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4:00 PM
@Robusto yeah, dream sequences can be annoying. Especially since they either make no sense or are prophetic.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 What is the meaning of prophetic?
 
gtg, lunch time
 
Bai.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Hmm, yeah that's where the word prophecy that I keep hearing in movies comes from
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 have a shiny lunch!
 
4:18 PM
I guess @Robusto must hate my newest story then.
 
> Far beneath the halls of Angband, in vaults to which the Valar in the haste of their assault had not descended, the Balrogs lurked still, awaiting ever the return of their lord. Swiftly they arose, and they passed with winged speed over Hithlum, and they came to Lammoth as a tempest of fire.
 
@KitFox newer than Spider?
 
@Cerberus Yes, you are recapitulating the entire argument point by point. "With winged speed" is one of the commonly cited texts.
 
What the heck. Rose to their feet and fled as though they had wings?
 
@cornbreadninja No, that's the one I mean. (I did a rewrite!)
 
4:22 PM
@KitFox ooh!
 
OMFG, are you guys still discussing winged balrogs?
10
brb lunch.
 
@Cerberus "Now we know that the storm is indeed nigh!" "It is upon you," said Gandalf. "I have ridden on its wings."
Storms have wings!
 
On the wings of the night.
But really lunch. bbl
 
> The argument hinges on whether the "wings" are physical wings or simply figurative wings of shadow. Many additional facts are adduced to the argument, but there is not enough firm description in Tolkien's writing to settle the argument definitively.
@KitFox as the daytime is stirring / where the speechless unite / in a silent accord / using words you will find are strange / and mesmerised as they light the flame / feel the new wind of change / on the wings of the night
 
@ΜετάEd I was just pondering it.
 
4:28 PM
@KitFox I just mean that a lot of time a dream sequence is a cheat or a tease, not that they can't be done well. It's just that they so often have been done poorly. "And then I woke up. It had all been a dream!" Sorry, BTDT.
 
I was studying maps of Hithlum.
@ΜετάEd Can one traverse Hithlum with winged speed on foot?
And why "over" Hithlum?
 
@Cerberus Poetically speaking, of course one can.
 
I was not assuming that we take "winged speed" as necessarily achieved by wings here.
 
@Cerberus Besides, these are Balrogs we're talking about here. They could be fast.
 
@ΜετάEd I was pondering whether they could be.
 
4:31 PM
More to the point, how many flying balrogs can dance on the head of a pin?
 
They're Valar, after all.
 
Btw, never use the word "penis" for a password, because the software will tell you that your password is too short.
6
 
@ΜετάEd Outside context, taken at face value, there is a strong suggestion of flying in this passage, don't you agree?
@ΜετάEd Valar? They are Maiar, I believe.
 
And Mahlzeit.
 
Bai!
@ΜετάEd At least there is a more or less sustained metaphor of flight associated with the balrogs here.
 
4:34 PM
@Cerberus You're right. They are Maiar. However that makes them minor Valar. In fact they are also called Valaraukar, meaning "demons of power".
"Valar" simply means "powers".
 
If we're exploring Tolkien's associations, I would be inclined to say that there was something about flying to them.
@ΜετάEd Yes. A minor point—I just couldn't resist.
Just as valar bear some association with angels, who in turn are often associated with flight, like many semi-divine beings, I think.
 
@Robusto It was all Pam's dream.
@cornbreadninja Exactly.
 
@ΜετάEd By the way, I'm not defending any position in particular here. Just going over all the possible connotations of balrogs again.
 
@Robusto snort, choke
Interesting factoid about balrogs...
Once, when I was engaging in sexual relations with Tolkien, he quite clearly stated that he thought it would be quite amusing if he never indicated whether he intended for balrogs to actually have wings.
2
 
I bet you talked him into that.
 
4:46 PM
"It will send fans off their rockers. They will take this minute, pointless detail and spend years discussing it," he said.
And I said, "But they do have wings, don't they?"
He said, "Sure they do. Wings of shadow and smoke. But how do you expect them to fly with those, especially with a wizard knocking him around?"
 
@KitFox balrogs and wizards are of the same order of beings. one is not necessarily more powerful than the other.
 
Then he laughed and said, "I'm just pulling your chain. Of course balrogs don't have wings. They don't exist."
 
-2
Q: Is WordNet a regular english thesaurus?

RezaIs WordNet a regular english thesaurus? If not what differences existence? Is there any more comprehensive one?

 
@KitFox oh pfft. you might as well say that unicorns don't have horns then.
 
@KitFox Blasphemy!
 
4:51 PM
though closed on main, is it appropriate on meta?
 
Uh. I don't know.
How do you all feel about putting it on Meta?
 
It's not really about our site
 
No, but we have other tool questions.
 
@KitFox Good idea.
 
do those tool questions relate to our site? or just tools in general
 
4:53 PM
0
Q: Is WordNet a regular english thesaurus?

RezaIs WordNet a regular english thesaurus? If not what differences existence? Is there any more comprehensive one?

 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Hey, don't look at me. He was the one who said it.
 
@cornbreadninja source please. Meatloaf?
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Tools that might be used in answering questions on our site.
@Mitch Pink Floyd. turns crimson
 
@Mitch Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away.
from the pale and downtrodden
 
@KitFox Sure. But not just questions about tools in general. There has to be some connection to the site. IMO.
So I vote "no" to meta.
 
4:54 PM
 
Any other ideas on how we might help this user?
 
Nothing that fits within the scope of ELU/meta.ELU/chat.ELU.
 
@KitFox crimson and clover / over and over
 
we could change the rules and allow tool questions on ELU
 
That would require a Meta question.
And I don't think tool questions should be allowed on Main.
 
4:57 PM
why not?
 
Meta, maybe, if it's about how to use them appropriately (like NGrams).
 
oh wow, it was closed.
70
Q: What are your favorite English language tools?

stackerThis will prevent myself from asking an obvious, silly question again. What are the English language tools you found most useful? I found Corpus Concordance English extremely useful for looking up collocations. Please, one tool per answer.

 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 I don't have a good answer for that.
 
@KitFox I agree that on meta, we can discuss tools, in the context of how to use them on main.
 
@cornbreadninja That probably should go on the Meta site.
 
4:58 PM
@KitFox I will vote for that!
 
6
A: What are your favorite English language tools?

ghoppeWord Net It's a lexical database of English. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms (synsets), each expressing a distinct concept. These "synsets" are interlinked. It's more rigorous than a normal Thesaurus, in that it tries to "pin down" every unique me...

 
@Kit It would have to be reopened first! I think.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 OK. I'll write a comment to the other guy.
 
Personally I'm not sure what our main topic is anymore. Almost every question falls under "general reference" or "dupe". We used to have questions like "what does this mean?" but most of those get closed. Questions about peculiar usage get closed as too localized. yoichi's questions notwithstanding. Tools are off-topic, but frankly all of these rules are somewhat arbitrary.
6
 
@cornbreadninja Probably. It was closed because it was kept for historic reasons, but users kept pointing to it as a "why can't we ask list questions" question.
 
5:01 PM
So I'd vote for relaxing the TL, GR, and no-tools rules.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 OK.
 
@KitFox understood.
 
Oh, I'd also vote for allowing list questions.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 I agree.
 
@cornbreadninja I am reluctant to just move it, but you all can do it, if there's enough of you.
 
5:02 PM
@Cerberus ohnoes! paleophesy again!
 
So that requires posting some Meta questions.
 
@KitFox I was thinking it should happen quickly, lest it be pointed to again while open, but I'm on board.
 
@KitFox every time I bring up the topic, Cerb agrees with me, and nobody else does.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Let's call it symphasy.
"Speaking together".
 
@KitFox I think that question fits as well on Meta as on main.
 
5:04 PM
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 coughs, points at Meta site
 
Does Ed have a site?
 
And the thing about list questions is that it begs for abuse.
 
Perhaps we should declare the topic of our site to be balrog wings?
 
It is #1 rep whoring, #2 helpful.
 
Sounds like the main topic of our site.
 
5:05 PM
And there is never an accepted answer. They require extra patrolling.
 
What if there was a list tag, and all answers must be CW under penalty of thwacking?
 
Post it up on Meta. Let's see what everyone else thinks.
 
Are differently-colored tags possible?
 
I don't think so.
No rep gain = discouragement. Maybe.
I personally think we've been too trigger happy on the Gen Ref.
 
It might be neat if we could have stickies, but that makes me think those kinds of canonicals should be on meta.
 
5:08 PM
Maybe we should re-visit the methodology for classifying GR questions.
 
I like it, especially since it is our special close reason.
 
And I think it could be OK to allow tools questions, but we'd have to be pretty rigorous about how they are asked and such.
Otherwise, we might end up with a bunch of "Google Translate blah blah blah", "MS Word blah blah blah", etc.
 
What if answers had to be mod-reviewed, either always or for <x users?
 
Actually, come to think of it, I don't know that I agree that the thesaurus question was absolutely off topic. Let me read it again.
@cornbreadninja Are you smoking crack? When will we have the time for that?
:P
 
@KitFox yo, I didn't boost your cat food.
@KitFox I meant only on list topics.
 
5:12 PM
Hmm, maybe. I don't know.
 
I must get a food.
AFK BBS NOMS
 
So would you all feel that it might be on topic to ask "How does WordNet differ from a traditional thesaurus?"
 
@KitFox currently, no, because we don't discuss such things here, as has been decreed.
 
OK, let me ask differently. Ought it be on topic?
 
Before we worry about what else should be on topic, maybe we should worry about the deluge of questions and answers that are off topic.
 
5:18 PM
@KitFox it seems perverse to deny such a thing, to make it off-topic. It should be addressable either on main or meta.
 
I think it could be. Allowing it is, to my mind, no more random than denying it. It is related to English and linguistics, peripherally. There are some justifications to denying it.
@ΜετάEd They're only off-topic because we defined our topic so narrowly.
 
@cornbreadninja Oh. So not Meatloaf. That album is (squirms in seat) after my time.
 
@Mitch Pink Floyd is after your time?
 
um..yes. after when I cared about reading lyrics and collecting albums and knowing who produced what album then performed on another. also, I'm old. older than what you think of as old, but not chronologically.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Or as the saying goes, when Mozart was my age, he had already been dead a few years.
 
well, mozart didn't live very long
 
5:28 PM
that is, knowing that you yourself are not yet 20, you'd probably ask me if I'm feeling OK, do I need help walking across the street or standing up, or if I need to be driven to one of my many expected doctor's appointments,
 
@Mitch ! I'm over 30!
 
!!
oops
I mistook you for ...
that other guy.
 
I have two kids and have been married for... a long time! oh... 11 years. that's how long.
 
the one that is younger.
 
mahnax
the other canadian
 
5:29 PM
ha ha! duh. Sonic the hedgehog
 
you both have S's near the front of your names.
That's how old I am I can't tell things by reading.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 holy crap that's old! Are you OK? do you need help standing up?
 
I'm just a bit younger than you, if your profile is right. Just enough that if we'd gone to the same high-school, I wouldn't have known you.
@Mitch yeah my cholesterol meds have atrophied my legs so I can't walk anymore!
 
Also, PF sucked starting with...with whatever that sucky album was in 1983 or so. So I stopped caring.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 I know!
Really, does that happen? checks meds
 
it can cause muscle-tissue breakdown, yes
manifests as muscle pain, usually in your quads
depending on what you're taking
so for the record, though I may sometimes act childish, or talk about childish topics (* cough LEGO * cough) I am actually no longer a child (legally speaking)
 
5:34 PM
hm...atherosclerosis leading to possible heartattack stroke or embolism, or slightly weaker legs, which can be counteracted by exercise? hm....
I'm trying to work in a joke about doing it until I need glasses.
 
What's all this about being old?
Oh hey, my 6th anniversary is coming up.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 It's OK. I think talking/lying through your kids is OK. "I think, I mean my kids think that the Bionicle stuff is crap, they'd much rather have the blocks to create things out of their own imagination"
@KitFox Holy crap that is old (_repeating trope that makes oneself look better by dragging down others).
 
Mr. Shiny was married longer before he had kids.
 
@Mitch That would fly, for anyone who doesn't know that my kids are too young for lego :)
@KitFox So does that make you older, or me? :)
 
I'm not sure.
 
5:38 PM
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Oh. Well, since it is your future, and since you care about Lego, Bionicle is idiotic.
 
My husband and I jumped right on that task.
 
Slightly less idiotic than pokemon.
 
@Mitch luckily, bionicle has been replaced with something different, which doesn't interest me more, but it seems to be more lego-y.
I'm not too grown-up to deny that my desk is covered in lego minifigs right now.
 
all ours are xmas tree decorations, the ones that have recognizable parts left.
 
@Mitch I consider 70+ old, but will probably only do so until I'm 40ish.
<--- 32
I stopped caring about new music after grunge, with a few exceptions here and there. I will never stop caring about the music I like.
Exceptions: I was aware of Coldplay at their start (and they sure suck now!), and David Gray.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 izzat Harley Quinn?
 
@Mitch Funny, I have two lego minifigs on the Christmas tree too
@cornbreadninja No, it's the medieval jester.
There is a Harley Quinn fig though.
I just don't have her.
 
The latest additions to the fig collection are Wolverine, Magneto, Deadpool, Aragorn, Merry, Frodo, and two wringwraiths.
 
@cornbreadninja what, 70 isn't old? I think that's old. Or should be. when do the benefits come in? senior citizen discounts? visits from the nice girl down the street (or is it her grandchildren?), no that was the year of that storm, the one where the did I tell you about when we didn't have internet and had to ask people for directions? Well, I'm tired now, I think I'll close my eyes.
 
5:56 PM
@Mitch I'll wake you when it's time for your pill.
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 I can see all our responses...from 5 minutes ago...in a picture.
 
@Mitch but you have to suffer the disorienting fact that it's MY messages that get highlighted and yours just fade into the background
 
@cornbreadninja have you seen my glasses? I can't find them anywhere. Yes, yes, I checked around my...OK don't try and get smart with me.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 it took me a while but I was able to mentally parse that eventually.
 
@Mitch I think they're on the divan, or maybe on top of the icebox.
 
Perhaps they are in the sledge.
 
6:01 PM
+1 icebox
 
OMG. sledge + hammer = sledgehammer. Ouch shakes head as piece clicks into place
Hammer for sledges.
 
this will be my testimony
 
Can't believe I never saw that.
 
I kick the habit / shed my skin
this is the new stuff / I'll go dancing in
 
6:04 PM
Interesting factoid about Peter Gabriel.
 
@RegDwightАΑA ooh, platforms.
 
He wrote Digging in the Dirt for me.
 
What did you do with it?
 
Peter Gabriel's videos are always a little odd.
 
I forgot how weird they are.
 
6:09 PM
honestly that Steam video is just a mishmash of weird visual effects and CGI to imply sex.
 
Yep.
 
I guess you must have had quite the influence on him.
 
Well, I can hardly take credit for that.
How did I forget how much I like Peter Gabriel?
 
@KitFox or @RegDwightАΑA: I don't suppose either of you know of a long comment thread on the main site? I would like to use it for my blog on why chat is great
 
Well, there was that argument between tchrist and FF...
But that's probably not a good one.
 
6:18 PM
oh, well, I'm gonna edit it anyway
I just didn't want to have to make all the html myself :D
 
How many exchanges does it take before the auto-comment of 'let's take this into chat' shows up?
 
@MattЭллен let me check the flag queue.
-1
Q: What are the differences in characteristics of 'analytical' and 'descriptive' writing excerpts?

Prashant SinghSuppose I have been given a paragraph and at the end of it, I am asked what the author's intended tone was. What characteristics can I use to distinguish 'analytical' writing from 'descriptive' writing? I often confuse these two. Here is a sample paragraph for those who require context: Mi...

 
@cornbreadninja I often want to just invoke 'new chat room' -before- then.
 
@cornbreadninja good question. it varies because the comments have to be between two parties, I think, before the little note pops up
 
12 got purged.
 
6:20 PM
@RegDwightАΑA grand, that'll do nicely :)
 
16
Q: Gigolo is to man as what is to woman?

Xavier Vidal HernándezThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition) reads: gigolo, n. A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman. Is there an English word [X] which fits the following definition? [X], n. A woman who has a conti...

This one is more provocative.
 
-2
A: How can I use “fête” as a verb in active voice?

FumbleFingersMy advice is to stick with the passive voice. As this NGram shows, that's what most people do... And here are just half-a-dozen instances of "I feted him" in the entire corpus of Google Books. You can get away with passive voice, or non-specific subject (they, the people, etc.), but in general...

Again, 11 comments deleted.
 
@KitFox golly! that's a lot
 
Of course I guess we can resurrect them for your post if you wish.
 
@RegDwightАΑA Oh, yeah. That's the one I was thinking of.
 
6:21 PM
That's enough to be working with Thanks, @KitFox & @RegDwightАΑA!
 
Sure thing, bubby.
 
@KitFox just check "posts" → "autoflagged posts" in the mod tools.
 
From far and wide, they've come to listen, watch, and judge her plea.
Beneath the lights her skin aglisten drips and drabbles free.
Before she speaks she stops to moisten lips all cracked and dry;
Refreshed for now, she lifts her voice and pleading asks them, "Why?"
She tells them just how much, how often all well-spoken men
That certain t's they oft would soften up, and how and when.
This once a trait of working class infects its rulers too,
Who know no better than to fasten t's where once taboo.
 
There's a word in Spanish I don't understand. But I heard it in a film one time spoken by the leading man. He said it with devotion, he sounded so sincere. And the words he spoke in Spanish brought the female lead to tears.
 
6:26 PM
Do you know which word it was, or do you not know its meaning?
 
Well since there's only this one word in Spanish I don't understand, it should be easy to figure out.
 
I'm not in an environment where I can listen to sound.
 
CHORUS

He said it with devotion
He sounded so sincere
And the words he spoke in Spanish
Brought the female lead to tears
 
Your scansion sucks.
 
Oooh-oooh, word in Spanish.
 
6:28 PM
@tchrist You don't know how to scan then.
 
He does know how to scam them, that should be enough.
 
Oh drat, I forgot to mark the enjambments.
 
Aug 14 at 16:27, by RegDwight АΑA
Now that's what I call an enj- / ambment! — RegDwight АΑA Oct 8 '10 at 14:18
 
Softly Softly
 
That's worse than NGrambment.
 
6:31 PM
From far and wide, they've come to list/en, watch, and judge her plea.
Beneath the lights her skin aglist/en drips and drabbles free.
Before she speaks she stops to moist/en lips all cracked and dry;
Refreshed for now, she lifts her voice/ and pleading asks them, "Why?"
She tells them just how much, how oft/en all well-spoken men
That certain t's they oft would soft/en up, and how and when.
This once a trait of working class / infects its rulers too,
Who know no better than to fast/en t's where once taboo.
Written out with 8/6 ballad meter, every line gardenpaths you to a mispronunciation.
 
@tchrist Much better. No really, it is.
 
Via enjambment.
 
Oh, now I get it.
 
Via enjabbathehuttment.
 
From far and wide, they've come to list-
    en, watch, and judge her plea.
Beneath the lights her skin aglist-
    en drips and drabbles free.
Before she speaks she stops to moist-
    en lips all cracked and dry;
Refreshed for now, she lifts her voice
    and pleading asks them, "Why?"
She tells them just how much, how oft-
    en all well-spoken men
That certain t's they oft would soft-
    en up, and how and when.
This once a trait of working class
    infects its rulers too,
Who know no better than to fast-
 
6:33 PM
I get it too. When you're wrong, change the subject. It's the unwritten rule of TIR
 
@Robusto You aren't going to duck out of your failed scansion that easily.
 
Oh noes, not duck out again.
 
It ain't failed. And it ain't mine. It's a found poem. Found in RegDwight's prose.
I merely report the news.
 
Feb 9 '11 at 21:45, by Kosmonaut
My officemate is Russian and he swears constantly, and I always know if he is IM'ing me from his iPhone because suddenly he will use the word "ducker".
 
6:38 PM
I hate the thoughts it takes to make a rhyme for all to see.
For all the day you'll speak this way, and all your friends shall flee.
 
6:49 PM
What in the world are you thinking? All this shows is that people did not often publish books with foul language before such-and-such a date. It says nothing about speech. — tchrist 28 secs ago
 
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 They're only off-topic because we defined our topic. ftfy
 
Is there an accepted adjectival form of nepotism? Nepotistic? Nepotismal?
 
nepotal nepote nepotian nepotic nepotically nepotious nepotism nepotist nepotistical
 
Nepotistic it is.
 
corrupt? inbred? nepotistical.
agh..jinx
 
6:53 PM
I wanted t' be kind t'christ
By God I did, you see;
The trouble was, he didn't have
A kind word meant for me

He always rails night and day
'Bout characters of text
What prompts his bile you cannot say
Nor what he'll rag on next

Well, now he says my scansion sucks:
A failure, plain and clear;
Now we must use a simple rhyme
To stick it in his ear

If you should see t'christ today
Be brave: don't shed a tear.
Rejoice that once he leaves you shan't
Be dealing with him here.

And so with simple meter shod
 
This is all about the papal nephews, you know.
 
@cornbreadninja oh..you're serious.
 
I think I'll create a Wall Of Text room for tchrist and Rob to hang out in.
 
@Mitch somewhat.
 
6:55 PM
I thin a requirement should be all things here should rhyme.
 
Nepotismic?
 
Rob is speaking French again.
 
Bah. I had to review an answer about nepotism just a couple hours ago.
 
pas de deux
 
6:56 PM
or be in haiku
extralinguistic usage
meter or scansion
salad or word
 
He thinks you don't pronounce final-s in English. Malheureusement.
 
voulez vous couchez avec moi?
 
Pas encore.
 
@cornbreadninja there are no s's not to pronounce there.
 
où?
 
6:57 PM
@Mitch et vous?
backs down from French argument
gets coffee
 
@cornbreadninja pas moi dit le chat.
 
@cornbreadninja Mon aéroglisseur est plein des anguilles.
 
@KitFox wth, do you guys all have the unicode map keyboard up and ready for all these diacritics?
 
@Mitch No, I write down the input for the ones I use.
 
Assonant rhyme pertains to another tradition. Two demerits.
 
6:59 PM
¡Sí! Don't you?
 
@ΜετάEd ICUC?
 
For instance, I don't know the upside down marks.
Well, I guees I have ¿.
 

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