiot troll), you are more than welcome . So please don’t be put off by SEF, the rapist-analogy -but-too-cowardly-too-admit-it troll, if you’ve been lurking for any time you’ll know what I mean.

    So far I have found your posts to be pretty interesting and I, and I’m sure others do, look forward to much more.

  557. #562 WowbaggerOM
    January 30, 2010

    Carlie #557 – well put, and thanks for summing it up; I’ve been scouring the comments trying to locate exactly what it was that caused SEF to hulk out and kept on thinking that I missed something – but I didn’t.

    Comparing having a the majority of people on a blog take an opposing viewpoint to yours to being gang raped? What the fuck?

  558. #563 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    Carlie #557: lies a lot. Really a lot. There just isn’t enough excuse (eg a lack of reading comprehension on her part) for that extreme a degree of misrepresentation of events from her (although it probably does account for some of it). Sadly, once more, this is not abnormal for Carlie. I’ve seen it before when the gang was all going at it.

  559. #564 Dania
    January 30, 2010

    Thickened bee vomit! Yum! :-)

    I don’t know what sounds better. “Thickened bee vomit” or “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal and pentahydroxyhexan-2-one”. Yum! :)

    He did bring me more oranges today. Good thing too, since I was down to my last orange and getting anxious.

    You know what? Now I really want an orange and I don’t have any at home. :| I love oranges.

    *takes another look at the fruit bowl*

    Oh well, I guess I’ll have to content myself with tangerines…

  560. #565 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF

    Point blank question.

    As a personal victim of gang rape, I ask how can you justify your usage of the term “gang rape” or indeed “gang bang”to describe your emotional upset at being confronted by a few people on the internet?

    Answer this or you are a coward.

  561. #566 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, I provided the comment numbers for everything I referenced. (I may have missed one or two while condensing, but there are enough numbers that it’s still easy to find because I kept them in chronological order.) I didn’t link them all directly so as to avoid being put into mod purgatory and because they’re all right here on the same damn page. Look it up. Right up there. Look at every single one of them and see if I’m misrepresenting. Right there. Better yet, tell me exactly which ones I’m misrepresenting and how. Don’t say I’m generally lying, say exactly what is wrong with what I said and why. Stop throwing vague charges around and make a damned point already.

    And once again, you’re complaining without addressing any of the criticisms directed at your actual stance. You have not once addressed any actual comment towards you directly. You have no substance.

  562. #567 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,
    Gee thanks, it has been a while since I have been a lightning rod :)
    So now that you are qualified to judge the level of “newness” of a poster, please keep updating my status so that I don’t get ahead of myself.
    Imagine how distressed I feel that you have turned your rather dim spotlight on me.
    If you consider my politeness and respectful attitude to be “ingratiating” then so be it.
    I managed to stay polite to Alan Clarke, and that took some doing when my every impulse was to leap into the monitor and “rip his bloody arms off” (Aunty Jack reference for those who might recognize it).
    You may have noticed that my post only referred to your behavior and invective, I wasn’t taking sides.
    You have forced the issue and now, ta da, I find myself aligned with the “gang”
    So why don’t you please STFU and go back to staring at your wall sized mirror where the person who loves you the most is always there for you.
    You make Arnold Rimmer look saintly.
    Are you done?, because I am.
    I off to see Avatar and want to save some disappointment for the movie instead of wasting it all on you.

  563. #568 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    I read the thread, this is how I see it :

    1. you were having a discussion with Pigmy Loris on english grammar.
    Nota: you were defending your points very well but nobody felt the need to side with you.
    2. Then you wrote comment 435 that was not only about english grammar.
    3. Several members of what you consider an “internet gang” reacted to 435, and not your well defended points about english grammar.
    4. You felt the gang was going after you, you were dissatisfied. The discussion became emotionally driven from both sides.
    5. rather than trying to reduce the level of emotion, you added more hyperbole by comparing the gang to a virtual group of gang-rapists (comment 474)
    6. and then it got even worse. You felt this was even more evidence to your point that the gang was going after you.

    SEF, you had a point about english grammar. You may have had a point about a gang going at you. But you completely lost both points by comparing them to virtual gang rapists. You could have retracted, say : “this was out of line”, but you didn’t.

    Let me know if you see things the same way.

  564. #569 WowbaggerOM
    January 30, 2010

    So, opposing ridiculous comparisons that trivialise the enormity of gang rape means one is a thoughtless member of a pack? Funny, I thought it was indicative of the possession of of a certain amount of personal integrity and basic human compassion. Silly old pack mentality me, huh?

  565. #570 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Bride of Shrek 565:

    As a personal victim of gang rape

    Irrelevant (though I know you’re pretending it isn’t and I can sympathise that you are partly blinded to its irrelevance by your emotional reaction).

    I ask …

    That makes a change from people falsely telling me what my position is.

    … to describe your emotional upset at being confronted by a few people on the internet?

    Oops – no, you’ve blown it again by making up your own falsehoods over what’s actually going on. Note how you are projecting here again. Your emotional upset magically (and falsely) becomes mine in your view. Do try harder not to do this.

    how can you justify your usage of the term

    Had you been paying attention, instead of merely pretending to do so, you would have noticed the key to part of that justification (#482). However, I can make it more explicit for the hard-of-thinking – even though you’ll all probably go ahead and lie some more about it.

    Re “virtual gang-rapist” or “virtual rape-gang” or any other variant which might occur:

    1. Imagine what a virtual (by which I mean “online”, if that wasn’t clear) instance of such a thing might consist of:

    (a) a large group of people ganging up on (typically) a single victim – check.

    (b) said gang members displaying very poor morals in their behaviour, including by the alleged standards of their own society (which they might well espouse to hold on another occasion), with none of them so much as chastising the others, let alone attempting to stop them – check.

    (c) sexual abuse – check.

    What other components do you imagine should be in there (and which you’ve failed to see) for the metaphor to be a disturbingly apt one? I really do have some non-negligible interest in what you see as missing. It’s debatable whether it would override the points of correspondance sufficiently to completely undermine the aptness of the metaphor though.

    2. I made the metaphor precisely because it was such a strong one. One which demanded attention and which should, were you honest, have not merely shocked you but made you all re-examine your bad behaviour (to recognise how the metaphor applies all too well to much of it).

    It’s interesting to note here the excuses that various of you have given in the past for including what you regard as “strong language” in your posts. Whereas I contend that that sort of thing is really weak language – substituting profanity for ability to make a point genuinely strong in its own right.

  566. #571 Dania
    January 30, 2010

    I didn’t link them all directly so as to avoid being put into mod purgatory…

    Hadn’t we established that it is possible to include an indefinite number of links in one comment without triggering moderation as long as they’re internal to SB?

    I’m not saying you should have done it (there was no need for it in this case), but I seem to remember Owlmirror testing this a while ago. I think there was a trick involved, but I forgot. Does anyone remember it?

  567. #572 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 30, 2010

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Hello everybody,

    Worst war movie of all time: Apocalypse Now

  568. #573 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Carlie #566:

    I provided the comment numbers

    And yet you still managed to misrepresent events. Abort, Retry, Fail?

    Anyone else want to try and spot Carlie’s first few errors for her in that long post (#557)?

    say exactly what is wrong with what I said and why.

    The hypocrisy is strong in this gang. I’m the only one who has been consistently following the rules of good argument that way. This time round I’m making an exception, for teaching purposes, by requiring you (collectively) to confront your appalling lack of honest effort at reading comprehension.

    Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that none of you will manage to rise to the challenge (eg through a mixture of laziness, dishonesty and cowardice).

    @ negentropyeater #568:

    you were having a discussion with Pigmy Loris on english grammar.

    No, I wasn’t. Fail. Go back and start again. Hint: Pygmy Loris herself admits (#415) that this isn’t true.

    Anyone want to help negentropyeater out with that?

  569. #574 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    January 30, 2010

    Worst war movie of all time: Apocalypse Now

    Red Dawn, for making people say “This could really happen”.

  570. #575 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, that (570) is the most despicable and vile thing I have ever read.

    I could go through it point by point as to exactly how vile it is, but honestly I don’t think I could stomach reading it again. It is full of the most privileged asshattery about one of the most terrible experiences a person can go through, and just the fact that you even THOUGHT in those terms, never mind actually writing them down for other people to see, is mind-boggling to an extent I can barely fathom.

    You’re not just a misogynist, you’re a misanthrope of a degree seldom seen because even most misanthropes know how to hide it enough to get along in society. Obviously you have no sense of shame, proportion, or empathy, or even the concept that other people might occasionally be right and you might be wrong.

    Walton, to answer a question of yours elsewhere, this is exactly what killfile is for.

    I seriously think that SEF should be banned now.

  571. #576 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    you rarely get people to re-examine their behaviour by shocking them.
    If you feel they have displayed bad behaviour, you should try to be as factual as possible and avoid metaphors and hyperbole.

  572. #577 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Anyone else want to try and spot Carlie’s first few errors for her in that long post

    Because you won’t? Obviously, because you refuse to provide any support for your ideas. Perhaps your thought of my error is in not including any of your comments between about #327 and 388, but they were roundabout ways of doing nothing else but what was then summarized by the first one I quoted from.

    However, that doesn’t matter. You have shown yourself in 570 to be the kind of person who I don’t think has any business being around other people, period, and I refuse to grant you the recognition of being a person who has any justification for me to have a dialogue with.
    I honestly don’t care now what you think, or how you think, or what stupid point of grammar you were trying to make. You are simply not worth even acknowledging your existence.

  573. #578 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    No, I wasn’t. Fail. Go back and start again.

    Ok, I’ll start again :

    1. you were having a discussion on the internet.
    Nota: you were defending your points very well but nobody felt the need to side with you.
    2. Then you wrote comment 435 and you felt you needed to add an aside.
    3. Several members of what you consider an “internet gang” reacted to your aside in 435, and not your well defended points.
    4. You felt the gang was going after you, you were dissatisfied. The discussion became emotionally driven from both sides.
    5. rather than trying to reduce the level of emotion, you added more hyperbole by comparing the gang to a virtual group of gang-rapists (comment 474)
    6. and then it got even worse. You felt this was even more evidence to your point that the gang was going after you.

    How do you see it ?

  574. #579 Feynmaniac
    January 30, 2010

    Re “virtual gang-rapist” or “virtual rape-gang” or any other variant which might occur:

    ….

    (c) sexual abuse – check.

    Wait, what?!

    Anyway, here’s one way this is not like a gang rape….YOU ARE FREE TO GO ANYTIME.

  575. #580 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ negentropyeater #576:

    you rarely get people to re-examine their behaviour by shocking them.

    So that’s why so many of you lace your posts with profanities and abuse. While posting, you want to avoid as far as possible any possibility of a creationist (etc) re-examining their behaviour, joining the right side and depriving you of another victim. Yes, it’s all so clear now.

    Hint: sarcasm.

    If you feel they have displayed bad behaviour, you should try to be as factual as possible

    :-D Ah, more of that classic pharyngulite regular hypocrisy and dishonesty. What do you imagine I, unlike most of the rest of you, have been doing all along?

    Fail. Go back and look at the evidence.

    #577: More lies from Carlie – easily refuted (by reference to the evidence) for anyone honest enough to look. It includes another priceless example of the local hypocrisy and projection in action:

    because you refuse to provide any support for your ideas.

  576. #581 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    January 30, 2010

    Say what? The gang on Pharyngula lace their posts with “profanities and abuse”?

    Well fuck me up the arse with a brass-handled barge pole, when did that start happening?

  577. #582 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Comment by SEF blocked. [unkill]?[show comment]

    Ah, that’s better. You know, I haven’t had killfile for ages – at least a year and a half or so, after an upgrade when I never got around to reinstalling it. Never seemed to have a reason, not even with heddle or Newfie or dendy or Shaun… not until now.

  578. #583 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ Feynmaniac #579:

    Wait, what?!

    Anyone else want to try now that Feynmaniac has failed his reading comprehension test?

    YOU ARE FREE TO GO ANYTIME.

    As, quite often, is a real life victim after the attack has been made. They’re not all killed.

    It’s true that many victims who had that chance to escape, after an initial round of attacks had taken place, might not then hang around in the same location to report the abuse to all the observers (confronting them because they really should be ashamed of themselves for not tackling the abusers in the way they might normally do) and any authorities that might be present. Some of them don’t dare report it at all – ever. That doesn’t make them correct not to do so – merely prudent (given the significant difference of the real life situation) and cowardly respectively.

    I’m standing up to the abusers here (and confronting the observers with their dishonesty and cowardice).

  579. #584 Miki Z
    January 30, 2010

    New York magazine has an interview with James Arthur Ray, celebrated woo-meister and potentially a defendant in a trial for negligent homicide at his Sedona “sweat lodge”.

    He wants us to know that while he does not have an opinion on whether

    “the victims had been having out-of-body experiences and were having so much fun that they chose not to return to their bodies,”

    is the case or not, the person who said it was only a volunteer relaying a message from a channeler.

    However, his statement that

    ?You?re not going to die. You might think you are, but you?re not going to die.?

    was completely taken out of context.

  580. #585 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 30, 2010

    Also Benny Hex is urging a crackdown on annulments.

    BS

  581. #586 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2010

    It’s interesting to note here the excuses that various of you have given in the past for including what you regard as “strong language” in your posts. Whereas I contend that that sort of thing is really weak language – substituting profanity for ability to make a point genuinely strong in its own right.

    So your own point must be incredibly weak if you need to bolster it with some genuinely odious hyperbole, comparing your position to begin gang-raped.

    It was an entirely inappropriate metaphor. No one has made you powerless, no one has harmed or degraded you, no one has deprived you of your dignity…yet not only do you make this ridiculous comparison, but when people who have experienced real rape point out the ugliness of your claim, you persist in defending it, instead of acknowledging that you’ve made a wretched mistake.

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  582. #587 Paul W.
    January 30, 2010

    I fear that I have been misunderstood.

    Jadehawk:

    It simply bugs me when language evolves away from clarity(I wholeheartedly embrace y’all as a plural to you, for the sake of improved clarity), which unfortunately seems to be the direction English prefers to evolve in.

    I’m with you on y’all. That’s the second person plural I grew up with, but I’d be happy with “youse” (which I encountered elsewhere), or pretty much any damn thing except not having an unambiguous second-person plural.

    I really like having the following mean different things:

    Fuck you. (a person)

    Fuck y’all. (a group, as a group)

    Fuck all of y’all. (everyone in the group)

    (I’m sure SEF would like to be able to express such distinctions clearly, too.)

    The Black English “be” is another example. It allows Black English to specify a tense that is lost in Standard English.

    So for example,

    We jammin’ when Jim came in.

    might mean either that we were already jamming when Jim came in, or that the jamming began when Jim came in (and maybe because he came in), but

    We be jammin’ when Jim came in

    makes it clear that that the jamming was already going on when Jim came in.

    (And as with y’all, in a community where that usage is very standard, it makes the other case clearer too—not using y’all generally implies the singular, and not saying “be” suggests an action beginning at the time in question.)

    Notice that in both of these cases, the language is evolving toward being more precise, not less. Distinctions are being added, not lost.

    Unfortunately, those language improvements may never become standard, because they come from low-status groups. (Southerners and blacks.) They are “wrong” and discouraged because they are not the language of the ruling elites.

    (Not now anyway. Maybe when the Southern Baptists take over we’ll all end up saying “y’all.” Not worth it, IMHO.)

    English doesn’t have a natural tendency to degenerate, on average. Like other languages, it has a tendency to evolve, with some distinctions being lost and others gained, but the lost distinctions still being expressible, just a little less concisely. (E.g., having to say “He loves his flowers more than I do” to avoid the ambiguity in “He loves his flowers more than me.”)

    Languages have been doing that for tens thousands of years, and they consistently don’t degenerate into mushy babble, despite people always fearing that that’s what’s happening.

    Standardization of language with “correct” forms often makes language simpler and less clear. Dialects evolving of their own accord often make richer distinctions, but those don’t become standard, because the standard is a fairly low common denominator.

    Given that I (like you) like being able to make clear distinctions very easily, you might wonder why I’m not more worried about the “than me”/”than I” issue.

    It’s partly just because I think that the toothpaste is well out of the tube, and isn’t going to go back in; you have to pick your battles, and it’s a lost battle. (I care a lot more about many other things, like “y’all,” and I don’t expect to get most of them, either.)

    There’s another reason, though, and it’s what makes me particularly interested in this particular quirk of language.

    I’m actually an artificial language designer of sorts, and when I see “Xer than” clauses being syntactically similar to prepositions and not to conjunctions, it seem right to me.

    That’s the way I’d do it on purpose, because I like to have basic semantic distinctions expressed in the syntax, so that it looks like what it means.

    It seems reasonable to me that you’d have different syntax for conjunctions, which connect statements (which have truth values), than for prepositions, which connect noun phrases (which refer to things).

    If you’re going to distinguish syntactically between conjunctive phrases and prepositional phrases, but not have yet another way of distinguishing comparative relational statements, which category should you put relations like “taller than” in?

    It seems pretty clear to me that “jim is taller than phil” is much more like “jim is over phil” than like a conjunction. Putting relational expressions with conjunctions instead of with prepositional expressions is just weird.

    This is tricky, though, because conjunction words are used in very different ways. The word “and,” for example, can connect two statements (with truth values) and yield a new statement (with a truth value), as in

    Jim is tall and Bob is short.

    But it can also be used to connect noun phrases, to yield a noun phrase:

    Jim and Bob

    That’s analogous, but it’s really a wildly different thing. There’s a fundamental difference between statements and noun phrases.

    Now what about “Jim is taller than Bob.”?

    Is that more like “Jim and Bob” or “Jim is over Bob”?

    I’d say that it’s clearly more like the latter. Not just because this example allows me to express that they’re both about altitude, but because “taller” and “over” both express particular binary relations between Jim and Bob.

    “Jim and Bob” is very different. It doesn’t actually express any particular relationship between them. It just allows me to arbitrarily lump them into a set or combination, and refer to that in order to say something about them, which may be a particular relationship between them, as in “Jim and Bob are the same height,” or may not—as in “I have no idea whether Jim and Bob have anything in particular in common with each other.”

    I suspect that what’s going on with masses of people not following “the rule” and saying “than I” is that the masses are doing it right, in a deeper sense. They instinctively recognize that “Xer than” is a generalized preposition, quite unlike a conjunction, so they tend to treat them the same way.

    This introduces an irregularity into the surface structure of the language, at least according to the theory that comparatives are like conjunctions, and unlike prepositions.

    But on the theory that comparatives are (generalized) prepositions, it’s actually making the language more regular in at least a deep way—it is taking generalized prepositions out of the wrong syntactic category, and putting them where they belong.

    That may make sentences easier to construct and understand, in some sense. It may fit better with the kind of language processing brains are good at.

    I suspect that theory is roughly right. People are instinctively fixing something that’s messed up about “proper” English grammar, which their brains don’t like for a good reason.

    If so, you will never get the toothpaste back in the tube; you’re going against the grain of how language processing actually works in people’s heads, and they’ll keep tending to do it the easy, more natural way.

    Even if you could get the toothpaste back in the tube, and have everyone speak “proper” English for a generation or two, I suspect that the toothpaste would just come back out of the tube, because people would again unconsciously recognize the similarity between comparatives and prepositions, and tend to treat them similarly. You might win the battle for “than I,” but still eventually lose the war.

    I could be wrong about all this. It may be that people are not instinctively “fixing” what’s “broken” about “proper” English syntax. Maybe that’s an irregularity they could just accept, if they didn’t have bad examples confusing them about the rule. I’m not sure.

    On the other hand, I’m wholly unconvinced by SEF’s story. I don’t think he understands syntax on a deep level, where the rubber meets the road in actual people’s brains.

    I admit that don’t know that people are instinctively fixing something that’s deeply irregular about “proper” English—I could well be wrong—but I’m pretty sure that SEF doesn’t know that they’re not. He doesn’t even seem to understand the issue, or to be the least bit interested in it.

    That makes me disinclined to take him seriously when he tells me how language ought to work, and dismisses the scientists of the subject as obviously idiots if they disagree with him.

  583. #588 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    While posting, you want to avoid as far as possible any possibility of a creationist (etc) re-examining their behaviour

    when people here use invective and ridicule, they generally have given up on getting those creationists to re-examine their behaviour.

    :-D Ah, more of that classic pharyngulite regular hypocrisy and dishonesty. What do you imagine I, unlike most of the rest of you, have been doing all along?

    calling people here a group of virtual gang-rapists is not being factual. You said yourself :

    I made the metaphor precisely because it was such a strong one. One which demanded attention and which should, were you honest, have not merely shocked you but made you all re-examine your bad behaviour (to recognise how the metaphor applies all too well to much of it).

    Something that’s factual must be understood by all. Your metaphor was not. That’s a fact.
    I’m just telling you this is evidently not going to work. and it didn’t work, did it ?

    Where am I being a hypocrite and dishonest with you ? Also, I’m not more a Pharyngulite regular than you are.
    See : more non factual speech from you.

    Just learn to state facts, forget the hyperbole and invective speech for a while. You’ll see that you will gain a lot from it.

    SEF, I think that often you write very thoughtful comments on a variety of subjects. Just stick to that.

  584. #589 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ negentropyeater #578:

    you were having a discussion on the internet.

    Aha – trying to get a nice, simple, non-contentious but ultimately vacuous one on the score-board. That one really doesn’t merit a point (eg under the “Quite Interesting” system).

    you were defending your points very well

    A rare example of honesty, for a change.

    but nobody felt the need to side with you.

    Not quite accurate. Though you could certainly argue that Jadehawk had no intention of siding with me in #335 (or #195!) – having quite probably ignored my earlier post covering the same point. She was more likely to be merely accidentally on the same side, in terms of intent. The lack of acknowledgment is not conclusive either way.

    Meanwhile, David Marjanovi? did agree slightly (and also agreed some more while acting like he disagreed!). He wasn’t making a big deal of siding with me as me though (eg not much tackling of the wrong ‘uns in other ways). It’s up to you to decide (ie on reflection, now that I’ve highlighted it) whether that already counts as a refutation of your point. I think it might. It depends what nuance you were trying to include there. Did you want active siding or incidental siding?

    Then you wrote comment 435

    Whoa! That’s skipping a whole lot of significant territory. Minus points.

    Several members of what you consider an “internet gang” reacted to your aside in 435, and not your well defended points.

    You are way, way off track now – as well as introducing another falsehood by implication. Time to go back to the beginning and try harder.

  585. #590 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 30, 2010

    Miki Z: As I mentioned upthread, a 2 hour sweat is unconscionable. The conditions in a sweat lodge, like any sauna, are apt to be lethal with sufficient time.

    BS

  586. #591 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    January 30, 2010

    Wow Brother SEF,

    I’m shocked…just shocked…at the fact you felt you were virtually gang-taped just for being a grammar pedant.

    The way you have stood up to your attackers is surely one of the most moving examples of virtual bravery I’ve ever witnessed. Call me a sarcastic prick if thousands of actual rape victims are weeping for joy this minute at your ability to empathize with them.

    You’re a virtual hero, you are!

  587. #592 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 30, 2010

    This seems apropos for some reason, (albeit in bad taste).

    The only other comment I have is that if I would have called my 8th grade English teacher a concern troll or a tone troll she would have raised holy hell. (Best teacher I ever had, gosh bless her.)

  588. #593 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Worst war movie of all time: Apocalypse Now

    The first half of Apocalypse Now, up to the point where they enter Cambodia, is pretty good. The helicopter assault on the village was particularly well done. It’s only when Francis Ford Coppola tried to modernize Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” that the movie falls apart.

  589. #594 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 30, 2010

    The first half of Apocalypse Now, up to the point where they enter Cambodia, is pretty good.

    I actually agree with that. And then when Marlon Brando showed up everything went kinda goofy.

  590. #595 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2010

    SEF: here’s a hint. Stop digging.

    Like, now.

  591. #596 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    You are way, way off track now – as well as introducing another falsehood by implication.

    See, more emotions, nothing factual.
    If you feel I’m way off track, don’t say it, just explain why.
    If you think I’m introducing another falsehood by implication, at least state which one.

    Damnit, it can’t be that difficult to communicate with another. I’m sure you can do it.

  592. #597 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Comment by SEF blocked. [unkill]?[show comment]

    I’m sure I’ll be called “dishonest” and various other unkind terms but I don’t care. I’m tired of SEF playing martyr because nobody appreciates his inflated ego.

  593. #598 Rorschach
    January 30, 2010

    Lesson of the day :

    SEF is no truth machine, although he thinks he is.

    I’m a bit shocked and wondering if he had a death in the family or something to explain this total loss of cogency out of the blue over a trivial topic.
    But I have a few rules of conduct that are non-negotiable, and SEF’s comments have broken them, and there is no way back from where he went today.

  594. #599 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ PZ #586:

    So your own point must be incredibly weak

    No, just assiduously ignored.

    no one has … degraded you, no one has deprived you of your dignity

    That’s not true. See #469 and also note that I am not solely talking about attacks made just now on me but about a consistent pattern of such bad behaviour round here, against numerous people.

    Do you need more examples of it? Or is this really only a side issue for you compared with more significant differences between the real and virtual worlds – something which I readily concede. Though degradation of a victim through verbal/mental abuse is a very real phenomenon too (in the real world, not merely on the internet). Physical abuse is not the only abuse.

    no one has harmed or … deprived you of your dignity

    Not successfully no. That would be the sort of case a defence lawyer might make on behalf of his clients when faced with a victim who was too strong to have been traumatised for life. You may not have been considering that aspect but I think you should. Does the crime magically become a non-crime if the victim isn’t utterly destroyed by it?

    No one has made you powerless

    Some of them seem to think the kill-file feature does; or even that pointedly remarking on the existence of their kill-file does. I don’t happen to agree that it works that well. But they do try to attack various people with that threat when clearly attempting to render those people’s posts powerless.

    but when people who have experienced real rape point out the ugliness of your claim, you persist in defending it

    I think it was one person – that same someone who then explicitly asked me to defend it.

    I do apologise to anyone who has genuine reason to be offended by the comparison.

    However, I don’t apologise for highlighting the persistent bad behaviour of the pharyngulite regular gang members, whatever analogy you’d prefer to use instead for that. Any honest suggestions?

    Do you claim their behaviour is devoid of ugliness? Do you defend it?

  595. #600 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ PZ #595:

    SEF: here’s a hint. Stop digging. … Like, now.

    You have to bear in mind there’s a delay in seeing posts and replying. I couldn’t have stopped something which had already gone through before even seeing that “hint”. I can of course stop now.

  596. #601 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 30, 2010

    I do apologise (sic) to anyone who has genuine reason to be offended by the comparison.

    People need a “genuine reason” to be offended by the comparison? Basic human sensibility isn’t enough? Who decides whether my reason is “genuine”?

    BS

  597. #602 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 30, 2010

    Rutee: “Red Dawn” was awesome.

    Wolverines!

  598. #603 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2010

    If their behavior is ugly, yours has been uglier. Which is fine; I allow criticism to be rather ferocious here. But it does mean you look either hypocritical or oblivious, and that’s why you are seeing virtually no support for your continuing descent into pedantic assholishness.

  599. #604 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 30, 2010

    FWIW: Arguing about how grammar should be is about as effective as arguing what the weather should be like.

    All you can do is pay attention and dress accordingly.

    Kirk out.

    Worst Movie Ever: South of Heaven, West of Hell…Dwight Yoakam’s directorial debut.

    Best Worst Movie Ever: Phantasm II

  600. #605 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #564 Dania said:

    I don’t know what sounds better. “Thickened bee vomit” or “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal and pentahydroxyhexan-2-one”. Yum! :)

    As a chemist, I prefer the mixture, thank you!

    However, I occasionally refer to my wife as “honey”. I suspect that neither alternative would be acceptable!

  601. #606 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Worst western movie ever: Heaven’s Gate.

    Worst big budget science fiction move ever: Dune.

    Worst disaster move ever: Armageddon.

  602. #607 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #556 ianmhor

    Alan: succinctly put.

    Thank you! You can comment anytime. Mind you, I can’t remember whether I have ever had my comments described as “succinct”*

    * briefly expressed, terse, concise

    [Ed. I can confirm that he never has - he just goes mumbling on and on and on ...]

  603. #608 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Last time I set up a Paypal account I got all kinds of spam and scam mail, so I closed it. My daughter has a paypal account and she said we can use her account for the Diagnose Lynna fund. She thinks it’s “really sweet” that the online community wants to help, but also speculates that you just don’t want to reduce the atheist community in the Morridor (mormon corridor) by even one.

    I’ll finish the investigation on costs for the two tests ordered by my doctor (including filing a “hardship” application to reduce costs) on Monday and then we’ll know what we’re dealing with. Once I have all the info, I’ll post my daughter’s paypal details.

    My Typepad profile includes a link to my website, so people can find me there as well.

    Switching subjects, I was amazed to see the metaphor of “gang bang” to describe an internet disagreement over the fine points of grammar; and this was written by SEF after “gang rape” had been thoroughly dismissed as appropriate metaphor. Still shaking my head over that one.

    Dania, I was so pleased to see that my addiction to oranges is contagious. :-) Tangerines will do in a pinch, but really, you need human blood big, stalinist oranges. Which reminds me, “Twilight” sucks.

  604. #609 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Alan B #605

    As an experiment I just called my wife “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal and pentahydroxyhexan-2-one”. Her reaction was “huh?”

  605. #610 MrFire
    January 30, 2010

    Worst big budget science fiction move ever: Dune Armageddon.

    Worst disaster move ever: Armageddon.

    IMHO :) Dune is…weird, but not bad.

  606. #611 Sili
    January 30, 2010

    What the hell just happened here?

    I guess there is some truth to the idea that Language Rage is somehow uniquely Anglophonic.

    Ils sont fous, les [I]taliens!

    Heh. I had it capitalised initially, but then I recalled that French doesn’t do that the way English does – but that’s just the languages, not the nationalities, right? In fact I was more worried about how the fuck to spell »fous«.

  607. #612 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Out of left field, I have a story to add to the honey or bee vomit discussion. My brother, Steve, likes to read the diaries of prospectors from the late 1800s — oddities from “wild west” literature. Apparently, it was common for prospectors to obsess over food or drink they didn’t have for months at a time, obsessions they mentally nursed as they toiled alone on their remote claims. When they finally did make it back to town to buy supplies, odd behavior was pretty much guaranteed. One guy wanted honey. He had wanted honey for so long that as soon as he arrived in town, he bought a gallon of it and sat down on the wooden sidewalk to consume it. Then he threw up. Then he passed out.

  608. #613 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    Sort of a tangential thought to this whole discussion… I’m not going to chime in on the whole SEF really poorly chosen analogy… I think it’s been pointed out and dissected thoroughly.

    What does interest me, though, and it seems to happen from time to time, is this interesting aspect of behavior of people within this “social group” dynamic we have here. SEF is a regular here, a part of the “social group”, as it were, of pharyngulite regulars. I’m going to generalize for a bit to make a point, but as a group we have some basic similarities… we are (for the most part) logical, fairly liberal, inquisitive, and, to varying degrees, highly intelligent. Another thing we also share in common (and this certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but quite a few, anyhow) is a fairly high level of self-assuredness. It’s mostly a good trait, but I do notice that it can cause us to become quite defensive in the face of our own fallibility.

    Even in cases where we’re so clearly wrong (as I believe is the case in this instance with SEF), we’ll often defend our reasoning and skirt the validity of the argument itself, occasionally to the point of strained absurdity. It’s really interesting to observe, and it happens here from time to time.

    I myself have struggled with this behavior. I have a hard enough time accepting when I’m wrong, nevermind when I’m horribly or even offensively wrong. It can make me defensive, and some inherent mental reaction moves me to defend my reasoning rather than risk the embarrassment of admitting I simply said something horrifically wrong. I want to be a person incapable of saying something that stupid, and want others to see me that way as well. So I’ll re-frame the argument, shift the focus to my (obviously valid) reasons for making the statement, and avoid directly addressing the statement itself altogether. And the more resistance I get, the harder I dig in.

    Inevitably, this makes things worse and I end up feeling stupid and shitty about the whole thing. In recent years, I’ve tried to mitigate this behavior by stepping back, letting the responses of people I respect sink in, and seeing how I would respond were it not me that made the comment. More often than not in the last year or two, I actually find myself able to self-correct before I have to be by others… I feel like it’s been a net gain, and I feel like a more rational, fair, and balanced person as a result…

    SEF, I have known you to be an intelligent, reasoned person and I generally respect what you have to say… I think you’re feeling a bit attacked and cornered and are trying to rationalize and defend a position I believe you know is pretty indefensible. A little distance, some rest, and I think an admission of poor choice of words, without qualification, would serve this discussion well.

    I apologize if this has come across as preachy… it’s not intended as such.

  609. #614 Sili
    January 30, 2010

    Ils sont fous, les [I]taliens!

    Huh. I didn’t realise Jackie Chan had French kids.

  610. #615 ianmhor
    January 30, 2010

    Alan: My pleasure!

    Had to read an awful lot to get to your post and the change of tack was a breath of fresh air!

    Maybe a little relativity in my assessment (but not much :)).

  611. #616 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    On a more fun and interesting topic, have any of you read this report in he PLoS Biology journal?

    Evolution of Adaptive Behaviour in Robots by Means of Darwinian Selection.

    As a techie and biology lover, I found this to be just so cool… not to mention a really interesting and pretty poignant study.

  612. #617 Sili
    January 30, 2010

    Which reminds me, “Twilight” sucks.

    You need to be reminded?! You really must be ill!

    I’m broke – filled in the dole notification wrong – but get that account set up stat so I can contribute.

    the two isomers

    <headdesk>

    I’ll retreat to my bed in shame. I got at least two forms of isomery confused.

    What am I missing? They are isomers, aren’t they?

    That reminds me that I should try to learn the sugars by heart, too. Finally know the amino acids now – couldn’t be arsed to do so when I had to. I finally know all 112 elements now as well. Though only in order … anyone know good techniques for connecting the numbers to the names?

    –o–

    Sorry to hear about your past experience, BoSOM. I can only say that I’m glad you’ve ‘won’ in some sense.

  613. #618 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    Worst big budget science fiction move ever: Dune Armageddon.

    I dunno… was “Wild Wild West” considered SciFi? That was way worse that either of those films…

  614. #619 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    Ils sont fous ces Romains ! (French)

    Sono Pazzi Questi Romani ! (Italian)

    SPQR (the abreviation can be read everywhere when in Rome)

    Senatus Populus Que Romanus (the Senate and the Roman People)

  615. #620 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Paul @587:

    Fuck you. (a person)
    Fuck y’all. (a group, as a group)
    Fuck all of y’all. (everyone in the group)

    Now that was an excellent disquisition. Thank you.

  616. #621 Rorschach
    January 30, 2010

    Worst big budget science fiction move ever: [s]Dune[/s] Armageddon.

    Worst disaster move ever: Armageddon.

    Fuck is wrong with you fuckers.
    I show you for years how superior my movie taste and knowledge is and how your viewpoints are but bad comedy compared to my superior appreciation of the facts of movie quality.
    Sick of you fuckers gang-raping my superior opinions on movie quality, you sick pack-raping bunch of fucking assholes.

    Ehm, sorry, must be the water here….
    I wanted to say, Armageddon was really cool, I loved it !

  617. #622 ianmhor
    January 30, 2010

    As a Brit I’m a little bit embarrassed at pointing out this little gem from our government.

    Apparently we are supporting prayer to help the police with their jobs. Only in a small way but still…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/16310000-grant-for-christian-police-who-believe-prayer-can-cut-crime-1882554.html

  618. #623 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    @ PZ #603: (? oddly appearing to wish to continue the meta-discussion component fully an hour later – unless it was supposed to be an example of “last wordism” but not marked as such)

    and that’s why you are seeing virtually no support

    Oh no, that happened long beforehand. People are only pretending that a later event was a cause of their earlier behaviour. If correlation of an effect is not causation, then this reversal of the usual time order of claimed cause vs actual effect is an even less reliable indication of causation – ie an impossible one outside of weird physics.

    @ Celtic_Evolution #613:

    SEF is a regular here, a part of the “social group”

    More of an “irregular” and definitely never part of the social group!

    defend a position I believe you know is pretty indefensible.

    No, other people are consistently pretending the arguments are about something other than what they are/were – including you in this instance. They pile fallacy upon fallacy in doing so (as I have been pointing out). And it’s not just me to whom they do this (though that’s another part of their pretence over the real nature of the disagreements here). It’s all too standard bad behaviour / poor reading comprehension (through not even trying, in many cases, rather than necessarily a lack of theoretical ability) on this blog (as elsewhere).

  619. #624 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, in the past I have enjoyed many of your contributions to discussions on Pharyngula. I hope this lamentable flapdoodle can be put firmly behind you (obscure literary reference to Smoggy’s body of work), and that you come back cleansed of bile, metaphorically speaking.

  620. #625 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    SPQR (the abreviation can be read everywhere when in Rome)

    Ah. Duh. So they admit it. :) That’ll teach me to skim a thread upwards while spaced out.

  621. #626 blf
    January 30, 2010

    [W]as “Wild Wild West” considered SciFi?

    Is was so bad the film cans had to be disposed of as toxic waste.

  622. #627 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2010

    oddly appearing to wish to continue the meta-discussion component fully an hour later

    This is not a real-time conversation. I run this site, but I’ll actually ignore the comments for a whole day sometimes, especially when I’m traveling.

    As for the rest of your comment, you’re just making excuses and placing blame everywhere but on yourself. Stop it, just stop it. You said something that was crass and very, very stupid; admit it and move on.

    It’s your inability to do that that is making you the recipient of so much snarliness here.

  623. #628 SEF
    January 30, 2010

    Re link posted by ianmhor #622:

    The nationwide organisation, which boasts 2,000 members, claims that there is “circumstantial evidence” to suggest …

    Enough circumstantial evidence for a conviction, an arrest or a search warrant? Or are they applying double standards …

  624. #629 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    SEF #623

    *sigh*… or, in simpler terms, sometimes some people are just stubborn assholes.

    “The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.”

    - George Bernard Shaw

  625. #630 Katrina
    January 30, 2010

    Continuing the Cilantro/Coriander discussion. I remember reading about this before on SciBlogs, and just found the link.

    Coturnix had a very interesting thread about it last April, here.

  626. #631 negentropyeater
    January 30, 2010

    Tis,

    As an experiment I just called my wife “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal and pentahydroxyhexan-2-one”. Her reaction was “huh?”

    Sure, she didn’t understand why you just called her “inverted sugar syrup”.

    If you wanted to call her “honey”, you should have said :
    “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal, pentahydroxyhexan-2-one, 4-O-?-D-Glucopyranosyl-D-glucose, O-?-D-glucopyranosyl-?[1-6]-?-D-glucopyranosid,(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxyhexan-2-one and quite a few more compounds with strange names”

  627. #632 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    IMHO :) Dune is…weird, but not bad.

    With its messianic hero, mystical forces, interplanetary warfare, and giant sandworms, Frank Herbert’s Dune was just daring some producer to make it into a movie. And in the aftermath of Star Wars what producer could resist? Well, all of the sane ones could and did resist. It took Dino DeLaurentis to overlook all the potential pitfalls and throw a large fortune into the project. But then nobody, not even DeLaurentis, ever said he was sane.

    Briefly, Dune is the story about the desert planet Dune and the spice that grows there. The evil emperor has allied himself with the grotesque Baron Harkonnen to plunder the planet and enslave the inhabitants, the Fremen. Duke Leto is coerced by a complicated scheme into ruling Dune. What nobody knows is that Leto’s son Paul is the long-awaited messiah and that once he arrives on Dune he will discover his true destiny, develop his mystical powers, and lead the Fremen to revolt and victory. “Muad’Dib” (Paul’s Freman name) is the Freman battle cry. Whenever we hear that, we know who we’re supposed to be rooting for.

    But it’s okay to be confused. Confusion is the natural response to a narrative involving four planets, a complex conspiracy, a lot of elaborate folklore, and a whole slew of characters who are not what they at first seem. Writer/director David Lynch tries to help by cramming in some densely detailed exposition before the action starts. Only confirmed Dune cultists can be sure of what’s going on, everyone else has to play catch-up-with-the-story. The problem is the movie is such a mess most people have no way of knowing when or if they’ve caught up.

    Lynch needs so much time to set up the film that he ends up doing a Cliff Notes version of the rest of the story. The result is really just an illustrated companion piece to the book. Lynch eventually gets all the main plot points in but there’s little room for anything else. The movie’s impressive cast is largely reduced to cameo appearances. Max von Sydow (Liet Kynes) turns up just long enough to be killed. Sting* froths onscreen for about ten minutes as the evil Feyd Rautha. But even the actors who get a lot of screen time don’t make much of an impression. They don’t so much as portrary their characters as represent them.

    With so much saga and so little time, Lynch can’t afford the luxury of any set pieces. Most scenes just flit by, replaced by yet another brief interlude somewhere else. Too much of the movie takes place in caverns and small rooms and tunnels. However even its vast desert scenes seem hemmed in by the edges of the screen. Sure, Dune has its share of visuals: polished jade floors, gilded throne rooms, boil-covered villians, and, of course, the railroad car-sized sandworms. But when you’re slogging through a film trying not to get lost, you don’t have much time to stop and admire the scenery.

    Dune wasn’t high concept enough to attract a mainstream audience. Nor was it true enough to the novel to please Dune cultists. Nor was it very satisfying for David Lynch fans, who were not accustomed to seeing the director struggle to bring an eccentric movie to the screen. In short, it was a movie nobody could embrace. And nobody did. Dune was a total box-office bust, dying away so quickly and quietly that today almost no one thinks of it anymore. Among all the failed blockbusters it’s a true black hole.

    *When Sting retires, will he become Stung?

  628. #633 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    [W]as “Wild Wild West” considered SciFi?

    Is was so bad the film cans had to be disposed of as toxic waste.

    And of course Battlefield Earth has them all beat… except that it wasn’t really “big budget” (and in fact the film company lied about what that budget was, to the tune of about $30 mil, IIRC).

  629. #634 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    starfart (doodle-up dah da-liddle-up)
    starfart (doodle-up dah da-liddle-up)
    starfart (doodle-up dah da-liddle-up)
    starfart (doodle-up dah da-liddle-up)
    S-T-A-R-F-A-R-T
    starfart (doodle-up dah da-liddle-up)

    [reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPMZqCTFMcI

  630. #635 MrFire
    January 30, 2010

    Celtic @613: that was very nicely put.

    SEF, from what I’ve seen, you prolifically write witty and informed pieces, without a hint of nastiness. Which is why I find use of the gang rape analogy distinctly out-of-character. Not only was the initial use of the analogy highly crass, but the subsequent defense of it was unconscionable. I have to voice my condemnation of it with what negligible authority I have.

    Given the comments I’ve enjoyed reading from you before, I just hope that this was some kind of anomalous outburst. I don’t have much of a position to speak from, having found myself using that kind of language in real life, but I feel I need to say this.

  631. #636 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 30, 2010

    ‘Tis @#606:
    Dead right on all three…seems we share musical and cinematic preferences.

  632. #637 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    Worst disaster move ever: Armageddon.

    Have you seen “Volcano”… or worse yet, “Daylight”?

    Armageddon (while appallingly bad, for sure) is orders of magnitude more watchable than either of those two, in my opinion.

  633. #638 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    I just hope that this was some kind of anomalous outburst

    For the record, it was not.

  634. #639 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    I think there was a trick involved, but I forgot. Does anyone remember it?

    Yes!

    URLs can be written in different ways. The main way, which is necessary when referencing a website that is different from/to (Oooh, more fodder for a language argument!) the one that you are on, is to use a complete absolute URL, eg:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/[year]/[month]/[post_name].php

    However, when you wish to reference a site that you are already on, you can leave off the resource type (http), the characters “://”, and the domain (scienceblogs.com).

    Thus, you can reference The Thread as follows:

    <a href=”/pharyngula/2010/01/one_thing_will_never_end_the_e.php”>The Thread!</a>

    The Thread!

    Which will be properly interpreted as being a link to:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/one_thing_will_never_end_the_e.php

    It appears that the comment moderation software only cares about the number of appearances of URLS that begin with the actual string http:// (and possibly also ftp://) (which I am getting around by mangling the string internally). So you can (assuming that I have not overlooked something) link to an arbitrary number of posts (and comment anchors) internal to the entire scienceblogs.com site itself.

    ====

    Note that the initial “/” in the URL string is crucial! Otherwise the URL will be interpreted as being relative to the current URL, which is simply wrong!

    If you do this:

    <a href=”pharyngula/2010/01/one_thing_will_never_end_the_e.php”>Absolutely NOT The Thread!</a>

    It would be interpreted as something like this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/pharyngula/2010/01/one_thing_will_never_end_the_e.php

    Absolutely NOT The Thread!

    This can only lead to link FAIL and palming of face.

    ====

    NB: One of the useful features that Firefox has is a “View selection source” — you can select the text of a comment and view its source without the surround cruft of the entire page source. This is useful to see what a URL looks like as encoded in the page, as opposed to what it is interpreted as by the browser.

  635. #640 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    SEF, frankly you are one of the regulars that I did not pay much attention to in the past. And the conversation about grammar did not interest me. I only caught the gang-rape shit because other people, rightfully, called you on it. The fact that you would compare having a group of people online criticize you posts to being physically beaten and violated shows a lack of perspective.

    But the fact that you can not and will not stop and think about why your comparison is offensive puts you in an even worse light. Your response at #570 is unconscionable.

    I made the metaphor precisely because it was such a strong one. One which demanded attention and which should, were you honest, have not merely shocked you but made you all re-examine your bad behaviour (to recognise how the metaphor applies all too well to much of it).

    So you purposely pick a strong metaphor. Here, allow me pick a strong metaphor that will force you to reexamine your bad behavior. You use your words like you are a SS guard in Auschwitz. You are smashing in people’s faces with the butt of your rifle. There, does that force you to rethink what you are doing?

    I have not been raped, for that I am grateful. But I have been a volunteer councilor. No one I have spoke with sounded nor acted like you have. Plus, the way you dismissed Bride is disgusting. Just because a victim is able to get past her assault and live a good and productive life does not lessen the trauma she went through.

    VICTIMS OF RAPE HAVE GONE THROUGH A TRAUMA. You merely went through a momentary discomfort. How fucking dare you conflate the two.

  636. #641 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    The State of Idaho may complicate my personal health care situation even more. I know, hard to believe that could be possible, but, lo, the Republican Heavies are weighing in. Naturally, they are calling this a “Health Freedom Act” (beware conservatives who come bearing a flag of “freedom”):

    … the Idaho Health Freedom Act (IFHA), sponsored by Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden, and co-sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, passed the committee on a 13-5 party line vote.
         During his testimony before the committee, Clark said bill would enable Idahoans to choose their own medical services and insurance and free Idahoans from excessive regulation by the federal government. The bill would also give the state more standing in court, should the time come that the state needs to sue, said Clark.
         The potential fiscal impact of the bill is $100,000, but that amount might not be necessary. … The money would only be needed should the attorney general?s office need to hire additional staff to handle any litigation, but the money is guaranteed to be appropriated.
         …..Rep. Phyllis King, D-Boise, said health reform is needed in this country and that Idaho should work with the federal government to develop acceptable reforms. ?Idaho, last time I looked, is part of this nation,? said King emphatically. ?This needs to be a nationwide solution.? King said that the people and companies of the nation are hurting from the lack of health insurance reform and something must be done remedy the situation….

    Source

  637. #642 MrFire
    January 30, 2010

    For the record, it was not.

    OK. I have much reading to do, that’s for sure.

  638. #643 blf
    January 30, 2010

    …in fact the film company lied about what that budget was…

    The famous Art Buchwald v. Paramount lawsuit (1990) illustrated that when it comes to money, “Hollywood” is unfamiliar with the concept of true, and uses mathematics not known anywhere else in the universe. I sometimes wonder if that’s where economists and bankers are trained?

  639. #644 MrFire
    January 30, 2010

    …much reading up to do

  640. #645 Feynmaniac
    January 30, 2010

    Worst movie of ALL TIME: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

    You’d think from the title it might fun in a kinda Plan 9 way, but no. It’s just awful. Not even having the witty commentary of the MST3k crew could make me finish watching that.

  641. #646 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    Warning: I spent about 5 hours writing this comment, cooking, eating, washing one dish, and making tea… accordingly, it’s a bit long, and only 576 comments had been posted in this subthread when I started writing. I won’t refresh now because lengthening this even more would be cruel.

    It simply bugs me when language evolves away from clarity

    Language evolves to and from clarity at the same time, all the time. None of the languages you or I speak have an evidential ? read what that is, and weep!

    Remember the Pirahã who deconverted the missionary Daniel Everett? Their language has one; there’s no way in it to make a statement of fact without expressing whether you’ve personally seen it, heard about it, or inferred it from evidence. It’s like how in most European languages you can’t say a word like “teacher” or “friend” without expressing whether it’s a male or a female one, no matter how uninteresting this extra information is at the moment.

    *shrug* probably, but there’s precisely nothing I can do about that.

    Surgery, in a country where you have health insurance. It’s routine these days.

    Am I the only one who finds this argument between Owlmirror and David M very sexy?

    :-) Come on. You’re hardly even reading. You’re just imagining fantasizing about us baring our teeth at each other. :-)

    Speaking of teeth, here and here are close-ups of yesterday’s toothy goodness. (Kindly ignore the word “carnosaur”, it’s wrong.)

    You might also be interested in some of the illustrations of this article, but ? for completely different reasons ? in the text as well.

    Wow. Prescriptive Sapir-Whorfians.

    Isn’t it customary to precede this by “holy” and add “Batman!” to the end? Unfortunately I haven’t seen any Batman movie except the prequel.

    (as happened in China when an ill-educated emperor mis-simplified some of the characters in his great reform of the written language)

    [citation needed]

    Oh yeah, forgot to address that yesterday. Before I read comment 463, I wondered if he was referring to the PRC simplification (…so not the Yellow Emperor, but the Red one…) of a lot of commonly used characters (adopted by Singapore, partly paralleled in Japan, obviously rejected by Taiwan)? I assure you, all “mistakes” in that process were entirely deliberate. For instance, “love” (a fairly complex character) used to be found in the dictionary under “heart”. The simplification made a handwritten version official which has a single stroke instead of the four that make up the heart. Now “love” is in the dictionary under “claw”. Laughing yet? The one who laughs last hasn’t got the joke. It can’t be a coincidence that this simplification automagically made a “friend” appear in that character. Friend. Comrade. Communism. Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution® (which was triggered a bit later).

    I think foul scorn upon any who too liberally – that is to say, at all – dare to invade the borders of our realm with the detestable and twee constructions “methinks” and “thou dost protest too much.” Attend carefully; they are hereby proclaimed invalid, insufferable and banned.

    Thou protestest by far too much.

    On the contrary to your assertion, it is your own visible ongoing failure at honest reading comprehension which makes you miss my various jokes (or your active dishonesty which now makes you pretend to have missed that evidence and/or pretend to have observed well enough at all to have seen it were it there – which it is) and falsely claim my deliberately planted joke as your own found one.

    …Wow. You seem to be entirely ignorant of Jonell’s law: “It can be shown that for any nutty theory, beyond-the-fringe political view or strange religion there exists a proponent on the Net. The proof is left as an exercise for your kill-file [sic].” and of stogoe’s law: “I maintain that no statement could possibly exist that is obviously stupid enough such that no one could be convinced of its veracity. There’s always a bigger idiot.”

    You’re not such a frequent commenter that people know by heart what you mean seriously and what you don’t. Even your general level of displayed sanity doesn’t help ? there are extremely inconsistent people out there!

    did you need to add another bedroom to your house to comfortably accommodate an ego that size?

    :-D

    Win.

    I (unlike you lot) continue to take the time and trouble to make proper, evidence-based arguments

    The Dunning-Kruger effect oozes from everything you write about logic or clarity in language.

    (Reminds me of a linguists’ proverb… “Lots of people believe they’re experts on language, because, after all, they speak one!”)

    this is precisely what I meant. you’re incapable of having a discussion without starfarting on all of us.

    Hypocrite. You’re projecting. You really should be more disgusted with yourself – enough perhaps to stop doing it. I’ve never seen much sign of this happening over the years, though.

    That’s a bit short for a starfart, but… by all other criteria… B-)

    You are the people behaving like brats. I’m the one, in stark contrast, who is behaving well.

    <headshake>

    TLE and SEF: twins separated at birth???

    I only have the truth on my side

    You should try to become a scientist.

    Or are you just trolling?

    a subset of the gang of pharyngulite regulars is flooding the thread

    That’s not stupid ? it’s merely laughably wrong. Check out the last few subthreads and try to figure out who has been here all the time.

    There was no valid criticism coming from the gang. Just a mob descent into poo-flinging, bad language, sexual innuendo or abuse of an overtly sexual nature and the like. That’s more than enough to prompt the metaphor.

    That is more than enough to trigger a comparison to gang rape?

    And besides, I haven’t noticed anything sexual except the very word “fuck”, the meaning of which (as you know) has completely bleached out in fixed phrases like “fuck off” or “shut the fuck up”.

    cilantro

    I didn’t know the leaves are eaten at all (nothing wrong with coriander seeds), but I ate soup in China several times and didn’t notice anything…

    there’s a youtube clip that goes with the t-shirt:

    Great. Now I don’t need to watch the original anymore. :-)

    (Not that I had any intentions to do that anyway.)

    Anything not related to elephants is

    irrelephant

    LOL! My sister will love it.

    Did anyone else see xkcd today?

    Aww. That’s an evil comic.

    I’ve a friend from Alaska, and she points out she’s always moved south, and finds my counter-directional history strange?

    Reminds me of the ancient Egyptians calling the Euphrates “the river that flows in reverse”. After all, water flows from south to north!

    Is there a point where you realise that I’m unimpressed by your opinions, given how shoddy those opinions and your (collective) ongoing bad behaviours are? Why ever would you imagine that I take any of you seriously in that way? It must be your own massive ego(s) talking. You certainly don’t have the evidence to support such a view. :-D

    Is your name Glen Gordon?

    “…than I”. Shortened version of “…than I am”. Hence “I” is the subject of the (implied) verb. It is not the object of a verb so the “me” form is incorrect.

    Similarly, “he” and “him”.

    Yes, except that English has an additional rule which encourages use of the object forms instead of the subject forms for emphasis.

    The reality is that language is fluid (although possibly treacly) and modern (IMO clumsy/slovenly) usage is taking over.

    It’s not clumsiness ? if it were, it would happen all over the world. But it’s not even happening in German. It’s a new rule of English grammar (…and apparently it’s several hundred years old already).

    I suspect the cause is that Latin is no longer taught at [grade] school (with rare exceptions). Latin, being a dead language, has carefully preserved correct forms.

    And you seriously believe the same grammar is correct for different languages?

    How many do you speak?

    When did you last hear “declension” for nouns or “conjugation” for verbs referred to in an English Language class?

    Firstly, these are technical terms. We’re talking about what they describe, not about the terms themselves.

    Secondly, there is almost no declension or conjugation in English, so it’s not surprising that the terms don’t come up more often!

    I’m not aware of any “naughty” words.

    Viagra is one, because spambots like to use it so much. I used an HTML trick to get it through the filter (open and then close a tag in the middle of the word, so that the offending string of letters doesn’t actually get posted, but there’s no visible difference).

    I off to see Avatar and want to save some disappointment for the movie instead of wasting it all on you.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  642. #647 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    Warning: I spent about 5 hours writing this comment, cooking, eating, washing one dish, and making tea… accordingly, it was so long that it got caught in moderation. Posting again in several parts now.

    It simply bugs me when language evolves away from clarity

    Language evolves to and from clarity at the same time, all the time. None of the languages you or I speak have an evidential ? read what that is, and weep!

    Remember the Pirahã who deconverted the missionary Daniel Everett? Their language has one; there’s no way in it to make a statement of fact without expressing whether you’ve personally seen it, heard about it, or inferred it from evidence. It’s like how in most European languages you can’t say a word like “teacher” or “friend” without expressing whether it’s a male or a female one, no matter how uninteresting this extra information is at the moment.

    *shrug* probably, but there’s precisely nothing I can do about that.

    Surgery, in a country where you have health insurance. It’s routine these days.

    Am I the only one who finds this argument between Owlmirror and David M very sexy?

    :-) Come on. You’re hardly even reading. You’re just imagining fantasizing about us baring our teeth at each other. :-)

    Speaking of teeth, here and here are close-ups of yesterday’s toothy goodness. (Kindly ignore the word “carnosaur”, it’s wrong.)

    You might also be interested in some of the illustrations of this article, but ? for completely different reasons ? in the text as well.

  643. #648 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    SEF isn’t the only one making offensive and demeaning remarks around here at the moment. On another thread, a commenter called “shonny” recently described Ben Stein as “a living argument for the Holocaust”. He has not retracted this comment, nor has he bothered to respond to any of the people who called him out for it.

  644. #649 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    Part 2…

    Wow. Prescriptive Sapir-Whorfians.

    Isn’t it customary to precede this by “holy” and add “Batman!” to the end? Unfortunately I haven’t seen any Batman movie except the prequel.

    (as happened in China when an ill-educated emperor mis-simplified some of the characters in his great reform of the written language)

    [citation needed]

    Oh yeah, forgot to address that yesterday. Before I read comment 463, I wondered if he was referring to the PRC simplification (…so not the Yellow Emperor, but the Red one…) of a lot of commonly used characters (adopted by Singapore, partly paralleled in Japan, obviously rejected by Taiwan)? I assure you, all “mistakes” in that process were entirely deliberate. For instance, “love” (a fairly complex character) used to be found in the dictionary under “heart”. The simplification made a handwritten version official which has a single stroke instead of the four that make up the heart. Now “love” is in the dictionary under “claw”. Laughing yet? The one who laughs last hasn’t got the joke. It can’t be a coincidence that this simplification automagically made a “friend” appear in that character. Friend. Comrade. Communism. Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution® (which was triggered a bit later).

    I think foul scorn upon any who too liberally – that is to say, at all – dare to invade the borders of our realm with the detestable and twee constructions “methinks” and “thou dost protest too much.” Attend carefully; they are hereby proclaimed invalid, insufferable and banned.

    Thou protestest by far too much.

    On the contrary to your assertion, it is your own visible ongoing failure at honest reading comprehension which makes you miss my various jokes (or your active dishonesty which now makes you pretend to have missed that evidence and/or pretend to have observed well enough at all to have seen it were it there – which it is) and falsely claim my deliberately planted joke as your own found one.

    …Wow. You seem to be entirely ignorant of Jonell’s law: “It can be shown that for any nutty theory, beyond-the-fringe political view or strange religion there exists a proponent on the Net. The proof is left as an exercise for your kill-file [sic].” and of stogoe’s law: “I maintain that no statement could possibly exist that is obviously stupid enough such that no one could be convinced of its veracity. There’s always a bigger idiot.”

    You’re not such a frequent commenter that people know by heart what you mean seriously and what you don’t. Even your general level of displayed sanity doesn’t help ? there are extremely inconsistent people out there!

    did you need to add another bedroom to your house to comfortably accommodate an ego that size?

    :-D

    Win.

    I (unlike you lot) continue to take the time and trouble to make proper, evidence-based arguments

    The Dunning-Kruger effect oozes from everything you write about logic or clarity in language.

    (Reminds me of a linguists’ proverb… “Lots of people believe they’re experts on language, because, after all, they speak one!”)

    this is precisely what I meant. you’re incapable of having a discussion without starfarting on all of us.

    Hypocrite. You’re projecting. You really should be more disgusted with yourself – enough perhaps to stop doing it. I’ve never seen much sign of this happening over the years, though.

    That’s a bit short for a starfart, but… by all other criteria… B-)

    You are the people behaving like brats. I’m the one, in stark contrast, who is behaving well.

    <headshake>

    TLE and SEF: twins separated at birth???

    I only have the truth on my side

    You should try to become a scientist.

    Or are you just trolling?

    a subset of the gang of pharyngulite regulars is flooding the thread

    That’s not stupid ? it’s merely laughably wrong. Check out the last few subthreads and try to figure out who has been here all the time.

    There was no valid criticism coming from the gang. Just a mob descent into poo-flinging, bad language, sexual innuendo or abuse of an overtly sexual nature and the like. That’s more than enough to prompt the metaphor.

    That is more than enough to trigger a comparison to gang rape?

    And besides, I haven’t noticed anything sexual except the very word “fuck”, the meaning of which (as you know) has completely bleached out in fixed phrases like “fuck off” or “shut the fuck up”.

    cilantro

    I didn’t know the leaves are eaten at all (nothing wrong with coriander seeds), but I ate soup in China several times and didn’t notice anything…

    there’s a youtube clip that goes with the t-shirt:

    Great. Now I don’t need to watch the original anymore. :-)

    (Not that I had any intentions to do that anyway.)

    Anything not related to elephants is

    irrelephant

    LOL! My sister will love it.

    Did anyone else see xkcd today?

    Aww. That’s an evil comic.

    I’ve a friend from Alaska, and she points out she’s always moved south, and finds my counter-directional history strange?

    Reminds me of the ancient Egyptians calling the Euphrates “the river that flows in reverse”. After all, water flows from south to north!

    Is there a point where you realise that I’m unimpressed by your opinions, given how shoddy those opinions and your (collective) ongoing bad behaviours are? Why ever would you imagine that I take any of you seriously in that way? It must be your own massive ego(s) talking. You certainly don’t have the evidence to support such a view. :-D

    Is your name Glen Gordon?

    “…than I”. Shortened version of “…than I am”. Hence “I” is the subject of the (implied) verb. It is not the object of a verb so the “me” form is incorrect.

    Similarly, “he” and “him”.

    Yes, except that English has an additional rule which encourages use of the object forms instead of the subject forms for emphasis.

    The reality is that language is fluid (although possibly treacly) and modern (IMO clumsy/slovenly) usage is taking over.

    It’s not clumsiness ? if it were, it would happen all over the world. But it’s not even happening in German. It’s a new rule of English grammar (…and apparently it’s several hundred years old already).

    I suspect the cause is that Latin is no longer taught at [grade] school (with rare exceptions). Latin, being a dead language, has carefully preserved correct forms.

    And you seriously believe the same grammar is correct for different languages?

    How many do you speak?

    When did you last hear “declension” for nouns or “conjugation” for verbs referred to in an English Language class?

    Firstly, these are technical terms. We’re talking about what they describe, not about the terms themselves.

    Secondly, there is almost no declension or conjugation in English, so it’s not surprising that the terms don’t come up more often!

    I’m not aware of any “naughty” words.

    Viagra is one, because spambots like to use it so much. I used an HTML trick to get it through the filter (open and then close a tag in the middle of the word, so that the offending string of letters doesn’t actually get posted, but there’s no visible difference).

    I off to see Avatar and want to save some disappointment for the movie instead of wasting it all on you.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  645. #650 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    (Just for clarification, I’ll add that my post at #647 is not in any way a defence of SEF’s remarks – which, as I said above, were deeply offensive and inexcusable.)

  646. #651 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    MrFire,

    This (see the comments that follow) is from earlier this month:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/cancer_is_a_disease.php#comment-2182638

    Note that this was in response to my making a little joke about always being right.* More examples of bizarre belligerance, slagging, and ludicrous hyperbole on the recent atheist convention thread. IIRC, SEF was the one with whom I had a similar discussion concerning “crescendo” a while back. Same behavioral pattern.

    *On a thread in which I had already acknowledged an error, no less.

    ***

    I think Rorschach is right that SEF thinks he is truth machine when he’s most definitely not. He’s an angry person, and I’ve just generally been ignoring him (including not responding to errors in his posts) since the recent incidents, but his defense of his awful comparison here, especially in response to BoS, has been unconscionable.

  647. #652 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I really like having the following mean different things:

    Fuck you. (a person)

    Fuck y’all. (a group, as a group)

    Fuck all of y’all. (everyone in the group)

    (I’m sure SEF would like to be able to express such distinctions clearly, too.)

    The Black English “be” is another example. It allows Black English to specify a tense that is lost in Standard English.

    So for example,

    We jammin’ when Jim came in.

    might mean either that we were already jamming when Jim came in, or that the jamming began when Jim came in (and maybe because he came in), but

    We be jammin’ when Jim came in

    makes it clear that that the jamming was already going on when Jim came in.

    while I agree that adding y’all and all y’all to the language actually adds to clarity, your second example does not. Standard English already has those distinctions in “we jammed when Jim came in” and “we were jamming when Jim came in”. The new construction doesn’t add clarity grammatically, but detracts from being understood more generally. I don’t really care about what happens in local dialects, but I think I have to agree with A. Noyd that at least one version of a language needs to be more prescriptivist than descriptivist to act as a sort-of lingua franca between the dialects; and this goes for grammar as well as pronounciation, actually. (wasn’t it Tis Himself who told us the anecdote about the Scot and the Alabama dude who supposedly both spoke English, but couldn’t understand a damn thing they were saying to each other?)

  648. #653 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    Following up on my previous comment, I note that relative URL interpretation can be made to work for you:

    A URL anchor link (#[something]) can appear with nothing additional prefixed, as long as it references an anchor name in the very web page/post that the link appears in.

    Thus, I can link to a comment like this:

    <a href=”#comment-2238242″>previous comment</a>

    And it will be interpreted by the browser as referencing that very comment in this very thread.

    Since the URL does not include an http:// string, an arbitrary number of such anchor links can be included in a comment without triggering comment moderation, with the additional benefit of being shorter than putting in all of the additional link information besides the anchor.

    (This is as always particularly useful for when spammers are throwing in stuff which will be deleted by PZ.)

    (I note that “hery” and “hery”‘s furniture spam are still around. Ahem, PZ.)

  649. #654 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    I sometimes wonder if that’s where economists and bankers are trained?

    Nope.

  650. #655 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    belligerence

  651. #656 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Surgery, in a country where you have health insurance. It’s routine these days.

    already tried that. worked for about a month or two before it bend itself back into the original and useless shape.

  652. #657 blf
    January 30, 2010
    I sometimes wonder if that’s where economists and bankers are trained?

    Nope.

    Eh? I do wonder, sometimes, if…

    How is it you know better than I what it is I wonder?

  653. #658 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    Eh? I do wonder, sometimes, if?

    Well, if you know that, why the hell are ya asking? ;D

  654. #659 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    …and to add to #650, there was the argument about how badly the American university system sucks and how extra credit was cheating (though that one also had Hyperon in it)

  655. #660 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 30, 2010

    Ladies and gentlemen (and Floyd), the legend, the epical, Mr. Slim Whitman…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPhxNbFlY30

  656. #661 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    How is it you know better than I what it is I wonder?

    Because your question was given in #643, which I quote in its entirety:

    The famous Art Buchwald v. Paramount lawsuit (1990) illustrated that when it comes to money, “Hollywood” is unfamiliar with the concept of true, and uses mathematics not known anywhere else in the universe. I sometimes wonder if that’s where economists and bankers are trained?

    Even before I went to the linked wiki article, I knew Buchwald v Paramount had to do with “unconscionable accounting.” I further knew that you were trying to conflate economics, banking, and “unconscionable accounting.” You were making a dig at economists and I was denying the dig.

    I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

  657. #662 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Owlmirror, thanks for the clarification on anchor links. That will be really handy for referring to comments within the current endless thread.

    Subject change: Remember the discussion several months ago about the LDS Church giving its approval for an anti-discrimination law proposed by the City Council in Salt Lake City? At the time, some pessimists called it a PR trick on the part of church officials, meant to distract attention from Dallin Oaks stupidly comparing the protests against mormons who supported Prop 8 to the sufferings of black Americans who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.

    I was not one of those pessimists. I assumed the city ordinance, which only sought to prevent discrimination against gays in the workplace and in housing, would pass, if only because it carefully avoided gay marriage rights. It did pass, and I assumed similar laws would be passed for the entire State of Utah. I was wrong on that count. The pessimists were right.

    Utah lawmakers won’t consider a law that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace and in housing, and will instead spend the next year studying the issue, key lawmakers said Friday.
         In exchange, opponents of gay rights legislation will drop any effort to prevent local governments from passing their own-non discrimination laws this legislative session….
         In Utah, few law changes occur if the church disapproves. More than 80 percent of state lawmakers are Mormon, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
         Herbert has said he disapproves of discriminating against gay people, but doesn’t think it should be illegal and hasn’t issued an executive order banning the practice among state employees.
        … In calling for a type of legislative cease fire, lawmakers are hoping to avoid drawing national attention to Utah in the battle over gay rights during an election year.
         ”There is a common desire to ensure that Utah is not the battleground for the nation on these kinds of issues. We simply refuse to be that battleground,” said Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper. “We hope to set a standard of civility and cooperation and respect that hopefully will be copied in other states rather than seeing Utah as the place where these issues are fought out in a very harsh environment.”…
         The church has not publicly weighed in on a statewide nondiscrimination law.

    Source

  658. #663 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    there was the argument about how badly the American university system sucks and how extra credit was cheating (though that one also had Hyperon in it)

    Yeah… I remember that one

  659. #664 blf
    January 30, 2010

    I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.

    Indeed, you are correct: I was making a dig. And I apologise for forgetting to include MBAs; that was an oversight on my part. Sorry!

  660. #665 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    catchin up…
    (and too lazy to remove redundant points that others have already addressed)

    Oh, man, BoS…what to say?

    AlanB @#550: Do you really not see the magic word that hung your comment up? Think about what must be the most common word in spam…

    SEF, that (570) is the most despicable and vile thing I have ever read.

    Almost makes me want to peek.
    Almost.

    Never seemed to have a reason

    Huh, really? I wield the killfile like a machete to ruthlessly configure and clean up my Pharyngula experience. I even have a couple of OMs in my killfile. Not telling.

    That’s the second person plural I grew up with

    In the Pittsburghese of my youth it’s “yinz”

    It allows Black English to specify a tense that is lost in Standard English.

    I don’t see a difference in your example between “be” and the standard “were”.
    Otherwise–sorry, Paul–tl;dr

    anyone know good techniques for connecting the numbers to the names?

    carry one of these?

    I just hope that this was some kind of anomalous outburst

    Anomalous, perhaps, but not unique. Not linkin’, sorry.

  661. #666 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010

    A few choice comments from readers of the article linked to in comment 661. Commenters are Utah citizens for the most part:

    Gays need to learn to keep their sexual inferences and their sexual agenda at home where they belong. Why are sex topics allowed in public in the first place? The maturity of society can be gauged on its ability to keep intimacy private.

    “Get back on the train and grow up” is my advice. Either you are letting your species down, or you are letting your God down. Either way, un-good.

    What was it you didn’t want to visit with your bishop about?…you know…that thing you felt guilty about, but instead just quit the church…

    Anyone publicly supporting homosexuality in anyway needs to have their heads examined. Homosexuality is a perversion, there is no other way to look at it. I reserve the right to keep perverts out of my duplexes.

  662. #667 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    un-good?

    someone actually used a newspeak word seriously (probably without even noticing it was newspeak)?

  663. #668 MrFire
    January 30, 2010

    Thanks, SC.

    *scratches head*

    Same behavioral pattern, indeed. When SEF loses his/her shit, he/she really loses it.

    grammar debate over ‘he/she’ vs. ‘they’, anyone?

  664. #669 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    That was double plus ungood.

  665. #670 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    grammar debate over ‘he/she’ vs. ‘they’, anyone?

    I find “he/she” to be cumbersome, not only to write, but to read.

  666. #671 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    Alan B, if you wish to refer to the commercial name of sildenafil citrate [I wonder if these would be caught as well?], you will need to use black magic a simple trick.

    Write: Via<i></i>gra or something similar.

    The embedded tags will interfere with the comment moderation parser from picking up one of the substances most advertised by spam, spam, spamity spam.

  667. #672 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    Worst Movie Ever: Dudley Doright (sp?)

  668. #673 Sili
    January 30, 2010

    Apropos of nothing I just tried to cook up some borscht.

    Not all that remarkable really, but to be fair I’ve deviated a lot from the recipe. But it’s warm and I have my latest batch of (failed) bread to soak it up with. (A bit thin – possibly should blend it a little.) Finally buying some balsamico paid off though, I think. Another issue is the colour. I bought a bag of ‘mixed beets’. Turned out that only one of them – a very small one – was the regular red variety.

    Ah well. Perhaps the dead cava will make me ignore the issues.

    (Still haven’t come around to make the Pear Crostini. Sometime next week, perhaps.)

  669. #674 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    wotthehell anyway:

    Test 1,2,3:

    Ooga Booga, sildenafil citrate !!

  670. #675 blf
    January 30, 2010

    I find “he/she” to be cumbersome, not only to write, but to read.

    Agreed, but I do use it, mostly since I think of they as plural and it doesn’t seem appropriate for most humans. I also dislike the automatic initial position of the male pronoun, and so often write it as she/he, or s\he.

  671. #676 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    SEF,

    When a rape survivor tells you your comparison of being abused by text on the internet is wrong, admit that you fucked up and apologize. Anything less is perpetuating Rape Culture and minimizing the experiences of rape survivors. We get enough of that from elswhere.

  672. #677 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    Success !!

    Sildenafil is not caught by the comment moderation parser.

  673. #678 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Catching up, and still no where near current, but Jadehawk (@473) hit the nail on the head:

    SEF, you moron, I don’t even disagree with you on the grammar question. That however doesn’t make you any less of a pompous ass whose main argument in everything seems to be that all people who disagree with you must be liars, dimwits and idiots by default.

    This is not the first time I’ve started out agreeing at least in part with SEF1, but ended up concluding that s/he is just a giant assclam.

    Arguments around here seem like a monkey trap to SEF: Once the fist is closed around the banana, SEF seems incapable of just letting go, no matter how much pain, thrashing, and screeching ensues.

    1 In this case I agreed, more or less, with SEF’s original explication of the specific sentence structures in question, though I do not agree with the approach that followed, which strikes me as hyperprescriptivist.

  674. #679 Pygmy Loris
    January 30, 2010

    ack, lost myself typing.

    When a rape survivor tells you your comparison of being abused by text on the internet is wrong,

    should be

    When a rape survivor tells you your comparison of being abused by text on the internet to being gang-raped is wrong,

  675. #680 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Hi Bill D.: Curious as to whether you’ve read the DF Wallace essay I linked above someplace. I think you’d enjoy it.

  676. #681 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Speaking of teeth, here and here are close-ups of yesterday’s toothy goodness. (Kindly ignore the word “carnosaur”, it’s wrong.)

    so, it’s a bit bigger than I expected. Also, is the use of pens for showing size normal?

    You might also be interested in some of the illustrations of this article, but ? for completely different reasons ? in the text as well.

    I want that guy’s job. Well, his second job, anyway :-p

  677. #682 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    Arguments around here seem like a monkey trap to SEF: Once the fist is closed around the banana, SEF seems incapable of just letting go, no matter how much pain, thrashing, and screeching ensues.

    Yeah, that does seem to be the case… Which is why I used the George Bernard Shaw quote up at #629… seemed fitting.

  678. #683 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Currently my favorite Australian:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VAkOhXIsI0

    (He seems to have his 12-string strung with 11 strings. Strange stringing.)

  679. #684 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010
    you rarely get people to re-examine their behaviour by shocking them.

    So that’s why so many of you lace your posts with profanities and abuse.

    Were you homeschooled or something?

    Please. Even I haven’t had such a sheltered upbringing.

    Anyone else want to try now that Feynmaniac has failed his reading comprehension test?

    As I just wrote, you should try to become a scientist. More specifically, you should submit a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. That way you would learn that, when you express yourself in writing and are misunderstood, it is your fault.

    (Obviously this doesn’t include cases of trolling where people pretend to misunderstand something in order to drive the authors into madness. But nobody in this thread is doing that. Newfie is, for comparison, and he has said so.)

    Meanwhile, David Marjanovi? did agree slightly (and also agreed some more while acting like he disagreed!).

    I don’t remember. Please tell me where I should look for it.

    And do something about your notpology for your complete loss of, if nothing else, all sense of proportion.

    Worst Movie Ever:

    While it’s not up there with “Turkish Star Wars”, watching Rambo IV is a funny experience. The first half transparently pretends to have a plot. The second half drops all that ballast and is just TFRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT anymore.

    The sound was so bad that I had to rely on the subtitles occasionally. The subtitles were in Czech. I don’t speak Czech*. Still, I don’t think I missed anything of importance. :-)

    * Well. That’s not exactly the same thing as when I say “I don’t speak Hungarian”. But still. :o)

    the Morridor (mormon corridor)

    Mordor!

    I guess there is some truth to the idea that Language Rage is somehow uniquely Anglophonic.

    It can get pretty bad in German, too, but I do think it’s a bit less common…

    Heh. I had it capitalised initially, but then I recalled that French doesn’t do that the way English does – but that’s just the languages, not the nationalities, right?

    It’s the adjectives, not the nouns (…well… adjectives-used-as-nouns).

    What am I missing? They are isomers, aren’t they?

    Of course, but I acted as if there were only two possible ones. I had confused glucose and fructose with ?- and ?-glucose… <slinking off chair and under table>

    Armageddon was really cool, I loved it !

    Right from the beginning…

    • An asteroid the size of Ceres Texas. Yeah, riiiiight. <mock mock> There goes my suspension of disbelief.
    • Blowing it apart so that two neat halves fly by on either side of the Earth. Yeah, riiiiight. If they knew the exact composition, internal structure, and geography and stuff of the asteroid, maybe, but they don’t ? Bruce Willis ends up complaining he was dropped on a steel plate. Morons! The unpredictable fragments, each big enough to end the Mesozoic again, would have peppered the Earth!
    • Bruce Willis.
    • A love story. That just had to be, eh? Mind you, normally I’m perfectly willing to suspend that particular disbelief and let Hollywood be Hollywood, but if it’s tacked on to all the above… <headshake> It’s not even a Love Story Of Plot Advancement as far as I remember, it’s just a diversion.
    • The suicidal dude. Probably intended to make some grand point, but in fact entirely superfluous.

    Deep Impact… is one thing. Armageddon is another.

    If you wanted to call her “honey”, you should have said :
    “mixture of pentahydroxyhexanal, pentahydroxyhexan-2-one, 4-O-?-D-Glucopyranosyl-D-glucose, O-?-D-glucopyranosyl-?[1-6]-?-D-glucopyranosid,(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxyhexan-2-one and quite a few more compounds with strange names”

    There’s a hydroxymethyl compound in there? What strange metabolic pathway makes it???

    to plunder the planet and enslave the inhabitants, the Fremen.

    The Freemen? :^)

    different from/to (Oooh, more fodder for a language argument!)

    Third option: different than.

    One of the useful features that Firefox has is a “View selection source” — you can select the text of a comment and view its source without the surround cruft of the entire page source.

    That’s the one useful Firefox feature that IE lacks.

  680. #685 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 30, 2010

    For the record, I want to disclaim any support for SEF. When I jumped into the discussion about prescriptivism/descriptivism, I was just having a little jokey fun, and didn’t really want to engage in the substantive argument.

    Then, SEF made the gang rape remark. Then defended it. Then Bride of Shrek revealed her gang rape, and SEF defended the remark again.

    I’ve seen a lot of hateful shit on the Internet, SEF, but that was fucking obscene. You’re a hateful son of a bitch.

  681. #686 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Ok, took a break for a few hours, ready to be around society again without causing a ruckus.

    So terrible movies, and no one’s said The Core yet? It starts with pigeons killing themselves by flying into buildings they presumably can’t see because their inner long-distance compass is messed up. Not much can beat that.

  682. #687 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 30, 2010

    Sven–
    1. Which link is to a DFW essay? I don’t have much time to read this thread and as fast as it moves, finding the link should become more difficult over time.
    2. I grew up not far from Pittsburgh myself (though on the other side of the mighty Ohio). My wife is from Canonsburg. Ever have to red up your room as a kid? Not to be nebby or anything.

  683. #688 Celtic_Evolution
    January 30, 2010

    So terrible movies, and no one’s said The Core yet?

    And of course, “The Day After Tomorrow”… yikes…

    Do you know that I know people, AGW denialists, that really think that AGW scientists actually believe that the scenario played out in that flim-flam of a film is actually what will happen, and that’s why they won’t take it seriously.

    I shit you not.

  684. #689 blf
    January 30, 2010

    One of the useful features that Firefox has is a “View selection source” — you can select the text of a comment and view its source without the surround cruft of the entire page source.

    Thanks for the tip. I’d never noticed that feepture before. (feepture, from feeping creaturism, from creeping featurism, also known as feature creep.)

  685. #690 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #648 David Marjanovi?

    I freely admit to only speaking one language fluently. School French and Latin are a long while ago and I have never had the need to follow them up. (I also had to pass an exam in scientific German to get my degree. Never used that since, either.)

    Taking your points one by one:

    Yes, except that English has an additional rule which encourages use of the object forms instead of the subject forms for emphasis.

    It’s a new rule of English grammar (…and apparently it’s several hundred years old already).

    I am unaware of that and I can’t see how I might use it in normal speech. Can you give me some examples and a source? I can’t find any reference in Greenbaum and Whitcut “Longman Guide to English Usage”.

    I suspect the cause is that Latin is no longer taught at [grade] school (with rare exceptions). Latin, being a dead language, has carefully preserved correct forms.

    And you seriously believe the same grammar is correct for different languages?

    Of course I don’t! I may be ignorant but I’m not stupid. And I did not say that, seriously or otherwise. What I am saying is that Latin does has clearly defined forms of nouns and verbs which are largely missing in English. Thus, we only have the common case, Caesar, and the possessive case (‘genitive’), Caesar’s. And many people can’t use the possessive apostrophe correctly, adding it to common case plurals!

    In comparison, take the name “Caesar” in Latin. You would decline the name of Caesar thus:
    Caesar, Caesaris, Caesari, Caesarem, Caesare for the different cases (with nominative and vocative the same).

    We had 5 declensions (and 4 conjugations), with irregular forms, hammered into us by rote (rather like Churchill when he complained that he would never address a table, “O table”, so why did he have to learn it). Each had their case endings and you learned/learnt them and where they were used (or else).

    In English some pronouns have three cases with different forms. For example:

    I subjective or nominative
    me objective or accusative
    my possessive or genitive

    I am arguing that, since few English people are taught Latin, the importance of the different case forms and where they are required are not understood. Many children would talk about “Me Mum” when they mean “My Mum”. Similarly, the misuse of I and me which has reached epidemic proportions to the extent that the rules of common English usage are changing.

    … there is almost no declension or conjugation in English, so it’s not surprising that the terms don’t come up more often!

    And hence I am arguing that when there are different forms, the child is not sensitised to the importance of using the correct form. They would be if the structure of their language were taught as it is in Latin.

    Ah! I was wondering whether V****** was the “naughty” word! Thanks for the confirmation. Do we have to learn by trial and error or is there a list? Obviously, some words which would be regarded virtually as taboo in polite circles in the UK are accepted without any filter showing the slightest concern.

  686. #691 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    There’s a hydroxymethyl compound in there?

    It appears to be a condensation of the IUPAC name for sucrose, minus the hydroxyl groups and stereochemistry.

  687. #692 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 30, 2010

    Sili: My Russian buddy liked to throw in some fungi of the genus Russula for crunch in his borscht.

    BS

  688. #693 Owlmirror
    January 30, 2010

    Has no-one else here been so unfortunate as to see The Day After Tomorrow, which has a scene where it appears that the very laws of thermodynamics have magically become a hungry predator?

  689. #694 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    DF Wallce links.

    Ever have to red up your room as a kid? Not to be nebby or anything.

    Well, my parents are from Chicago so no, but my friends did. They’d find gumbands and dirty worsh under the byoora.

    (Fans of weird local American dialects can find way more of this than you’d ever care to read here, btw. If you want to hear it spoken by the quintessential Pittsburgher, click here.)

  690. #695 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 30, 2010

    I love The Day After Tomorrow…after drinking a few beers anyway.

    I (generally) love movies with apocalyptic/eschatalogical themes…after I have a few beers.

  691. #696 llewelly
    January 30, 2010

    I just want to say thank you to Janine, to Pygmy Loris, to BoSOM, negentropyeater, and to all the others who called out SEF on his grotesque “virtual gang-rapist” metaphor, and dismantled his ridiculous defense of it.

  692. #697 Walton
    January 30, 2010

    Thanks, by the way, to those who reassured me about the harmlessness of aspartame. I’m on my second can of Diet Pepsi of the evening, which I desperately needed, since I have three essays due in next week and am currently trying to wade through this 128-page research study:

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/hors291.pdf

    (Don’t read it, unless you’re suffering from insomnia.)

    Anyway, please tell me to shut up if I try to start any interesting political arguments in the next couple of days. I have tons of work to do, and am worryingly good at procrastination. :-)

  693. #698 Sili
    January 30, 2010

    and no one’s said The Core yet?

    ACK!

    ‘Thank’ you …

    There’s a hydroxymethyl compound in there? What strange metabolic pathway makes it???

    Hydromethyl is H-O-CH2-. Are you thinking methoxy, H3C-O-?

    Of course, but I acted as if there were only two possible ones. I had confused glucose and fructose with ?- and ?-glucose…

    Oh. I’d completely forgotten the α/β issue. And to think I used to be good at nomenclature (I managed to master the A/C convention for stereoisomers of inorganic coördination compounds) …

  694. #699 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Sven:

    I had missed the DFW (which never fails to look, to the Texas boy in me, like Dallas-Fort Worth [Airport]) links the first time through, so thanks for the pointer. I’ll read it as soon as I can. BTW…

    I found 2 versions on the internet, one a minimally formatted html version and the other an apparently ginormous pdf from Harper’s that never seems to finish downloading but would be much easier to read than the other if it did.

    The PDF was <8 Mb, and downloaded on my system in about 20 seconds. 8 Mb is “ginormous”? And more to the point, if you can’t handle an 8 Mb download, how do you ever manage to get any porn?

    ;^)

  695. #700 A. Noyd
    January 30, 2010

    SEF (#536)

    Whereas, I take care to make sure my opinions are well supported….

    By the way, O Great Supporter of Opinions, why did you never respond to me at #491? I posted that in the middle of your tantrum and rather than respond, you continued flogging your persecution complex. Not that I want to continue a discussion with you now that you’ve gone so far beyond offensive. I tend to overlook a lot of objectionable language, but your refusal to admit wrongdoing in the case of the rape analogy followed by a protracted defense of it, no less, is disgusting.

  696. #701 Lynna, OM
    January 30, 2010
    the Morridor (mormon corridor)

    Mordor!

    lol, yes! Complete with Morcs that work for the Morg (Mormon Organization). And talk about having the best Evil Eye in the religion business … my mother used to get the Evil Eye just for buying coffee when she first moved from New Mexico to Idaho.

    The Morridor still has pockets of ultra-conservative mormonism, but their influence is slowing thinning. No one give me the Evil Eye for buying coffee, but I did get the Evil Eye from a dental assistant for drinking coffee. With my brother, Leland, I recently presented an Art Meets Adventure show in Rigby, a very mormon community. I reminded myself not to use any swear words, but one “damn” slipped out. Luckily, the audience just laughed.

  697. #702 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    Oops, blockquote fail in comment 648. This

    When did you last hear “declension” for nouns or “conjugation” for verbs referred to in an English Language class?

    was a quote.

    Otherwise–sorry, Paul–tl;dr

    C’est d’la triche !

    Participates in The Thread without reading all of it! Cheater!

    un-good?

    someone actually used a newspeak word seriously (probably without even noticing it was newspeak)?

    Well, there might be the (southern?) German word ungut involved, which carries connotations of “weakly sickening”… but I doubt it.

    (Anyway, congratulations on the comment number! Subthread-wise, I mean.)

    grammar debate over ‘he/she’ vs. ‘they’, anyone?

    “Debate”?

    “Singular they”: God said it, I believe it, that settles it.

    Debate is whatcha put on de hook to catch de fish.

    (Wanted to provide that link about 500 comments ago, but Language Log didn’t work yesterday. But while I am at it, behold the spokespirate!)

    is the use of pens for showing size normal?

    It happens, probably more commonly than using one’s own head as a scale bar, and less commonly than using a rock hammer or (for smaller specimens) a coin. Most commonly, however, people use the special overpriced ruler provided by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Strangely, I can’t find it in the SVP’s CafePress store, but I bought one last conference and will bring it to the dig. :-)

    I want that guy’s job. Well, his second job, anyway :-p

    Note to self: Qapla’.

  698. #703 A. Noyd
    January 30, 2010

    Walton (#544)

    On one recent thread, some thoughtless idiot called Ben Stein “a living argument for the Holocaust” (something a few of us called him out on, but most people seem not to have spotted).

    I spotted it, but I also spotted that you’d already ripped him a new one for it.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Alan B (#548)

    Personally, I regret the less formal (read, “careless”) approach to all use of language but it is inevitable. IMO a scientist needs to be able to express himself/herself with precision.

    And the need for precision communication in some contexts is why I’m not against a prescriptivist language being taught for such purposes. The problem, as Pygmy Loris noted, is that what we tend to take for granted as the “correct” and “precise” English is just an upper class dialect. Precision is a feature of all dialects. The more awareness we have that our Standard English dialect is a tool, not an ideal form that people are straying from or degrading (most don’t speak it naturally, anyways), the easier time we’ll have using it for precision communication.

    (#689)

    And hence I am arguing that when there are different forms, the child is not sensitised to the importance of using the correct form.

    The child automatically acquires the correct form for his or her own dialect, though. What you’re calling misuse is merely linguistic variation.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Carlie (#559)

    Yowza, sorry everyone about the tl;dr post. SIWOTI at 6am is a dangerous thing.

    It was sexy, IMO. Nice strong takedown.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Paul W. (#587)

    Awesome post.

    Maybe that’s an irregularity they could just accept, if they didn’t have bad examples confusing them about the rule. I’m not sure.

    Or they would start overcorrecting elsewhere, introducing more “wrongness,” as in the case where attempts to correct constructions like “Mom and me went to the store” (which works just fine in English but drives prescriptivists nuts) results in people coming out with the likes of “Dad came to the store with Mom and I.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Celtic_Evolution (#637)

    Have you seen “Volcano”… or worse yet, “Daylight”?

    Volcano was assigned watching in a geology class my friend took. They had to write a paper going over all the errors they could spot.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Owlmirror (#639)

    The main way, which is necessary when referencing a website that is different from/to than

    David beat me to it, but this is what I would use.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    And a general thanks to all with HTML/Firefox tips and cilantro-related links!!

  699. #704 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    The PDF was [smaller than] 8 Mb, and downloaded on my system in about 20 seconds.

    Weird…I too pulled it right down just now (it’s kind of a groady-looking pdf). Don’t know what my box’s issues were yesterday.

    and–wait–there’s porn on the internet?

  700. #705 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #669 Celtic Evolution

    grammar debate over ‘he/she’ vs. ‘they’, anyone?

    I find “he/she” to be cumbersome, not only to write, but to read.

    Until someone comes up with a convenient form, agreeable to all, I shall continue to use the form used by English Law and Quality Assurance Manuals everywhere(?):

    Reference to “male” includes “female” and singular includes “plural”.

    I have no problem at all with “Chairman”(Chairperson? Chairpeople? or, worse, “Chair” – as if the man/men and/or woman/women involved were a piece(s) of moulded plastic), manhole cover (peoplehole cover?), Headmaster (but now almost universally replaced by Head Teacher in the UK).

    What next?

    Human Hu-person
    Manager Personager
    Harriett Harman Harriett Harperson*

    *UK Govern-persons-t Minister for Equality.

  701. #706 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    -there’s porn on the internet?

    That’s the rumor…

  702. #707 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 30, 2010

    A. Noyd:

    It kind of got lost in the SEFstorm, but I just wanted to say that my (much) earlier comment about cilantro was just a bit of cheek, as I hope my reference to the almighty bacon made evident. I would never seriously try to dictate to anyone their taste in food.

    That said, I find the distinction you make between food that tastes like bad-tasting food and that which tastes like not-food a bit creepy. I’ve never run into the not-food sensation (at least, not in anything that was supposed to be food), and I’m afraid if I ever do, I’ll mistake it for a neurological symptom and head for the ER.

    Of course, since you’re familiar with it, I guess you can be confident it’s not a stroke or anything… but it would scare the hell out of me.

  703. #708 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #670 Owlmirror

    Thanks for the hint!

    Problem for a newcomer is knowing what the offensive words are.

  704. #709 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Guess I’ll sneak in a quick update before PZ slams the portcullis down.

    Executive Summary: up up up

    21131

  705. #710 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 30, 2010

    Avatar – Umm
    IMHO – I will have to wait for the RiffTrax version before I stand a chance of enjoying this stinker.

    The best thing about the movie was the banana flavored choc top ice cream that I purchased in the lobby.

  706. #711 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    But while I am at it, behold the spokespirate!

    That is awesome.

    Until someone comes up with a convenient form, agreeable to all, I shall continue to use the form used by English Law and Quality Assurance Manuals everywhere(?):

    Reference to “male” includes “female” and singular includes “plural”.

    I have no problem at all with “Chairman”(Chairperson? Chairpeople?

    Chairperson is too much for you? (Not to mention that femal equivalents of these terms exist and are easy enough to use.) Look, I don’t have the energy for another one of these discussions right now, but sexism is built into the language, and I suspect you might see it differently if it were “Reference to ‘female’ includes ‘male’.”

  707. #712 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Guess I’ll sneak in a quick update before PZ slams the portcullis down.

    Jebus, over 700 posts in a little over two days. Looks like if this thing ever has to change direction it will be a spectacular derailment.

  708. #713 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    Celery is not food.

  709. #714 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 30, 2010

    Yes, it is, but only in small doses, as a flavoring. On its own, it is most definitely food.

  710. #715 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    Personally i like cilantro.

    Wait, did I just walk in on something going on in here?

  711. #716 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    Manager Personager

    Manager comes from manus, not man.

  712. #717 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Celery is not food.

    *clenched-tentacle salute*

  713. #718 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    celery is food. so is cilantro.

    melted ice-cubes OTOH are not a valid substitute for 3/4 of that beverage I just paid for

  714. #719 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    Will this thread still be here tomorrow?

    I catch up and then the time zone effect kicks in and PZ has to start a new incarnation of “The Thread”.

    Has anyone kept a record of whether the time between reincarnations actually has been shortening – or does it just seem that way?

  715. #720 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    I also had to pass an exam in scientific German to get my degree.

    :-o Wow. What was the idea behind that?

    Yes, except that English has an additional rule which encourages use of the object forms instead of the subject forms for emphasis.

    It’s a new rule of English grammar (…and apparently it’s several hundred years old already).

    I am unaware of that and I can’t see how I might use it in normal speech. Can you give me some examples and a source?

    “Who was that?” ? “Me!”

    “It’s me!” (Strictly “I am it” in German.)

    “It’s them again!”

    Can’t give a source, but…

    I can’t find any reference in Greenbaum and Whitcut “Longman Guide to English Usage”.

    …usage guides aren’t scientific grammars. Unfortunately, the probably best grammar of English is a brick of a book that I wouldn’t dream of buying because it’s pretty expensive per kilo. I don’t possess any scientific grammars, in fact…

    me objective or accusative

    Or dative: “give me…” ?

    my possessive or genitive

    If you look only at contemporary English (a synchronic point of view), this makes plenty of sense and doesn’t run into any contradictions.

    If you look at the evolution of it all (diachronic), this is utter and total bullcrap that stinks from sea to shining sea. My/mine is the possessive pronoun, same as German mein-, French mon/ma/mes, and Latin meus/mea/meum/mei/meae/mea.

    It makes sense to say that the grammar of English has evolved, the two roles (kept strictly apart in Latin, Russian, and German if it’s so formal that you still use the genitive of the personal pronoun in the first place) have merged, and it doesn’t make sense to pretend they’re separate anymore.

    I am arguing that, since few English people are taught Latin, the importance of the different case forms and where they are required are not understood.

    You don’t really believe that one needs to learn Latin to understand one’s own native language. :-)

    Many children would talk about “Me Mum” when they mean “My Mum”.

    I don’t actually know it (and I’m sure linguists figured it out long ago), but I bet this is a remnant from sometime before or during the Great Vowel Shift ? they are saying my, they’re just pronouncing it the way you pronounce me. In other words, they’re simply speaking another dialect.

    Pretty complex things can happen that way. Most, perhaps all, German dialects pronounce das and dass with different vowels, yet in the standardized version of the language (despite all the regional variation within the standard!) they’re pronounced exactly the same. (The ss, or rather the s, is a red herring.)

    And hence I am arguing that when there are different forms, the child is not sensitised to the importance of using the correct form.

    Is there really such an importance?

    They would be if the structure of their language were taught as it is in Latin.

    What you’re proposing (and what used, indeed, to be done) is to teach them a pared-down version of the structure of Latin. Which isn’t that of English. It’s more similar to that of English than that of Basque is, but it’s still not the same.

    Do we have to learn by trial and error or is there a list? Obviously, some words which would be regarded virtually as taboo in polite circles in the UK are accepted without any filter showing the slightest concern.

    I think no list has been published. That would make it too easy for spambot programmers.

    There is no politeness filter. ScienceBlogs isn’t family-friendly, it’s scientist-friendly, and scientists don’t really form polite circles. There’s only a spam filter.

    Also, PZ has banned the names of certain dungeon inhabitants, and I think Conservap?dia is not to be talked about either.

    It appears to be a condensation of the IUPAC name for sucrose, minus the hydroxyl groups and stereochemistry.

    <facepalm> Oh yeeeeeah ? the ring form has a methoxy group attached to the ring. Of course!

    Are you thinking methoxy, H3C-O-?

    <facepalm> Yes.

    Has no-one else here been so unfortunate as to see The Day After Tomorrow

    Not me! =8-)

  716. #721 llewelly
    January 30, 2010

    Volcano was assigned watching in a geology class my friend took. They had to write a paper book going over all the errors they could spot.

    FIFY.

  717. #722 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 30, 2010

    and–wait–there’s porn on the internet?

    Don’t you know what the internet is for?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pn4kZyqVRU&feature=related

  718. #723 Dania
    January 30, 2010

    you need human blood big, stalinist oranges

    mmmmmmm… blood…oranges. :)

    Owlmirror, #639 and #652: Thank you!

    One of the useful features that Firefox has is a “View selection source” — you can select the text of a comment and view its source without the surround cruft of the entire page source.

    Yes. I actually discovered that feature on my own and have been using it to learn how to do certain things I see other people doing. That’s how I know how to insert images here, for example.

  719. #724 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Has anyone kept a record of whether the time between reincarnations actually has been shortening – or does it just seem that way?

    Already couple of subThreads out of date, but:
    http://terrapinprocrastination.blogspot.com/2010/01/metathreadual-analysis.html

  720. #725 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 30, 2010

    melted ice-cubes OTOH are not a valid substitute for 3/4 of that beverage I just paid for

    In Deutschland bekam man keinen Eis mit seiner Getränke ins Gasthäuser.

  721. #726 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Has anyone kept a record of whether the time between reincarnations actually has been shortening – or does it just seem that way?

    Sven has been keeping track

  722. #727 Alan B
    January 30, 2010

    #719

    It’s on at the moment – Channel 4 UK. Halfway through.

    And, no, I’m not watching it!

  723. #728 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Jebus, over 700 posts in a little over two days. Looks like if this thing ever has to change direction it will be a spectacular derailment.

    And there was no tears of regret from my runaway train.

  724. #729 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    mmmmmmm… blood…oranges. :)

    A cafe in Cambridge (MA) that I like for breakfast

    http://cremacambridge.com/

    switched one day to blood orange juice. Their regular orange juice was terrific, but this was even better. (Haven’t been there in a while, so I don’t know if they’ve switched back….)

  725. #730 Jadehawk, OM
    January 30, 2010

    In Deutschland bekam man keinen Eis mit seiner Getränke ins Gasthäuser.

    and that’s precisely how it’s supposed to be.

  726. #731 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    “Mom and me went to the store”

    That’s the kind of example I was looking for.

    Manager comes from manus

    Via French menage “housework”.

    sexism is built into the language, and I suspect you might see it differently if it were “Reference to ‘female’ includes ‘male’.”

    I’ve actually seen German texts that use male and female forms at random and always mean both. (They spell that out first, of course.) Interesting experience to read that.

    Celery is not food.

    If properly boiled in a soup, I can eat fairly large quantities of it (with the soup, obviously), usually more than actually ends up on my plate.

    To my surprise, celery cream soup with carrots, too rarely offered in the canteen, is very good (because, remarkably, it’s spiced just right).

    Celery purée, occasionally offered in the same canteen as if it were potato purée… :-/ I can eat that in emergencies, but not much.

  727. #732 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2010

    Janine: yep. Commenting rate on this subThread (up to # 700) was an unprecedented and scary 327 comments/d.

    Reminds me for some reason of ol’ Henry.

  728. #733 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    The real question at hand here is does PZ know about this?

    No you can not ask why I know it exists.

  729. #734 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    and that’s precisely how it’s supposed to be.

    <clenched-tentacle salute>

  730. #735 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    Celery is not food.

    mirepoix is the base of a large part of many things food.

  731. #736 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 30, 2010

    and that’s precisely how it’s supposed to be.

    You don?t get them in Cambodia either. Instead, it?s compulsory that you drink with a straw. (So wasteful.)

    No you can not ask why I know it exists.

    Where in the rule book does it say we can?t?

    http://www.sushiordeath.com/v2/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/bento_1.jpg

  732. #737 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    I’ve actually seen German texts that use male and female forms at random and always mean both. (They spell that out first, of course.) Interesting experience to read that.

    Sometimes I’ll do that (…if I’m understanding you correctly). I think it’s probably the best way to go at this point, especially stating it up front.

    If properly boiled in a soup,

    I can eat a number of items I wouldn’t otherwise if they’re in a soup.

  733. #738 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    WARNING: Shameless self promotion contain in the following message. If these types of messages offend your sensibilities or those of the young children in your home, please change the thread you are viewing for the next few comments. Thank you.

    If anyone is coming to Charleston for the Southeasten Wildlife Exposition in two weeks, stop by the Francis Marion hotel for the “Landscapes and Locals exhibit” and try to figure out which exhibitor I am.

    Hint: I’ll be the photographer chimp.

  734. #739 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    The real question at hand here is does PZ know about this?

    :-o

    Impressive!

  735. #740 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Celery is the proper garnish for a bloody Mary. (Dang, having trouble finding Salsa Brava recently. The Redhead’s version of BM uses 10 dollops.) Used in mirepoix, as part of stock, OK. Just to eat a stalk of, bleah.

  736. #742 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    mirepoix is the base of a large part of many things food.

    Similar combinations, both in and out of the French culinary repertoire, may include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger

    I would happily substitute any of those for celery.

    PS: Congratulations!

  737. #743 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Janine, we have Cuttlefish as our “unofficial” Poet Laureate. You must be our “unofficial” DJ Laureate. Bring it sister, bring it…

  738. #744 boygenius
    January 30, 2010

    From the “capacity for self-delusion” thread:

    Old fuckface, you shitstain on the panties of life.

    Janine owes me 1 (one) new monitor!

    Classic. :)

  739. #745 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    Similar combinations, both in and out of the French culinary repertoire, may include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger

    I would happily substitute any of those for celery.

    You’ve probably ingested celery in many things without being conscious of it. Nearly every single stock I’ve made both in and out of professional kitchens used the classic mirepoix as the base and many many soups as well.

    It is the classic trio for mirepoix.

    And thanks!

  740. #746 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    mirepoix is the base of a large part of many things food.

    I didn’t know it (mirequoi ?), but I bet a good soup can be made of it.

    it?s compulsory that you drink with a straw. (So wasteful.)

    If that’s wasteful, you’re doing it wrong. (Or the straw is much too short or some other weirdness.)

  741. #747 David Marjanovi?
    January 30, 2010

    I bought bread earlier today. Now I’m eating some. :-) :-) :-)

  742. #748 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2010

    I didn’t know it (mirequoi ?), but I bet a good soup can be made of it.

    It’s actually the base on which many things such as soup are made, not what the soup is about.

    You start by sauteing the mirepoix in oil or butter which adds a base layer of flavor to which you then add the rest of the soup or stock ingredients.

  743. #749 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    January 30, 2010

    The only movie Jack Black didn’t ruin by being in it: Mars Attacks

  744. #750 Dania
    January 30, 2010

    I have nothing against celery.

    Cilantro, on the other hand…

  745. #751 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Cilantro is a fantastic food.
    Celery should be used for flavoring only, and never consumed directly.

    All the talk about The Day After Tomorrow reminded me of The Day After. I think it may have originally been a tv-movie, so might not count, but still. It has Steve Gutenberg, Lawrence KS, and a nuclear disaster.

  746. #752 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    You’ve probably ingested celery in many things without being conscious of it. Nearly every single stock I’ve made both in and out of professional kitchens used the classic mirepoix as the base and many many soups as well.

    Oh, I’m sure. Like I said, I can usually take it cooked in soups and things, as long as I can’t taste it specifically. The thought of biting into s stalk of it or big chunks of it in a sandwich salad, though…*shudder*

    It is the classic trio for mirepoix.

    Classic, shmassic.* Every food on that list except parsnips is a favorite of mine.

    *Kidding.

  747. #753 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 30, 2010

    If that’s wasteful, you’re doing it wrong. (Or the straw is much too short or some other weirdness.)

    No, I?m sure drinking with a straw can be efficient and maybe protect your teeth from the suguar or acid in the drink, but straws themselves are usually wasteful because people will use them once and throw them out and they end up in the pretty lotus ponds that were created through bombings.

    Celery is not food.

    What about stuffed celery?

  748. #755 llewelly
    January 30, 2010

    I’ve actually seen German texts that use male and female forms at random and always mean both. (They spell that out first, of course.) Interesting experience to read that.

    Lots of rulebooks for book-and-paper RPGs do this in English.

  749. #756 Miki Z
    January 30, 2010

    The movie with so much wrong it woke me up:
    Toxic Skies
    Anne Heche is a virologist looking for a vaccine to cure the people who have heavy metal poisoning from a virus spread by jets. This ‘plague virus’ was previously amenable to antibiotics, but for some reason they have stopped working.

    When she finds the vaccine, people visibly improve within minutes of injection. Much rejoicing ensues: the movie is over.

  750. #757 Carlie
    January 30, 2010

    Of course, the main purpose for celery is to show students what collenchyma looks like.

  751. #758 SC OM
    January 30, 2010

    What about stuffed celery?

    *Thanksgiving flashback*

    The horror!
    :)

  752. #759 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 30, 2010

    Boygenius, I got that line from one of the most gloriously bad movies, Reform School Girls.

  753. #760 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 30, 2010

    All this talk of celery is bringing back memories (PTSD?) of a version of chop suey, served either by the high school cafeteria or the dorms, which was primarily celery based. Good, except for the large quantity of large chunks of celery…

  754. #761 Dania